Story by Dili Utomi
An African adage says that “When a child washes his hands clean, he dines with kings”, this aptly defines the event that took place as the 2022 Grand Ikwuano Day organised by the Ikwuano Development Union, Lagos celebrated the occasion at the White hall within the Oshodi/Isolo local government area’s compound on Saturday.
Ikwuano is a place that is made up of four clans of Oboro, Ibere, Oloko and Ariam/Usaka of the old Aba province in the present day Abia State. The name Ikwuano originated in 1959 after the meeting of the elders of the area where it was majorly agreed that that their old name Alaala was obstructing their efforts and impeding their success and so the name Ikwuano was adopted and that name has remained till today. It is worthy of note to point out that one of the main leaders of the then Aba women riot of 1929 was madam Ikonna Nwanyiukwu Enyia and that she was originally from Oloko village, then married to an Nchara family.
The chairman of the occasion, Chief Nzeribe S. Okegbue in his opening speech lauded the spirit of hard work, prudence and enterprise of the Ikwuano person. He encouraged everyone of them all to continue to put in the positive efforts towards the development of Ikwuano as well as the whole country. He also advised that as the elections draw near, people should not sell their votes, but make their choices of who to vote for based on good principles in the collective interest of all.
The president of the Ikwuano Development Union, Chief Hope O. Ubani in his address at the occasion noted that Ikwuano is one of the local government areas that was created in 1991 and that Ikwuano covers an area of 279.7 square kilometers.
Chief Ubani indicated that two categories of people are honoured on the day, those with long years of philanthropic and meritorious services to their clans and those personalities of substance who have close association with Ikwuano.
The president also spoke about the proposed Ikwuano house in Lagos as he pleads for co-operation from all sons and daughters of Ikwuano as well as all well wishers to come to their aid to make the dream come true.
Three persons were inducted as life patrons of the Ikwuano Development Union and they are Chief Nzeribe S. Okegbue, Dr. Godwin Nwabunka, Nze Jerry C. Ogbonna.
These others were honoured with awards, Prince David Chukwudi, a member of the Abia State house of assembly representing Ikwuano constituency, Honourable Stanley Nwabuisi, Lolo Ngozi Nzeribe Okegbue, John Victor Maduabuchi, Daniel Ikechukwu Ezegbe, Dr. (Mrs.) Ann Oriaku and Prof. Paul Ebube Oriaku, Ambrose Igwe Ekperechi, Eng. Ekelechi Iruke, Emmanuel Ifeanyi Uke, Late Apostle Ikechiuku Anyanwu, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze Ibe, Chidinma Chukwujama, Dr. Benjamin Chukwujama and Charity Nwaoha.
At the end of the event, the newsmen present threw some questions at some of the personalities at the event. The president of the association, Chief Hope Ubani was asked how he felt after the event and he said that he is so very much overwhelmed with the level of attendance by Ikwuano sons and daughters who came from within and outside of Lagos to make the occasion happen as he encouraged other Ikwuano sons and daughters who are yet to register as members of the association to immediately do so.
On his part, the chairman of the occasion. Chief Nzeribe S. Okegbue said that he feels highly honoured for the recognition accorded him on the occasion as the youngest life patrons of the Union, he advices the youths to shun vices and to embrace hard work. The man who is a security consultant and also a philanthropist also advised people who are well to do to learn to be a little bit more generous with their time and wealth and be more of shining light to guide the younger ones. Chief Okegbue opined that the 2023 elections will be more of individual character than party of choice in terms of who will be elected, this same man who built a community hall worth over fifty million naira at his community advises people to keep lending the helping hand to others.
The member representing Ikwuano constituency at the Abia State house of assembly said that he is elated to be at the occasion. He said that he will continue to do more in terms of human capital development in addition to his basic functions at the State house of assembly.
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