The Opinion Editor at Punch newspaper, Mr Joel Nwokeoma was one of the recipients of ACA Social Media Network Peace Awards.
The event held in Awarra area of Ohaji, Imo state was to recognize and appreciate individuals who contributed and worked for the return of peace in some parts of troubled Ohaji communities which were engulfed with crisis for years.
Among the awardees are traditional rulers in the area; HRH Eze, Nwakolam Ezenwoke, HRH Eze Emmanuel Assor, HRH Eze Abbysnia Ogbuji and HRH Eze Ekwueme P. Ekwueme Esq, Elder Saturday Ochia, Barr. Magnus Obido, Chief Charles Orie, Engr. Davis Ogbuji, Hon. Henry Adimelechi, Hon Henry Ifurueze, Prince Ndubuisi Dikeocha, Prince Evans Reward, Engr. Percy Oparaji, Mrs. Faith Obasi (Parenteen coach), Engr. Henry Nwaibari, Mr. Charles Ubanwa, Mrs. Charity Orunwa, Nze Dimkpa Enyia, Rev. Fr. Ezekiel Opara of the Catholic Church Awarra parish, Mr. Uche Ezekwe, Miss Chiamaka Enyia of the Ohaji Girl-child Movement, Engr. Marcel Eze, Hon. London Enyia, Hon. Goodluck Barthlomew, Mr. Kelechi Opara, Mr. Democracy Onyeawula, Mr. Ernest Onyekachi Abiazim, Mr. Festus Dikeocha, Engr. Modestus Ezeugo, Mr. Emeka Nwokeoma
The Award project was in partnership with Sedac Foundation (www.sedacfoundation.org) which also bagged an Award for its community/youth development and peace projects in Ohaji. Also awarded is a youth organization, Future of tomorow, and Goddy computers limited
According to the organizer, ACA Social Media Network created by Mr. Gift Ejikeme Egbelu, the award event was held in appreciation of people and organization who have contributed and still contributing in various means to promote peace and community/youth development in Ohaji communities.
In an event on the 30th of December, 2020, at Awarra- Ohaji, winners of the different categories of the Awarra court Area Beauty Pageant were crowned.
The categories which were contested for and won are : Miss & Mr ACA, Miss & Mr ACA Face, Miss & Mr ACA Pride and Miss & Mr ACA Pearl.
The pageant organized by ACA Social Media Network an arm of Awarra court area Network ( a facebook group) founded by Gift Ejikeme is the first of its kind in the area, and it aims to celebrate and showcase the beauties of the land and encourage young ladies to participate in efforts to bring stability in the area.
The organization is preparing for the second edition of the pageant.
THE MAN HRH EZE EKWUEME P. EKWUEME (ESQ) AT 50: A PRACTICAL TESTIMONY OF GRACE.
His Royal Highness Eze Ekwueme Panlinus Ekwueme Esq rolls out drums in thanks to God for clocking 50 years. A church thanksgiving service shall hold on Sunday, the 27thday of December, 2020 at Holy Ghost Family Life Centre Owerri, behind World Market Area “M”. Reception follows immediately after service at his residence at No. 3 Austine Onyema Crecent, Reserve B Extension, Imo Housing Estate Umuguma.
HIS EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATIONAL CAREER
The man His Royal Highness Eze Ekwueme Paulinus Ekwueme was in the noble family of Elder Herbert EKWUEME Aduruchi and Mrs. Elizabeth Anuforo Ekwueme in 26th of December 1970 in the then Awarra Community in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State of Nigeria.
The prudent young Ekwueme enrolled in Primary School in 1976 at Central School Awarra and passed out from same school in 1983. Thereafter he migrated on admission into Secondary School in same 1983. The intelligent Ekwueme P. Ekwueme progressively wrote his West African Certificate Examination in 1988. Being a homo sepia of high intellectual quotient, he enrolled into Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education in 1990 and brilliantly had his NCE in 1993/1994. In 2008, in search of more knowledge the sagacious and bold mannered Ekwueme voyaged into International Institute of Journalism affiliate of University of Maiduguri where he obtained HND in Journalism.
In further search for knowledge, the erudite nature in him motivated him to enroll into Imo State University where he studied law. The Educationally motivated Ekwueme, in showcasing his Education symbolism, combined the law programme with his Post Graduate Diploma in Mass-Communication. Having traversed through this rigorous task, obtained his LL.B in law and Post Graduate Diploma in Imo State University simultaneously.
The ever vibrant Ekwueme P. Ekwueme was inducted into Nigeria Union of Journalist in Imo State. He attended Law school in Abuja in 2016 and was called to the Nigerian Bar. on the 12th of December, 2017. Thereafter he was admitted into Owerri Bar, in January 2018.
However, from 1994 to 2008, HRH Eze Ekwueme P.Ekwueme Esq,having come from a family that could not further his Education after his NCE at a stretch, embarked on trading. He traded under the name and style of E.E. Foods at Elele in Rivers State. Unluckily,event hit the rock in 1996 Ekwueme P. Ekwuemewas robbed, leading to the untimely collapse of the said business enterprise. Meanwhile, since nature does not favour the indolent, he joined motorcycle passenger carrying business, popularly known as and called “Okada riding”. There, this noble man called Ekwueme P. Ekwueme metamorphosed into an Okada man to put food on the table for himself and his young family. He was the secretary of Okada riders association, Wimpy Junction in River State.
HRH Eze Ekwueme P. Ekwueme developed unflinching interest in politics while in Port-Harcourt, River State, and thereby joined the forum of the Non-Rivers Indigene In Politics in River State in 2003. Because charity the said begins at home, the young and vibrant Ekwueme P. Ekwueme Esq transferred his political affiliation to Imo State particularly, his community Awarra. worthy to noteis the fact that the ever association assimilating EkwuemeEsq was the secretary of the Non-Rivers Indigene In Politics(NORIIP)in Port-Harcourt, River State before he joined his political colleagues in Imo State, wherein they were in Ararume’s camp called Abuja Camp in 2007 in the people Democratic Party (PDP).
He was in active politics from 2003 to 2011 when he contested for the House of Representive for the seat for the Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta Federal Constituency but was asked by the Party Leaders to allow the party consensus.
However, HRH Eze Ekwueme P. Ekwueme was elected the President-General of Awarra Progressive Union in 2008 in the Old Awarra Autonomous Community when Ochia Kingdom was an integral part of Awarra Autonomous Community. The position he held till 2010, when he was meritoriously appointed, the Coordinator of Ohaji West Local Government Development Area. The ever blessed Ekwueme P. Ekwueme Esq. was in the coordinator position when he ran Election in the platform of PDP but couldn’t make it in the Primary.
Furthermore, it was within that period above in his blessed life that Ochia Autonomous Community was created and he retired and returned to the stool. The ever vibrant Ekwueme have been Ochia 1 of the Ochia Autonomous Community from 23rd of May 2011 till date.A position he and the entire Ochia kingdom are set to celebrate the 10 year on the throne on the 23rd of May, 2021.
BUSINESS POSITIONS HELD AND PROJECTS ATTRACTED
This Erudite scholar has tried his hands and best in business, having held various position in various business ventures. He is the Chairman Awoeze International Services Limited, Managing Director WEC & PEW Global Services, the Managing Partner Umuokehi Ventures, the Managing Partner Tergue Enterprises Nigeria. He has been the Chairman Waltersmith Petroman Contact Committee from 2008 to 2010 within which Waltersmithwas led to sign the First Memorandum Of Understanding with the indigenous community which gave rise to construction of Awarra Town Hall, Ochia/Ugama Town HALL, Umuehie Town Hall, Awarra Water Scheme(Ikwerede Water , Igburu Water and Ochia Water)
The said Ochia Sola Water Scheme was sited at Umuokuzu, while the Igburu Water Scheme was sited at Umuonei and Ikwerede Water Scheme was sited at Umuezeagu in Ikwerede. Also his activities led to the attraction of Umuodibe Water Scheme given to them by the then Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nana Opia.Furthermore, under his Waltersmith Contact Committee Chairmanship, he initiated and maintained Post-Primary and Post-Secondary School Scholarship swords with not less than 100 indegens as beneficiaries.
HRH Eze Ekwuneme is the Principal Solicitor Sally Chambers. He is happily married to his three wives. His first wife is Lolo Patience Awoeze Ekwueme, which he.got married to in 1995. His second wife is Ugoeze Ekwueme Chinwe Stella which he got married to in 2010, while his third wife is Lolo Ekwueme Chinwendu Oliviawas married to him in 2020.
These marriages have been blessed with seven children, five boys and two girls with numerous adopted sons and daughters to the glory of God.
ASSOCIATIONS HE BELONG TO
This man His Royal Highness Eze Ekwueme P. Ekwueme Esq, Belonged To The Following Noble Association Which Include:
The Nigerian Bar. Association (NBA).
The Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ)
Member Chartered Institute Of Mediators And Conciliators.
Member Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers.
Member Imo State University Alumni.
Member Alvan Ikoku Federal College Education Alumni.etc
The man Eze Ekwueme P.Ekwueme Esq, also have many awards to his credit and achievements. Among which are his induction into the Imo State Hall of Fame as –
* Member State of Imo – MSI
* Royal Ambassador of Peace Imo
We join him in thanking God for taking him to such enviable echelon.
Long live His Royal Highness Eze Ekwueme P. Ekwueme Esq.
THE FIGHT AGAINST CRASS DEPRIVATIONS BY THE OIL MULTINATIONALS. AN IMPERSONAL FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHT. YOUTHS ARE FIGHTING ISSUES.
No oil company would love to cheat a community without the collaboration, involvement and agreement with leaders of such communities. We had looked unto our people to ensure we have a stake in the oil and gas development but up till now the manipulations and the culture of greed and one sole proprietorship have been on.
We the youths have taken the expedition of getting back what belongs to us for the sake of our posterity. Don’t take it personal, it’s an impersonal business for the reinstatement of our lost rights which our people allowed to take place out of inordinate desires. Surely we have sworn to use our time, intellects, money and diverse contacts to correct the crass errors made in the politicized GMOU – General Memorandum Of understanding between SHELL/ companies and Ohoba. We are strongly engaged to rewrite the unfavorable EIA – Environmental Impact Assessment that was written in error against Ohoba.
The deliberate exclusion of Ohoba from the Host community is principally why I and few youths have gotten to the peak of this liberation fight against oil companies. A big intellectual fight not against leaders. Yesterday, we had achieved the resensitization of our people, especially those who were misinformed to support the sale of our birth right to strangers, the sale of our primordial benefits and d crass deprivations of our ancestral wealth. We had achieved this through a mass explanatory demonstration yesterday in Ohoba when we had to sleep to carry out this impersonal task.
We are pendant at the struggle of getting back all the sold jobs and benefits shared and sold by our leaders, these jobs are for u all. We are seriously preoccupied with the removal of fear amongst our graduates, intellectuals, fathers, youths, etc. We are also very bent to make Ohoba a better place by re- establishing the lost cooperation, alliance , harmony, freedom of movement and total security in Ohoba. Although we are few champions but with d popular support of d informed youths of Ohoba measuring hundreds.
We are not fighting persons but issues, we are not fighting leaders but errors and deprivations and not man should block out paths to restore the hope of our unborn children. The Ohoba youth stakeholders which I’m a strong mover are defiantly at it to make Ohoba move peacefully again.PEACE AND RELEVANCE OF OHOBA ARE OUR AIMS, NO FIGHT, NO INSULT, NO SEDITION !! BY PRINCE OF JUSTICE.
In Imo State, the Ohaji brand is the king of the Nigerian staple, garri. Like Okpa Enugu, Oka Bende, Ugu Ngwa; so is Ohaji garri regarded as exceptional. And truly, it is.
While Ugu Ngwa is reputed for its softness, Oka Bende is renowned for being very tasty. But for those who love okpa, having it from Enugu is a delight. Many wouldn’t mind what it would take to get it. For them, since it is coming from Enugu, it is worth it. But then, the Enugu brand is even cheap. If N100 worth of Okpa Enugu does not sate your appetite, yours must be a near case of gluttony.The fame of the scrumptious Okpa Enugu transcends the borders of the Coal City state. The entire Southern Nigeria accords the Enugu brand that price of place. But same cannot be said of the Ohaji garri.
Though of great quality, the Ohaji garri hardly enjoys any recognition beyond the Eastern Heartland. In Owerri, the Imo State capital, the Ohaji garri which sells at a higher price than other brands, constitutes about 35 percent of the garri market. Amazingly, about 60 percent of the garri market are exports from outside South East. Most times, eating some of these makes of garri is so galling that eating loses its glee. The axiom that the proof of the pudding is in the eating comes to mind. In this case, ‘the punishment for the purchase is in the eating’. Medical practitioners warn against sighing because of its health implications. But not when you battle to cut to size this disgusting type of garri. You just can’t help but sigh. Not one, not two! They come intermittently, depending on how rebellious the garri poses.
But there is something special about the Ohaji garri that could be taken beyond Imo, even at a cheap price. Its appealing nature, ability to interact perfectly with water irrespective of the boiling point and excellent formation stand the Ohaji brand out. These are attributes many other garri makes lack. Some garri would come with a caveat never to be prepared with water that had attained a boiling point, if the garri must form well. Such proviso is never for the ‘made in Ohaji’.
The thing that makes it Ohaji is said to be in the land and not the cassava stem. Some, in a bid not to leave it entirely an Ohaji thing, had taken stems from the oil producing area to plant elsewhere. The produce of the stems disappointed them. The garri was something else. The ‘Ohajiness’ is in the land.
This therefore, can be a major earner for the state. Governments often talk about diversifying the economy and taking to agriculture, without any meaningful commitment. How about Imo State government acquiring land and setting up massive cassava farm and garri processing factory in Ohaji? Such factory with all the departments can engage tens of thousands of Ohaji indigenes in particular and Imolites, generally. That will take it to mechanised full blown commercial farming. Providing machines that can cultivate, weed, harvest, peel, wash, grate, dewater, fry and package will lessen stress and boost produce. Such boost will result in reduction of price and creation of enormous job opportunities. Outlets can be established in Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe towns where dealers can easily buy.
A school of thought holds that ‘government has no business in business’. If that thought has a place in the heart of the Imo State government, then the venture could be a Public Private Partnership (PPP).All will culminate in the Ohaji garri taking over the Imo garri market which at the moment is at the mercy of exports from outside South East.There is something unique about the Ohaji garri. And that thing makes it a great export commodity. Isn’t it a good way to create jobs?