Former presidential candidate Peter Obi and governor of Anambra State Chukwuma Soludo on Thursday joined friends, relatives and well-wishers of the former secretary-general of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku, in celebrating his 91st birthday.
Anyaoku celebrated his birthday with the launch of the Emeka and Bunmi Anyaoku Centre.
The centre, situated in Obosi, Anambra State, was established to promote a reading culture and facilitate research in various educational disciplines.
It also includes a museum where visitors can learn about memorabilia from across the Commonwealth nations, located on all major continents, and Nigerian cultural artefacts collected over time.
Speaking about the motivation behind the centre, Anyaoku described the launch as the realisation of a long-held dream shared with his wife to support the education of both young and adult citizens. He disclosed that the funds for constructing the centre were sourced from gifts to the Emeka and Bunmi Anyaoku Foundation during his 90th birthday celebration.
Anyaoku acknowledged the assistance of the British Charity, Books for Africa, contributing approximately 95 per cent of the books housed in the library.
He expressed hope that the foundation would continue to provide funding for the sustainability and activities of the centre.
“I am happy that this Centre is located in my hometown of Obosi, which, in my 90 years, I have seen develop from a village community to the urban area that it has now become,” Anyaoku said.
“I thank God for His grace, which has enabled me to retain my mental faculties at the age of 91. I, of course, also thank my wife Ugoma, for it is said that Heaven helps those who help themselves. By God’s grace, I am still free from the absentmindedness generally associated with old age.”