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ABOUT THE LEGEND, VERY REV. MSGR. PROF. JOHN BOSCO AKAM

At the end of creation of the world, God gave the earth to man to till it and conquer it. This instruction bound man to do his best in making the world a better place to live. Great men and women who have existed and those who are existing have not lost sight of this primary assignment on earth. Very Rev. Msgr. Prof. John Bosco Akam, a philosopher, theologian and a philanthropist of the first order, has made invaluable contribution to the history of humanity.

John Bosco Uchechukwu Ndubeze Nwachinaemere Ugiriejiemeaku Akam was born on 15th August 1947 to the family of late Mazi Pius Ogbuagu and Monica Ugodiya Akam of Oka Village, Uga in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. He had his nursery and primary education at St. Vincent’s School, Uga from 1956 – 1963. He started his journey to the priesthood on 20th January 1964 at All Hallows Seminary Onitsha. At all Hallows Seminary, John Bosco proved himself a young boy of rare intelligence with multiple gifts.

Always taking the first position in class, John Bosco was promoted from class three to class five. He sat for London G.C.E and came out with 6 alphas and 2 credits in the Senior Seminary. As he completed his philosophical studies, he was moved straight to Theology in the same Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu. He completed his theological studies with a First Class Honours in 1976 with 98.87% average.
His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Francis Arinze now His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze ordained John Bosco a priest on 24th of April 1976 at Immaculate Heart Church, Uga. Few days after his priestly ordination, he was posted to Nnokwa Parish as the Parish Priest Nnokwa Parish then consisted of three major towns: Nnokwa, Alor, and Awka – Etiti.

Fr. John Bosco Akam was later posted to Akpu Parish as the Parish Vicar. Seven months later in 1977 Fr. John Bosco Akam was posted back to his Alma Mater (All Hallows Seminary Onitsha) as teacher and Spiritual Director. While in the Seminary, he taught Music, French, English, and Latin Language as well as Mathematics. That year the Seminary made one of the best results in English Language. Fr. John Bosco with the fatherly assistance of Late Msgr. O.P Achebe established Music Department in All Hallows Seminary in 1977. This department has been able to equip most of the provincial seminaries with Organists and Music Directors.

In July 1980, Fr. John Bosco left Nigeria for University of Louvain, Belgium. He was the first priest of Onitsha Archdiocese and the 4th Nigerian priest that studied in the University of Louvain Belgium. While studying, Fr. John Bosco was appointed a Spiritual Director of St. Paul’s Seminary Louvain-la-Neuve. He had also several pastoral engagements in Louvain-la-Neuve some of which were: “Vicaire Dominical” to Braine-le-Chateau Parish in the Archdioceses of Brussels, Team priest for 600 Couples of Marriage Encounter (Brabant Wallon), Chaplain to Marist Brothers Retirement home near Louvain-la-Neuve, “Aushilfe priester” in Buchbach (Bamberg-Germany), Waldenestein, Nieder-Osterreich. After about five and half years, Fr. John Bosco concluded his studies in Louvain–la-Neuve with six different Degrees including Doctorate Degree in philosophy. He has the following degrees: Dip. Phil., B. Phil, B.D., M.Phil., M.A., M.M.R.Sc., Dip. Econ/Dvlpt., Ph.D. Back home in 1986, he was posted to lecture at the then Bigard Memorial Seminary Ikot Ekpene now St Joseph Major Seminary. While he was lecturing, he was also the moderator of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) channel 6 Aba weekly philosophical program called “Reflections”.

In 1989, at the Bishops of the then Onitsha Ecclesiastical province and Seminary staff meeting, Fr. John Bosco was mandated by the Bishops to re-open philosophical faculty in Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu. He was appointed the Dean of the faculty. During the period, Fr. John Bosco was also a visiting lecturer at Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka where he lectured on Philosophy of Science, Logic and Clear Thought. He also had an apostolate outside the seminary. Fr. John Bosco was the parish priest of the then Holy Ghost Co-Cathedral Parish Independence Layout, Enugu now Holy Trinity Parish Enugu. The works and intellectual prowess of this great man of God won many admirers especially among his students and colleagues.

Little wonder then, that in August 1992, Fr. John Bosco was elected the Rector of his Great Alma Mater – Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu, an appointment that portrayed the humanitarian charisma of Fr. John Bosco and placed him in the annals of history. He demonstrated in no small measure his concern and care for the clergy, his alleviation of suffering policy, and his self sacrifice for the service of God and humanity. He constructed St. Mary’s Father’s House Bigard, one of the most solid and well-planned structures in Bigard, Enugu. Due to his foresightedness and proactive creativity, Fr. John Bosco constructed a fuel dump for the seminary right inside the seminary. He tarred all major roads in the seminary. The works of faith and salvation Fr. John Bosco did in Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu are too many to mention.

In January 1995, this zealous Apostle was called into the Papal Chamberlain. He was elevated to the rank of Very Rev. Monsignor. In February 1996, the gem completed his tenure of office as a “Rector Magnificus” of Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu.

In April 1996, this great achiever sojourned in Awka Diocese and was appointed Education Secretary of the Diocese. After about two and half years of service to God and humanity in Awka Diocese, Very Rev. Msgr. Dr. John Bosco Akam went back to Onitsha Arcdiocese. In September 1999, Very Rev. Msgr. Dr. John Bosco Akam was appointed the Parish Priest of St. Augustine’s Parish Amafor Nkpor – Agu. He held this appointment up to 15th of January 2001. Already on the 7th of November His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Albert K. Obiefuma granted Very Rev. Msgr. Dr. John Bosco Akam the permission to found a public Association that will care for the Elderly and/or Disabled Clergy, Religious and the laity. The Public Association is now called: Missionary Sons of Blessed Tansi (MST) and is made up of over 90 members at different stages of formation and profession.

FOUNDATIONS:
Very Rev. Msgr. Prof. John Bosco Akam founded non-profit making and humanitarian organizations. Prominent among these are: Peter Hermon foundation (PHF) and Voice of the Poor Foundation (VPF). Through the VPF, Very Rev. Msgr. Prof. John Bosco Akam has completed 30 houses for the poor in various parts of the country. The VPF has fully sponsored 18 marriages (including dowry, Igba nkwu etc); 87 hospital bills have been settled for the poor families. Over 691 students have benefited from Very Rev. Msgr. Prof. John Bosco Akam’s VPF Scholarship Scheme in primary, secondary and tertiary Institutions.

Very Rev. Msgr. Prof. John Bosco Akam has founded educational institutions in some parts of the country. He founded Nursery, Primary and Secondary School in Our Lady of Waldenstein Educational Centre, Uga. It is in this Educational Centre that the famous Konigin Des Friedens College (KFC) Enugu remains the Primus Inter pares. The achievements of this great gem and philanthropist are indeed too numerous to mention.

A HEART FOR THE POOR:

It was in 1985 that Fr. John Bosco made a vow to the almighty God for the rest of his life, he would have in his heart, a soft spot for the poor. The special love for the poor culminated in the construction, blessing and opening of VILLA MISERICORDIA DEI, home for the disable, motherless babies and the orphans by Most Rev. Dr. Michael E. Apochi, the Bishop of Otukpo Diocese, Benue State. Already in this Home, there are over 21 disable young men and women in different levels of primary, secondary tertiary education. One is already a graduate of Accountancy from Tansian University while another is studying Medicine at Madonna University. All are beneficiaries of Voice of the Poor foundation and Peter Hermon Foundation scholarship programs.

 

DR. PETER OKEY EJIKEME'S VERSION OF MSGR. PROF. JOHN BOSCO AKAM

A story was told of the blind men who touched the elephant. When they were asked to describe the elephant, each of them described the elephant from the part he touched. there is also a saying in Igbo land that he who climes the iroko tree should collect as much fire wood as possible for iroko tree is not climbed always. I must say that I am highly privileged to have associated with the Eternal treasure existing in our time of change and mutability. I am highly privileged to associate with a man of rare intelligence, an orator, an ecclesiastical edifice, a mentor, a philanthropist of the first order and a linguist – Very Rev. Msgr. Dr. John Bosco Nwachinemere Ndubueze Uchechukwu Ugiri-eji-emeaku Akam. I must say that God granted me the privilege of touching not just a part, but parts of this great “elephant”. On this same privilege I was allowed to climb this great and rare ecclesiasitical iroko. Now listen:

As for you, how fortunate you are! Your eyes see and your ears hear. I assure you that many prophets and many of God’s people wanted very much to see what you see, but they could not, and to hear what you hear, but they did not (Matt. 13:16-17)

Msgr. John Bosco Uche Akam is the great man of our time, he is father to many and he has given succor to vast majority of people in different capacities and in different spheres of life. Msgr. J.B. Akam is an academician of the higher degree. He is a linguist with proficiency in more than six international languages. A greater teacher of faith and morals. A great mentor to youths in the third millennium. An accomplished organist and composer of liturgical hymns.

Msgr. John Bosco Uche Akam is also a victim of envy and jealousy. An object of calumniation. A highly misunderstood personality. These also made him to be a man of large heart and a scientific minded man. In short he is an ecclesiastical indestructible dynamo.

Eternal treasure in time, is a work that has tried in a succinct way to present Msgr. John Bosco Akam to all and are highly gifted in expressing the inexpressible. The rest of the chapters and pictures bring to focus the personality and activities of Msgr. John Bosco Uche Akam from his childhood to the year 2001 when he is celebrating his Silver Jubilee of call to the priestly memoir. There are many other valuable things you can also find in the Appendix of this book. All these are just for you and you alone. As you read, reflect and see how you contribute to make the world a better place to live. I am highly aware that: “if the head of the family is called Beelzebul, the members of the family will be called even worse names!” But thanks to “Tomorrow” understood in the context of providence! It is tomorrow that makes the “invalid”, “valid” and the “unthinkable”, thinkable”. Let it be so for now!