The atmosphere at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, was spiritually charged and electric as soul lifting melodies and praises filled the air when Management and Staff of the Academy, yesterday, held her 2017 Solemn Assembly and showered praises and gratitude to God for His providence in the year 2016.
The event which took place in the Central Refectory of the Academy, featured outpouring of praises, prayers and exhortation as the mammoth and appreciative crowd staff and cadets also used the event as an opportunity to seek the face of God and implore Him for a more rewarding 2017.
In his opening remarks at the event, the Registrar and Acting Rector of the Academy, Pastor Mkpandiok Mkpandiok praised God for his goodness in 2016 and also prayed that God sustains His love and goodness for the Academy throughout year 2017. He therefore enjoined all staff and cadets of the Academy on the need to join in singing praises and thanking God for the successes the Academy has recorded, in spite of the many challenges it faces. He called on staff and cadets to be of good conduct for the progress and growth of the Academy, even as they are working together to build a world class Academy.
According to Pastor Mkpandiok, a seasoned maritime administrator and one of the longest-serving staff in the Academy, “The year 2017 promises to be a better year for all of us. Jesus said, ‘because I live, you shall live’. And if we all recognize God in all we do and say, strive to build a cordial relationship with fellow staff and cadets, and also be committed to our duties and studies, God by His Grace shall never disappoint us in our endeavors”. He therefore reiterated his resolve never to fail in sustaining the vision of the founding fathers of the Academy by transforming it into a world-class Academy with global best practices, to make the products of the Academy the most sought after in the country and beyond.
Speaking further in his exhortation, the Acting Rector however lamented over the bad attitude that were common among some staff and cadets in the preceded year, such as bitter gossip, leaking of sensitive official information, baseless speculations and rumours that cannot be substantiated. Others he also mentioned include insubordination, tribalism, casualness to duty and quarrels amongst staff. He therefore admonished such ones to change their pattern of lives in their own good and that of the Academy.
Anchoring his exhortation on the theme: “Prayer – Asking and Receiving” with references to John 3: 16 and 13:34, etc Pastor Mkpandiok categorically called on staff and cadets to cultivate the habit of always praying to God with sincerity of heart and forgiving others as much as occasion demands. He warned all staff and cadets to shun acts that are capable of destabilizing the peaceful atmosphere in the Academy, causing interpersonal personal tension amongst staff and students as well as tarnishing the image of the Academy or bringing it into ridicule in the eyes of the world, He emphasized that Management henceforth will not fail to deal decisively with defaulters. “Let’s bury the ugly past; this is a new dawn and era. We are in a year of double blessing if we tow the path of truth, love, discipline and devotion to duty”, he said.
In a separate session with the cadets, the Acting Rector asked them to re-examine their purposes for coming to the Academy in particular and their overall purposes in life. He assured them that the aim of Management is to make them world-class professionals in the maritime industry who would never be found wanted in the competitive market. He assured them of his administrations readiness to ensure all that the school needs to have in terms of training shall be provided as soon as possible, provided he is allowed to continue. However, a stern warning was sounded that any cadets caught involved in any form of indiscipline shall not be spared for any reason. Recently, as a demonstration of renewed interest in the Academy, considering the neglect it had suffered over the years, the Minister of Transport, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, has set up a committee made up of tested professionals in the maritime sector to overhaul the Academy in the concerted efforts to reposition it for global excellence. The Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron is a pioneer institution that was established in 1977.