Thursday, March 03, 2011

Okemili to hold last Ofala

The late Igwe Samson Chike Akabueze, the Okemili 1 of Awba-Ofemili in Awka-North Local Government, Anambra State, on December 27 celebrate his last ofala festival.

According to a press statement made available to Ofemili Times by the family signed by Chief Moses Akabueze, he quoted the President General of Awba-Ofemili Development Union (ADU) Chief Anthony Okafor, Secretary to the Igwe’s Cabinet/Ofala Committee, Chief Anaelo Nwanelo and Prince Uchenna Akabueze as endorsing the programme.

He also said that the final Ofala of Okemili would be held at the Central School field, Awba-Ofemili.

This final ofala, he said, would include the 21 gun salute, welcoming of the cabinet, parade by Iji-ele and Agunabo masquerades.

Additionally, he explained that there would be formal introduction of His Royal Highness (HRH) from over nine towns that made up the Awka-North local government.

Okemili, who was born in 1946 died on February 19, 2005 after a few years of coronation.

HRH Akabueze was born on October 21st, 1946 at Umuokpa Village in Awba-Ofemili, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, to the family of Chief and Mrs. Akabueze Akabuko.

He attended the St. Paul’s Anglican School, Awba-Ofemili from 1955 to 1960, and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate there. He then proceeded to the famous Igbwebuke Grammar School Awka in 1962.

By 1965, he moved on to Iheme Memorial Grammar School Arondizuogu and completed his secondary education there. Also, he studied for the Higher School Certificate examination that institution.

Chike Akabueze began his working career in 1970 when he was posted to teach at the Emekuku High School, Owerri. He remain there until 1972 and by 1977, Okemili was involved in the Universal Primary Education Project, Women Training College, Sugu Tarba State.

As at 1978, Okemili went into full-time business and was largely concerned with civil engineering works with a registered company name: CHISAK Nigeria Limited. He successfully completed a number of government projects such as the Police College quarters, Yola; House of Assembly quarters, Yola, Ports Authority quarters, Lagos, and NEPA Power Room, Lagos among others.

He also has membership of so many social clubs including the Peoples Club of Nigeria, Bauchi branch and the Country Club, Ikeja, Lagos State.

Humorously kind, Okemili is humble, honest, generous and renders help to the needy. He has continued to contribute towards the development of Awba-Ofemili. It could be recalled that a few years ago when the two primary schools in Awba-Ofemili were hit by storm, he greatly assisted in the rehabilitation of the buildings to name a few.

Invariably, it was in recognition of many of his across-the-board contributions to the development of Awba-Ofemili that was easily selected and crowned the traditional ruler on April 14, 1998.

The choice of Okemili 1, Ofemili Times gathered was simple; namely that his people wanted a leader and not a ruler.

Igwe Akabueze was formally presented with the certificate of recognition by the former military governor of Anambra State, Group Captain Rufai Garba on July 29, 1998 as Okemili 1 of Awba-Ofemili.

Married to two wives, Igwe Akabueze has four children, while his leisure time is spent on lawn tennis and travelling.

Commenting on the death of Okemili, Ide Benard Chidebe said that though he is no more, but his contributions to the town cannot be forgotten in a haste, and commended the committee that put the final ofala together for a job well done.

Remmy Nweke


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Awka-North petitions Gov. Obi over marginalisation

TEN Communities in Awka North Local government Area, Anambra State, have petitioned the state Governor, Mr. Peter Obi on what they called marginalization of the local government area by the government of Anambra state. The petition notes that Awka-North is the most neglected in the state, reports Odogwu Emeka Odogbwu.
The local government under the aegis of Igbo-Adagbe Development Association (IDA) in their petition copied to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and 23 other eminent organizations and bodies regretted that there is no indigene of the local government appointed into any substantive position in the Government under Governor Obi .
The Petition made available to Daily Champion and signed by 10 different personalities from all the communities in the council area, including former House of Assembly members, Dr Chris Anagor , President of Igbo-Adagbe and Hon Louis Nkemdilim who doubles as Vice Chairman of Igbo-Adagbe , Secretary Hon Emma Igboemeka among others.
The petition queried to know whether communities in Awka North local Government are part of Anambra state or not as according to the petitioners the administration of Peter Obi had continued to pay lip service to the problems of Awka North despite that it is in the capital territory.
They prayed Governor Obi to look in the direction of the people of Awka North in appointments , rural electrification , road network and other basic amenities and employment as no indigene of Awka North is Head of Local Government Administration or heading the Local government Education Authority whereas , ‘the statutory allocation to Awka North are being frittered away without our people’s contribution, now how much of Awka North funds that have spent by your administration, we don’t know. This is criminal and immoral’’.
They decried that the Amansea-Ebenebe – Ugbenu-Ugbene –Awba-Ofemmili road he flagged off on May 2007 is not progressing as 18 months period of completion he promised has elapsed on March1 2009, and earth work had not gone beyond ten kilometers wondering why anybody should circulate tracts that the road has been completed. They lamented that the hospitals in the communities are in deplorable conditions and some communities without electricity ever since.

The Awka-North people said in the petition, “Awka North indigenes are hard working and law abiding citizens of Anambra State . It is our most sincere wish that we don’t resort to self-help in the present circumstances. We therefore as a matter of extreme urgency call on you to redress these injustices now. Specifically, we request that the following be graciously done.”
“Your Excellency should initiate an Affirmative Action for Awka North people to integrate them into government by giving employment to indigenes of our area who have over the years been excluded from appointments into the civil services because they have nobody at the helm of any government establishment.”

“Your Excellency is prayed to correct the imbalance in the appointment made by him and appoint an indigene of Awka North to serve in any Executive position in the administration. This will, to use the words of the constitution promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among our people.”
“Your Excellency should as a matter of urgency look into the circumstances surrounding the abandonment of the Amansea-Ebenebe-Ugbenu-Ugbene-Awba-Ofemili road construction with a view to ensuring that vital road is speedily completed.” The people wrote’’.
But the state government in a statement made available to Daily Champion and signed by the state commissioner for information and culture, Prof. Stella Okunna, mentioned some developments already going on in the area, as construction of 32 kilometer Amansea-Ebenebe-Ugbenu-Ugbene-Awba Ofemili road.

According to Okunna, “The fact remains that Anambra State as a State was marginalized by her leaders until the coming of Governor Peter Obi. The other day, the Governor started the first road project in Anambra West since the State was created.”
“If you look back, you will see that even Awka North cannot boost of a single road until Obi became Governor. He is constructing the 32-Kilometers Amansea-Ebenebe-Ugbenu-Ugbene-Awba Ofemili road, with a bridge over Ezu River . He is also constructing the 9.50 Kilometers Achalla junction-Adani Rd and the 13- kilometer Awkuzu-Igbariam – Achalla Rd. ”
“The Governor is simultaneously erecting eight buildings at the School of Agriculture Mgbakwu , where no previous Governor erected a block.”
“It may interest you to note that the place has been chosen for the Ethanol Plant, which will soon take off.”
“Besides, the Schools in the area, such as Community Secondary School, Isuaniocha, Community Secondary School Amansea, among others, were among the schools provided with Computer equipment and Laboratory equipment by the Government.” the statement read.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nnam-Ugbenu bridge collapses

Another bridge has collapsed in Awka North local government area cutting off several communities and the neighboring Enugu state from easy visit to and fro Awka, the Anambra state capital, reports, ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU.

Known as the Nnam bridge, it links the renowned rice producing communities of Awba-Ofemili, Ugbene and Ugbenu with other parts of Awka north communities collapsed in the early hours of Monday August 25th 2008 without any casualty. The only means of transport now is by canoes and swimming across the mostly riverine communities.

When contacted, the Anambra state Commissioner for Works, Mr Calistus Ilozumba told Daily Champion that, “I am hearing it from you for the first time but I am going to dispatch our engineers and consultants as well as the contractor working on that road to find a way we would lessen the suffering of the people.”

Stressing that though he did not hear it before now, the government of Gov. Peter Obi is committed in tackling emergencies headlong, “so we are going to do something for the people of Awka North and the communities so that they would be assessable to and fro. Anything we are going to do will be urgent.”

Efforts to speak to the information and culture commissioner Prof Mrs Stella Okunna did not yield fruit.

On the Ebenebe-Amansea bridge that collapsed over five months ago, Mr. Ilozumba restated that contractor is already working the best it could do now for as the rain is too much to enable it tackle the road headlong immediately after the heavy rain period reduce.

Daily Champion gathered that the bridge was built and commissioned by the late Commodore Emeka Omeruah’s regime in the old Anambra state in 1987.

Confirming this incident to Daily Champion yesterday, President General of Awba-Ofemili Development Union (ADU), Chief Anthony Okafor, said its lamentable because just few months ago, the Ebenebe-Amensea bridge connecting the aforementioned towns to Awka, capital of Anambra State also collapsed, therefore making life difficult to the Awka-North communities.

Chief Okafor, however, called on the government of Mr. Peter Obi to urgently come to the aid of the agro-communities because according to him, apart from the collapsed Nnam bridge cutting off Awba-Ofemili, Ugbene with Ugbenu, “it would stall the evacuation of agricultural produce from these communities known for massive and quality rice output.”

He noted that some indigenes that went home for the August meeting and festivals surrounding the new yam were affected as most of them could not go back to the bases.
The ADU president reiterated the plea of these communities for Governor Peter Obi to quickly come to their aid by intervention.

Also speaking an Anglican Clergy, Reverend Ferdinand Okoye, the vicar of Saint Paul’s Anglican Church Awba-Ofemmili while attributing the collapse on the heavy flooding that has washed away the edges of the bridge, said coming in and out of the community is risk even as appealed to Governor Peter Obi to as a matter of urgency come to the aid of the communities.

Reverend Okoye added that the communities have been cut off from the rest of the state following the earlier collapsed bridge at Amansea that has not been repaired saying that Canoe is the only means of traveling out and many could not travel by this means especially those living in the urban areas for long who could not swim, should any eventuality happens even though no one is praying for that.

He appeals to Governor Peter Obi to quickly come to their aid by mandating for immediate restoring of all the bridges that have collapsed in Awka North as life is no longer pleasurable for people of the area.

Daily Champion recalls that the collapse of the about 50 meters bridge across the popular Ezu–Ebenebe river linking Ebenebe with Amansea in Awka North local area, a link roads to over five out of 10 communities in Awka North is still unattended to by the state government on the excuse that the rain is still much but the contract according to the Commissioner for works has been awarded.

The bridge collapsed when a trailer belonging to Breco construction company constructing the about 39 kilometers of road from Amansea –Ebenebe –Ugbene –Ugbenu – Awba Ofemmili road which was carrying 50 tones of chippings across the bridge against the instruction that vehicles carrying anything above 12 tones should not cross the bridge.

The belly bridge Daily Champion recalled was built 38 years ago by the Nigerian Army during the Biafran war and has remained like that since apart from regular patches by the various religious groups in Ebenebe.

The similar Bridge through Okpuno to Mgbakwu last five years collapsed at a similar situation and has remained like that till today with a fragile concrete as an alternative route which may soon collapse.

When Daily Champion visited there thousands of people where seen stranded on how to cross the dreaded Ezu-river with canoe as the only means of transport. To cross either to Amansea or Ebenebe costs N50 for an individual and between N300 and N500 to cross over a motorcycle . Various types of cars were seen parked at the both sides of the river as they cannot be crossed over by the local boat. The river is very deep as a long bamboo tree put inside it was swallowed up.

Some were even seen taking risk of climbing over the already collapsed bridge to either Amansea or Ebenebe for fear of the canoe. The people there appealed to the Governor to come and see things for himself and give them alternative route as the only route has been cut off.

Commissioner for information Prof Mrs. Stella Chinyere Okunna had said this then, “You can see the part of neglect the people have suffered all these years in the hands of the previous governments and that is what the governor is trying to correct. That bridge is horrible , and the road horrible and all other bridge in that area and it is going to cost the government millions of naira to reconstruct . It takes vision to start work on that road.”

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fr Chike Uba losses father

Nkem Nweke

Parish Priest of the St Paul’s Catholic Church, Awba-Ofemili, Awka-North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Rev. Father Emmanuel Chike Uba, has lost his father, Sir (Chief) Elias Okonkwo Uba, to death.

Fr. Uba who disclosed this to OfemiliTimes recently said his death occurred on Sunday, June 4, at his residence in Woliwo area of Onitsha also in Anambra State.

According to the family, Sir Elias who died at the age of 71, would begin his journey home to mother earth on August 3, this year.

The journey of Sir Uba who held from Ichida, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, will commence from the St. Charles Borromeo Hospital Onitsha, where his corpse has been deposited since certified dead.

Announcing the passing on to the great beyond of their loving father, Sir Elias Okonkwo Uba, the family noted that Knight of Saint Mulumba (KSM), was also a community leader and renowned business magnet based in Onitsha.

He holds the title of Ozala-Akunwata of Ichida.

In a press statement made available to OfemiliTimes, the family said, Sir Elias was born in 1935.
Funeral arrangement announced by the family indicated that his body would leave St. Charles Borromeo Hospital Onitsha for a requiem mass at St. Jude’s Catholic Church Port Harcourt Road, Fegge-Onitsha, Anambra State, with a brief stop over at his residence, Woliwo Layout, Onitsha, on August 3.

Equally, Sir Elias’ body would proceed in a motorcade to his country home, Mgbuwa village, Ichida to be followed by another requiem mass.

This, Fr Uba informed would be followed by a lying in state of his body at the country home and another requiem mass at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church Ichida before the interment.

On Saturday, the interment would continue and on Sunday, August 6, there would be a thanks giving mass at St. Augustine Ichida.Sir Uba is survived by his wife, Lady Veronica Uba, Akurienne Chimezie Uba, Uzuakpunwa Anene Uba, Okechukwu Uba, Obiora Elias B. Uba, Rev. Fr Chike Uba and Chukwuneke Uba.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Nkem Nweke inducted into Catholic women

Our Reporter

Deputy Coordinator, Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) St. Jude’s Catholic Parish Mafoluku-Oshodi-Lagos, Mrs. Nkem Anthonia Nweke, has been inducted into the prestigious Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) in Lagos-Nigeria.

Mrs. Nweke was among over 137 women who were last Sunday inducted into the Lagos Archdiocese of Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) in her parish along with the investiture of four matrons and 11 patrons of the group.

Currently Secretary General of the Women Wing, Awba-Ofemili Development Union (ADU) Lagos, she is also top-notcher of CWO, St. Paul's Catholic Awba-Ofemili, Lagos branch and Executive Director, Remnek Kommunications Ventures, Lagos.

The event, the first of its kind in that parish witnessed dignitaries from all walks of life led by the National President, Chief Mrs. C.V. Kehinde who later presented the parish’s certificate of induction to the Parish president, Mrs. Cordelia Ndianefo, accompanied by the assistant parish priest, Rev. Fr. Dominic Azagbor OP, and spiritual directress, St. Jude’s CWO, Rev. Sr Margaret Hussain OP.

Some of the matrons and patrons that took part at the investiture include, Chief Mrs Christian Adaramaja, Mrs. Margareth Fafiolu, Ezenne Mercy Nnanna, Mrs. Monica Esuturie, while the patrons included Chief Anthony Okafor, Mr. John Aigbe, Prince Emmanuel Dumuje, Prof. Isaac Odion Ugbodu, Mr. D.T. Ajayi, Chief Kevin Ariratu, Messrs Innocent Emeh, Emeka Duru, Charles Ukwuoma, Peter Okonkwo and Chief Edwin Agbashe.

In his homily, Rev. Fr. Azagbor OP, enjoined christians and particularly women to always place God first in any thing they are involved in rather than waiting until things have gone bad or have problems.

According to him, there would be storms of life, but Jesus living up to His name as Emmanuel which means, God is with us, never departs from us.

He enjoined them to always have faith in God, describing the CWO induction at the parish, of which he was awarded honourary member, as “a day of joy for the parish and people of goodwill.”

Also he tasked them to worship God in spirit and truth, saying that the induction is a sign of good things to happen not only to the parish, St. Jude but entire parishioners.

Recalling the importance of mothers in the society, Fr. Azagbor, said, families should rejoice with their mothers because it is a special day and event for mothers who want to follow the steps of Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ.

He maintained that there is no other way of being a christian than following Jesus Christ to the fullest, inviting CWO members to extend their vision beyond their immediate families.

Readings were taken from the book of Job 3:1, 8-11 and second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 5: 14-17, while the gospel was taken from Mark 4: 35-41.

Lagos Archdiocese of CWO (LACWO) is a chapter of the World Union of Catholic Women Organisation (WUCWO), in Lagos-Nigeria. WUCWO originated in France with its first official conference held in Lile-France on May 1850. CWO aims to unite all catholic women in the country and assist them to become the light, unity, love and peace of Christendom.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

President resumes work, visits crash victims’ families

PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday paid condolence visits to some families of victims of the Bellview airliner which crashed last Saturday killing 117 persons.


Tradegy: Don't give up Obasanjo urges Nigerians

PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo has implored all Nigerians wherever they may be, to stop whatever they are doing at mid-day today, and observe one-minute silence and pray for the repose of the souls of the victims of last Saturday plane crash as well as his late wife, Stella.


Monday, October 17, 2005

S.East legislators tackle Enugu caucus over attack on Nnamani

SOUTH East Legislators Forum (SELF), a union of South East federal lawmakers in the National Assembly has joined issues with Enugu State caucus in the House of Representatives over the latter’s attack on Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani.