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



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