Cosmas Omegoh and Maduabuchi Kalu
Indigenes of Awa community in Orumba North local Government Area, Anambra State, living in Lagos recently ended the year on a note of joy and excitement.
It was a great moment for the people coming under the umbrella of Awa Development Union (ADU), Lagos branch, as they rolled out the drums to celebrate one another as well as their in-laws.
The occasion was tagged “Awa Day 2019.” It held at the community’s proposed town hall complex, which they proudly call “Obu Awa,” located in Iba, a suburb of Lagos.
Apart from the occasion being an end-of-year event, the Awa Day 2019 was used to reward the community’s distinguished in-laws. The event was also used to mark the foundation-laying of their town hal, “Obu Awa,” and to cater to the welfare of widows. The event started with an opening prayer and the traditional presentation and breaking of kolanuts.
Chairman at the event, Evangelist Stephen Emenike, CEO of ESCA Sanitary Limited, thanked God for the occasion and the people too for turning up in their numbers to be part of the event.
He called for sacrifice, peace and unity of the community, reminding his listeners that it is when and where there is peace that development thrives.
In his welcome address, the chairman of ADU, Lagos branch, Mr. Godson Chidiebere Okafor, said his administration was poised to actualise the objectives of ADU’s founding leaders and to lift the image of the community by embarking on various projects. He explained that the occasion was a get-together of the indigenes of Awa community from all walks of life, their in-laws, business partners, friends and well-wishers.
Speeches over, the occasion proceeded with the foundation-laying rites of the community’s town hall by the Onowu of Awa, Chief Israel Ezuo, and was supported by other prominent people, including his Chinese friends and partners, who donated cash to help lift the community.
He prayed for the speedy completion of the project and expressed hope that it would bring peace, joy and open doors for other projects. He charged the community’s leaders to ensure that all the money realised for the project was judiciously used.
“Let all good people come together and ensure that this project is executed according to plan. This project will be completed in December 2020 and we shall be here to celebrate it,” he prayed.
He made a handsome donation, followed by his overseas partners. Then he added: “I will be sending the sum of N500,000 to the executives to be shared to widows in the community to enable them cerebrate the Christmas like others.” And he received loud ovation for his gesture.
Representative of the Igwe of Obibi Kingdom equally announced a donation on behalf of the monarch in support of the project.
During the awards segment, the community honoured its “good in-laws.” The beneficiaries included Elder (Mrs.) Ejike Nnebedum, Azuka Agunu, Nnadim Okafor Alex Uka, Kenechukwu Anagha, Patrick Onwuzuruike, Chinwendu Onyemelam, and Chimezie Uchegbu. All the award recipients and their friends made donations to the community too.
The chairman of ADU, Lagos branch, Okafor, expressed gratitude to God, describing the event as a resounding success. He said it surpassed the expectations that the executive members had set for themselves.
Just before the curtains fell on the event, envelopes containing money were shared to some widows, who were also assured that, once the money pledged by the Onowu was received, they would be contacted to receive their share.
There were cultural dance performances by men and women troupes from the community to entertain the guests at the event.
While the occasion lasted, one of the patrons of the community, Mr. Alex Nwankwo, went down memory lane, telling the audience how the Awa Development Union came into existence in 1962. He said the union was midwifed through the vision of four young men of Awa extraction.
He lamented that the Nigeria-Biafra civil war in 1966 disrupted the union’s activities, but expressed happiness that it was relaunched after the war in the 1970s.