By Perpetua Egesimba and
A GROUP of businessmen called the G21 Committee of Friends’ Club, popularly known as the G21 Club, recently marked its 10th anniversary at the Civic Centre, Lagos.
The club is a group of rich Igbo men, and its aim is to seek and promote love, friendship and unity among members, and a harmonious coexistence of members with the general public irrespective of ethnicity, state, political or religious affiliations.
Describing how the group came to be 10 years ago, president of the club, Chief Evergreen Jude Onyedum, explained that 21 friends gathered as members of a committee of friends on the occasion of the conferment of chieftaincy title on Chief Obiora Ifeanyi, Gburugburu lhiala. He said the coming together of these friends forged a strong bond among them, and after that event the friends continued to meet.
“From the initial strength of 21 members, we have grown over the years. We have prospered together and become better individuals. We have not lost any of our own. The almighty God has blessed us and we are indeed grateful.
“Today, we are adding to our number seven new members, men of proven record of success and integrity; men who have contributed in no small measure to the development of the society and men who share our aims and objectives,” Onyedun said.
He stated that the club was formed for the good of humanity and, for anybody to be inducted, he must be a man of proven integrity who has shown evidence of success and hardwork, stressing that the club has helped humanity a lot, as most of the members were employers of labour.
One of the founding members who is also a trustee of the club, Uzama Okpalaeke, a lawyer, said the club had achieved a lot in the past 10 years.
He said, “We started with just 21 members and today we have grown to about 46. And you can see the type of people that we have attracted here today, people of proven integrity.
“We have the CEO, Dozzy Oil and Gas, Dr. Daniel Chukwudozie, the group managing director and CEO of Aquila Leasing Limited, Chuka Onwuchekwa, the managing director of Fidelity Bank Nigeria, Nnamdi Okonkwo that is being represented by the general manager of the bank, Ken Okpara, group managing director, Mainland Oil and Gas Limited, Chris Igwe, and the CEO of GMO Group of Companies, Chief Collins Chike Chikeluba, among others.”
Mr. Frank Okafor, who has been a member of the club for five years, said that the club was made of billionaires, adding that the members also love to give back to the society, which he said was one of the core values of the club.
Another member of the club, Dominic Okechukwu Anorue, explained that, apart from visiting homes of motherless babies across the nation to render help to them every year, the club is currently planning to build a hospital.
He advised the new inductees to follow the objectives of the club: “To the new members, my message to them is that they are highly welcome to our family, and I hope they will come with new ideas. They should follow the principles of the club for the good of all.”
While admonishing the new members after their induction, one of the executive members of the club and chairman/CEO, New Castle Hotels, Chief James Okwudili, urged them to be dedicated to the wellbeing of their fellow members. He charged them to consider themselves privileged to be admitted into the club, having met the criteria for admission. He recounted the benefits of being a member of G21, which, according him, were enormous: it would afford them the opportunity to relax, make new friends as well as renew and strengthen relationships.
Responding on behalf of the new members, Chief Iju Tony Nwabunike, former chairman, Council for Regulatory of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria and CEO, CAAL Shipping Line, thanked the club for admitting them and promised that they would adhere to the laws guiding the club.
The compere of the day, Okey Bakassi, said he appreciated what the G21 was doing, helping the less-privileged and giving back to the society.
“I like what the club is doing and I encourage us all to be our brother’s keeper,” he said.
Other artistes at the event were Flavour and MC Shaggy, among others.