By Chukwudi Nweje
Friday, July 16, 2021, was a special day for the Igbo speaking community in Lagos. They gathered to celebrate one of their patrons as he added another feather to his cap.
At 49, family, friends and associates described Chief Richard Iwuala, Okaa Oburuzo 1 of Enyiogusu in Mbaisi, Imo State, as a businessman, philanthropist and peacemaker who has touched the lives of his immediate community and beyond by helping the needy and those deprived of justice.
In life, they say, there is a season for everything, a time to sow and a time to reap. Everyone prays that he will live to see his season of reaping after he has painstakingly sown. It is also true that you will find a larger crowd gather at the time of reaping than at the time of sowing.
This was exactly what played out the same thing for Iwuala. Family, friends, neighbours and well wishers gathered at his Morekete/Ibelefun Estate, Ikorodu, Lagos residence to thank God for preserving his life.
Attendants included members of Orekete/ Ibelefun Estate community, Obama Development Union, Enyiogugu Progressive Union Ikorodu, Mbaise Umunna, Igbo Progressive Union Lagos, Ohaneze Ndigbo Lagos, Ohaneze Ndigbo Igbogbo Baiyeku Local Council Development Area (LCDA) chapter, Igbo Speaking Community Lagos and Igbo Council of Chiefs, Ikorodu.
Different Igbo women groups in Lagos led by Mrs Gloria Amaizu and Mrs Bernadin Oynyeagbo were the chairperson and deputy chairperson respectively were also on hand to add colour to the event. Guests were entertained with by Abaigbo cultural dance troupe from Mbaise and others.
Representative of the president, Igbo Speaking Community, Lagos, Amaizu said of Iwuala: “You work so hard and give so much to others. You have sacrificed you have been fearless and have shown unwavering commitment you are unstoppable. We look up to you as our royal model and dear friend.
“It is time to celebrate you. We have seen the sacrifices you have made for your people. This will be the year that all of your handworks will pay off. Remember always that you are incredible and stronger than you can ever imagine.”
Iwuala responded: “I feel very much elated and give glory to God for preserving my life to see this day. We should always take life easy if you worry too much you will die. Always leave everything in the hands of Almighty God. He will take care of your troubles.
“I thank my wife Sandra and family for organising the birthday. I thank the Igbo Speaking Community Lagos and Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos State chapter for the love and support they have shown me. I will urge you to also extend the same love and cooperation to one another.”
The celebrant’s wife, Sandra, thanked guests for turning out: “My joy is that my husband appreciated the surprise birthday gift.”