Okey Sampson, Umuahia
“Though tribe and tongue may differ, but in brotherhood we stand …”
This line of Nigeria’s old National Anthem, which preached unity in diversity, appeared to have motivated former managing director of the defunct Hallmark Bank, Chief Marc Wabara, when he recently gave the peace and unity speech to the Ndoki of Abia and Rivers states.
The occasion was the launch of a book, “Umuagbai Ndoki: History and Culture,” at the Umuagbai Ndoki Town Square, Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Wabara, who hails from Ohambele, Ndoki, Ukwa East Local Government of Abia State, while speaking as chairman on the occasion said that Ndoki people, whether in Abia or Rivers State, are one and should behave and work as so.
The ex-bank chief recalled how, before the Justice Mamman Nasir Boundary Adjustment Commission of 1976 that balkanised the Ndoki nation, the people had single administrative headquarters and were doing things as one. He opined that Ndoki people should not allow administrative, geographical or natural boundaries to bring division among them.
“I can say before the boundary adjustment of 1976, the Ndokis, somehow separated by Imo River, had everything in common administratively and were doing things collectively. Based on this, it is my advice that we should not allow administrative, geographical or natural boundaries to bring division among us. As chairman of the occasion, I want to say that the unity of Ndoki people is very, very important,” he said.
Speaking proper on the book written by Eze Nwankwo Nwankwo; traditional ruler/Ezeala IX, Umuokobo clan, Umuagbai, Wabara stated that the history of Umuagbai would not be complete without talking about the history of Ndoki people just as Ndoki’s history would not be entire without that of Umuagbai, stressing that the histories of both are interwoven.
“Umuagbai is an integral and important community in Ndoki and as such the history of the community will not be complete without the history of Ndoki just as that of Ndoki will not be without Umuagbai.”
On the awards given to deserving sons and daughters of the community and the launch of the community’s education endowment fund, which were part of the event, he congratulated them for being outstanding role models to the younger generation.
Wabara poured encomiums on the author of the book for also initiating an education endowment programme, saying it was the best empowerment that could be given mankind, particularly when it is on the tertiary level.
Eze Nwankwo, the author, said he wrote the book to serve as a legacy for the younger generation, as the little they knew about their community’s history died with their parents.
The monarch said it was unfortunate that an attempt was made to stop teaching history in schools and asked, “What are they trying to hide?”
Nwankwo said Nigeria should go back to what used to be in terms of the country’s history, to project its identity, noting that he who does not know where he started might not know where he is going.