Enugu: HURIWA urges Gov Ugwuanyi to immortalize late broadcaster, Chief Paddy Eke

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has urged governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State to name the faculty of Mass Communication of the prestigious institute of management and Technology (IMT) after the late legendary broadcaster, Chief Patrick Ezeja Eke (Paddy Eke).

HURIWA, in a statement, advised Ugwuanyi to do the needful by immortalizing Eke, who was a prominent voice during the Biafran war.

The statement read in part, “We have learnt of the passage of one of the most Iconic broadcasters and journalists East of the Niger, the Enugu State-born former professional broadcaster, Chief Patrick Ezeja Eke.

“We the entire members of the media oriented Human Rights body, are by this public statement extending our condolences and solidarity to the governor of Enugu State and the good people of Enugu and media-oriented East of Nigeria over the demise of a great man who glamorized Broadcasting and deployed his immense media talents to promote harmony, National peace and to champion respect for constituted authority.

HURIWA recalls with nostalgia that Chief Patrick Ezeja Eke (Paddy Eke) started his professional career in Broadcasting in 1966 with Eastern Nigeria Broadcasting Service (ENBS). He was a prominent voice during the Biafran war, when he broadcast to the sound of bombs detonating dangerously close by. That was from 1967 – 1970.

HURIWA also noted that *this Iconic journalist took a course in Broadcasting at the BBC London in 1979. He rose through the ranks to become Controller of Programmes when Eastern broadcasting was reborn and became Anambra Broadcasting Service in 1985. In 1997 he became Director of Programmes.

“In recognition of his contribution to the growth and development of Enugu State in general and the broadcast media in particular, he was made Justice of Peace of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – a worthy achievement – in 1998. He became the Chairman, Board of Directors of ESBS after his retirement in 1999, under the administration of the then governor of Enugu State – Governor Chimaroke Nnamani.

“He gave 35 years of active life to the career he loved so much Broadcasting.May his soul rest in the bosom of the Lord.

HURIWA recalls that the late broadcaster was a contemporary of the equally Iconic broadcaster and film star, Chief Pete Edochie even as the group stated thus: “We know that governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi will use his powers to ensure that the memories of this great son of Igbo land is extolled and engraved.

“There is the imperative need for the Enugu State government to consider honouring the beautiful memories of their great son. This honour will also spur on hundreds of other broadcasters and Journalists of Enugu State and South East to also dedicate their professional careers to the service and advancement of humanity and the nation.”

HURIWA recalls that recently the Anambra State governor honoured their own version of Iconic broadcaster- Chief Pete Edochie, who is a contemporary of Chief Paddu Eke now of blessed memory. Even though 70-year-old Pete Edochie is an accomplished actor, not many know that the man famous for his ‘Okonkwo’ role in the ‘Things Fall Apart’ movie was a broadcaster,who worked with the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), retired in 1998 and faced Nollywood squarely.

“The actor, alongside his former colleagues, had reason to smile recently, as the Anambra state governor, Willie Obiano, paid their gratuities which had been owed them for a really long time.

“The Government and people of Enugu state will forever be remembered by generations yet unborn for doing so much to create memorabilia and build institutions to immortalize and engrave the good names of her heroes’ past.”