By Robert Obioha
Professor Akachi Ezeigbo received a Gold Merit Award alongside other prominent sons and daughters of Uga community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, on 26 December, 2016, in Uga town. Organised by Uga Improvement Union (U.I.U.), the political and cultural ruling body that oversees the affairs of the town, the award ceremony, which also marked the centenary of the abduction of ObuofoLeaders/Warriors of Uga by the British Colonial Administration in 1916, was attended by thousands of people from inside and outside the town, including politicians, intellectuals, business people, students, men and women. Prof Ezeigbo, an academic icon and multiple award-winning scholar and writer, had celebrated the Obuofo leaders and the supreme sacrifice they made for their people, in her remarkable novel, The last of the Strong Ones, set in the colonial period. The award was given to her for her “contribution to the educational, economic, social and cultural development of Uga community in particular and Nigeria in general”.
Ezeigbo remarked that she was delighted and grateful to be recognized in this special way by her people. Though she had received awards in the past, this one was particularly dear to her heart because it came from her own community. She would continue to do her best to promote the development of the town. Prof Ezeigbo had played different roles in the town’s growth. She was a member of the committee that supervised the building of Uga Post Office in the 1980s, and is a strong member of Uga Professors – an association that organizes and funds an Annual Educational Programme for senior secondary school students from Uga and those not from Uga but studying in secondary schools located in the town.