By Leonard Aiokubi, Owerri
An ancient Kingdom, Egbelu Emeke Obibiezena, in Owerri North local government area of Imo State, Nigeria, was last weekend, thrown into wide jubilation, following the official commissioning of a 500 KVA transformer installed for the Community by Egbelu Progressive Association (EPA), USA, and the inauguration of the newly- elected executive of the Egbelu People’s Assembly (EPA).
In his opening speech, Mr Ray Osonwa Kemakolam, President, Egbelu Progressive Association, USA, who welcomed everyone to the occasion, described the day as a remarkable day in the history of the Community.
His words, “It’s my pleasure to welcome you all. Today is a remarkable day for Nde Egbelu Emeke Obibi, we all are here to officially commission the installation of our new transformer and ensure that our people come together to celebrate this special occasion.
” Before I go further, I will like to acknowledge, appreciate and thank our President Emeritus, Sir Leo Obilor, who under his leadership, started the transformer project with his executive, thanks to our Transformer Committee Chairman, Chief Adolph Obilor and his Committee members for their hard work.
“Special thank you to all EPA- USA members, who went beyond and above to make the project a reality. Thank you to Engr. Charles Amadi, who took the bull by the horn and helped us execute the project back home”.
The EPA President also thanked members of his executive, Olachi Anuforo Nnadi- PRO, Raymond Ekeh- Treasurer, Cathy Manuwuba Ozumba- Financial Secretary, Tony Anuforo- Secretary, Chief Adolph Obilor- Vice President, Izuchi Amuba- former Secretary, “who went beyond and above to make sure that all projects we embarked on, eg. Covid-19 palliative, medical rescue geared towards saving one of our brother’s life, and new transformer project”
Concluding, he said, ” Today marks the best yet to come to Egbelu, it stands for unity and prosperity. If those before us failed to bring us together as one family, today is a new day. Let us re- educate our mind-set and love one another. Life is too short to worry about insignificant issues. United we stand, divided will fall”.
Before commissioning the transformer, Rev Fr. Raymond Onuoha, Parish priest, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Obibiezena, reminded the people of the need for them to always appreciate the good work of God, and use the knowledge and resources giving to them by God to do good things for mankind, as they did in the installation of the transformer which he said would improve the living standard standard of the people. He prayed that the people would use the transformer to improve their lives.
The highlight of the occasion was the cutting of the ribbon/ tape by the Reverend Father with the support of the elders of the Community. This was followed by prayers at the transformer site by the eldest man in Egbelu and seven (7) cannon gun shots.
The inauguration of the newly- elected executive of the Egbelu People’s Assembly (EPA) followed thereafter.
In his opening speech, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Adolph Obilor, who said that the transformer project started during the administration of Mr. Leo Obilor, asked the people of the Community to always appreciate those in America for their efforts towards the development of the Community, adding that they have formed a strong base to develop the Community.
Chief Obilor however advised the new executive of the Egbelu People’s Assembly to work towards the progress and development of the Community in the interest of all.
He enjoined the entire people of the Community to form the habit of supporting each other, saying that a Community will only move forward when there is peace and unity.
A prominent son of the Community, Engr Charles Amadi, was honored by the people with a plague in recognition of his numerous contributions towards the growth and development of the Community.
Responding shortly after receiving the plague, Engr Amadi thanked the people for the honour done him. He commended those in America for providing the transformer for the Community, and asked the people to appreciate the good gesture by avoiding wrong connection or anything that would cause problems for the brand- new transformer.
The swearing-in/ inauguration of the newly- elected executive of the EPA home branch, was performed by PG of all PG’s in Owerri North local government area, Barr. Canice Madukaji, with the support of the President General of Obibiezena, Hon Tochukwu Okere and elders of the Community.
The new executive members are, Mr Anokwu Humphrey (JP) -President/ Village head, Elder Amadi Collins – Vice President, Com Ubah Emmanuel – General Secretary, Mr Isiguzoh Basil – Assistant General Secretary, Mr Obilor Emmanuel – Treasurer, Mr Amadi Samuel – Financial Secretary, Mr Iwuchukwu Okey – PRO, Mr Anuforo Kingsley -Provost 1 and Mr Anoruo Fidelis – Provost 11.
The inauguration proper was followed by former hand- over of the association’s property to the new executive by the immediate past president, Mr Samuel Ekwebelem, after reeling out his achievements and challenges while in office.
Presenting his inaugural speech, the new President, Mr Anokwu Humphrey, who said that the Assembly was formed by the elders and leaders of the Community for some important reasons, including, promotion of peace and unity in the community, provision of security for lives and property in the community, settlement of disputes, enforcement of discipline and maintenance of dignity of their customs and culture, assured that his leadership would make frantic effort to adhere to the reasons in which it was formed.
On the issue of River Basin Development Authority, the new President said, “Over the years, our people are never considered for employment even with University Education Qualification thereby negating the agreement with the federal government ab-initio. It is also pertinent to note that majority of the land donated and housing Anambra Imo River Basin Authority is owned by Egbelu Emeke Obibiezena. Managing director please take note and consider Egbelu people”.
Mr Anokwu further assured of carrying every body along in the scheme of things,saying that his leadership will do everything possible to take the Community to another level.
While fielding questions from the Peoples Hero shortly after the event, the Transformer Committee Chairman, Chief Adolph Obilor, expressed overwhelming joy over the event he described as successful.
” The event was very great, more successful than we thought. We were able to integrate two components, launching of the transformer and inauguration of the new executive of the EPA. We also added one component that was not in the plan- fund-raising. It was also successful. The new executive will be starting off with a minimum of half a million, it’s a good start.
” At the transformer launch, we have all the Stakeholders present, including the Parish Priest. In fact, the event went successful. Everybody in Egbelu came out, people are even suggesting converting it to a yearly activity, where it will be called Egbelu Day”.
Chief Obilor however thanked the past and present executive of EPA- USA, all members of EPA that made this reality, the members of the Transformer Committee, all Egbelu Emeka Obibiezenna people home and abroad, Engr Charles Amadi and other who contributed in one way or the other towards the success of the event. My appreciation will not be complete if I fell to say thanks to Egbelu youths under the leadership of Mr Kingsley Anuforo who did not only repair the roads prior to the event but stayed up all night to support the the food preparation group, also gresse the occasion with masquerade. The youths you are my hero.