By Vera Wisdom-Bassey
It was indeed a historic day as the Enugwu-Ukwu Community Development Union ( ECDU), Lagos branch, held its 2022 Day celebration at Ago Palace Way, Lagos, recently. Sons and daughters of the community gathered not just to celebrate but also give awards to deserving personalities that have distinguished themselves in different endeavours in life.
President of the women’s wing, Dr. Felicia Agubata, noted that Enugwu-Ukwu Day has been ongoing for more than 50 years, adding that it started from Ebute-Meta, Lagos, before it moved to its current location in Amuwo Odofin.
“That was where we were having our meeting before we moved to the new edifice at Lake View Estate, Amuwo Odofin. Its impact on the people has been tremendous,” she said.
Agubata, who explained the rationale behind the awards for the women, said they are role models and influences community and they have been good examples for others to follow both in the community and the society at large, and for this they want to give them award.
According to her, “the women have shown character in their various discipline and careers because there are codes of conduct which they follow. We need them as role models for other women in the community to follow as women who cannot query in public.”
She emphasised the need for the women honoured to continue to mentor younger women in the community so that they can be confident and self reliant in all they do.
“We also want to tell the younger women that they can be leaders tomorrow. Everybody has leadership in them, we need to mentor
them so that they can be confident, self reliant and be able to hold their own,” she said.
She also empowered 86 widows during a christmas party, promising that by next year February, she will roll out plans for the next three years.
Some of the awardees expressed delight about the honour, saying that it presents an opportunity for them to continue to work harder and impact the lives of younger women.
Speaking at the event, the President of the union, Men’s wing, Sir Tony Okeke, remarked that the celebration of Enugwu Ukwu day becomes a remarkable one because of the values of hard work, development and collectivism, which must be remembered and renewed yearly.
“For some of us in the saddle today, it is both a wakeup call and a spiritual renewal rite; an energy-building exercise for the task ahead. We must not celebrate for the sake of celebration. We must use the opportunity, context and frame of the celebration to interrogate our evolution as a town, identify our gaps and renew our commitment to the ideals of continuous improvement in all facets of our communal life. We must not rest on our laurels, else we will lose momentum as a cohesive and forward- looking community.”
The vice-president of the women wing, Ifeoma Okekearu, said she feels excited to be among the awardees that her administration has
been giving loans to other women and others to help them with their businesses. On how they monitor the people they have given loans, she said: “We are monitoring what they are doing.”
An awardee, Louis Nwana, said: “When a whole town singles you out for this award, it means you are a woman of worth. You know what that means.
I’m excited about it and I really appreciate it.”
On her plans, Nwana who runs an NGO, said: “To whom much is given, much is required. The work has started, we need to prove that it is worth it. As a woman of worth, you need to work rather than sit on the fence. You need to run ahead of others and take charge.”
Another awardee, Ifeanyi Otuonye, expressed gratitude about the honour given her saying: “I feel great that my village recognised me.” She advised younger women coming behind to be of good character and have the fear of God .