… Selfless community  service

By Njoku Macdonald Obinna

AmaIgbo Day Celebration: The Bi- Annual epoch-making event which heralds the rich cultural heritage of the clan took place on  Saturday, December 29, 2023, was among the festivities that shaped the socio-cultural and economic landscape of  Nwangele Local Government Area, Imo State. A cultural fiesta  that  kick-started  with the confernment of chieftaincy titles on deserving sons and daughters of the community by His Royal Highness, Eze Sir  & Ugoeze  Nelson C. Nwosu (Igbo of Amaigbo), traditional ruler of AmaIgbo Paramount Kingdom and his amazon of wife, as  different degrees of prestigious chieftancy titles; Adakada, Adaigbo, Ugosimba, Ugosinulo,   were also  confered on Amaigbo women who have distinquished themselves in their chosen professions and also in selfless community services. As kolanut presentation ritual performed by the royal father which signifies warm reception in Igbo tradition  and official briefing on the confernment of chieftancy titles  dotted the introduction of the ceremony.

Thereafter; all activities were moved from the palace of the traditional ruler, His Royal Highness Eze Sir & Ugoeze Nelson C. Nwosu,  down to the reception ground being  venue of the watershed event at the open field of  the multi-million Naira Obi Igbo ultra- modern building as the organisers set the motion in place  for the business of the day. Since culture defines a community’s way of life, her customs, beliefs, social gatherings, mode of dressing, respect for self, respect for constituted authorities, respect for traditional institutions,  and religious leaders, then AmaIgbo could be said to be championing this cultural renainsance and resurgence of traditional values in Igboland through the bio- annual celebration which usually ends with a classical royal banquet the preceding year before another cultural festivity takes place. No doubt, the Nze na Ozo title holders, a very powerful and distinquished traditional institution in Amaigbo nay Igboland have also been playing predominant roles in sustaining Igbo culture and tradition; including our history and social anthropology.

Commendably, the colorful 2023 Amaigbo Day Celebration which was  the second edition  under the proactive, inclusive, intellectual, and people -oriented based  leadership of the President- General, Amaigbo Town Union World-wide, Sir Jonathan Fyne Madumere, has not only made waves and given impressive records of performance, but  also has  continued to reshape  the narrative in selfless  community service of inclusiveness, robust  engagements, transparency, probity and accountability, as he  brings everyone onboard  including the diaspora  through various networks of the Union’s branches, leaving an indelible mark on the tapestry of cultural events in the history of the community.

Sir, Jonathan Fyne Madumere, a calm, collected, organised,  cerebral, and an astute administrator, is a core professional with  highly sought-after organizational skill and strategy to  coordinate and implement the ATU’s vision, programs, and masterplan of not only revolutionalizing the culture and tradition of Amaigbo and the Igbo nation by extension,  but also uses the platform as a catalyst to developing  the community through practical project executions, rehabilitation of dilapidated infrastructures, and addressing the menance of gully  erosion. Many thanks to members of his executive and the organizing committee of the 2023 Amaigbo Day Celebration. Indeed, it was quite a huge success in every index of objective assessment and critical analysis.  As it recorded mssive attendance, friendly weather, uninterrupted event , well coordinated, a seamless cultural fiesta that got everyone glued from beginning to  end  as the various  cultural dance groups and  masquerades entertain Amaigbo people and their invited guests.

During his opening remarks, Chairman of the occasion, Engr. Ken Iwuala , on behalf of His Royal Highness Eze Sir. Nelson C. Nwosu (Igbo of Amaigbo) welcomed all invited guests and the  chieftancy title awardees while  recognizing their immense contributions toward community development and impactful leadership as proud sons,  daughters,  and good ambassadors of Amaigbo Kingdom . He however, acknowledged and thanked the President General of ATU -Worldwide, Sir Jonathan Fyne Madumere, for his strategic role as a rallying point in  uniting  Umu Amaigbo both at home and in the diaspora for a common purpose of developing the community while repositioning it for leadership.

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In his  welcome address which was captured by the Publisher of 4th Estate Reporters, Njoku Macdonald Obinna , the dynamic President-General of Amaigbo Town Union World-wide, Sir Fyne Madumere, posited inter alia:

“ It is a thing of joy to welcome you to this  second Amaigbo Day in this series holding at Obi Igbo. Today, we celebrate again our Heroes and Heroines, past and present. From those who have been confered with chieftancy titles, Adakada, Adaigbo, Ugosimba to the heroes/legends and our own eminent personalities  and their numerous guests, we say welcome to Amaigbo Paramount Kingdom. “

In their separate remarks, Chairman of the 2023 Organizing Committee of Amaigbo Day Celebration,  Dr. King Nwoha, and Chairman of Amaigbo Council -of- Chiefs; who is the immediate past Governor,  Amaigbo Unity Forum, Chief Engr. Cletus Egbuzie expressed joy for the sustained progress of this annual cultural festival and leadership direction of those piloting the affairs of ATU over the years, maintaining that Amaigbo Kingdom has grown in  leaps and bounds, recording numerous successes despite challenges.

Amaigbo Day which is celebrated a year before the royal banquet at the Obi Igbo ultra- modern and state -of -the arts conference hall , is such an important  day in the cultural calendar of the community wherein Amaigbo sons and daughters all over the world converge to share moments of joy reflecting on  the year about to end; taking inventory of the progress made by the community and celebrating personalities who have impacted positively on the community, while setting the agenda for the coming year.

While  Amaigbo day celebration and the journey to el- dorado did neither start with one step nor was it an overnight success. What people celebrate today is a culmination of efforts by past leaders and other illustrious sons and daughters of the community, who, through their sacrifices and selfless community services sustained the legacies of the heroes past  and founding fathers of the community. But remarkably, Amaigbo Day Celebration under the proactive leadership of Sir Jonathan Fyne Madumere alongside members of his executive had  changed the narrative for better in community service,  providing unforgettable experiences in the last two series of the cultural fiesta. Visionary, articulate, and a good team player;  Sir Fyne Madumere has continued to raise the bar for social awareness in community service,  standing tall as the most distinquished President -General in the history of Nwangele Local Government Area, Imo State. I am not speaking from a guess work, I  am speaking from statistics based on proven records of performance in office under review.

With undisputed records provided, Amaigbo Kingdom parades prominent and iconic sons who had made their marks on the global stage;  and at both state and national levels in science and technology; in commerce and industry; in education; in politics; in the public service  space, in  traditional and religious leadership. The likes of iconic King Jaja of Opopo and  world boxing champion,  Dick Tigger, traced their  ancestral roots in Amaigbo. Chief Dr. Walter Ofonagoro, a former Nigerian Minister of Information & Culture,  Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu , a  Nigerian Epidemiologist, Public Health Physician and the World Health Organization’s Assistant Director-General for Health Emergency Intelligence and Surveillance Systems, who became prominent under President Muhammadu Buhari as Director- General of Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC), during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Ugonna  Ihekweazu, MD, a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Houston, Texas, United States of America, HRM Eze Dr. Amb. Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu (Eze-igbo Ghana), the diaspora King and leader of the Igbo community in the Republic of Ghana. Others in posthumous included but not limited to; the late  Chief TTC Mbakwe, Dr. Umelo Oguike, Mr. William Nwihim, Mr. Peter Chikwe, Chief Ignatius Anyiam, among others.

The highpoint of the  event was the confernment of chieftaincy titles and award  presentation of emienient personalities; presentation of legends awards;  presentation of Adaigbo award; presentation of Ugosimba and  Ugosinulo awards on deserving sons and daughters of Amaigbo Kingdom; as Sir Charles Iwunze, Nze Ndubuisi Iwuala, Nze Goddy Azuakolam, Dr. Jude Ohaya, Sir Ikechukwu Iwuji, Sir Jude Chinyere, Barr. Ben Ihegboro, Dr. George Duru, received emienient personalities awards.

The event ended in an atmosphere of social convivality with  different cultural dance displays by various  groups and masquerades, as all in attendance had more than enough to eat and drink, while others clandestinely took some parcels home in the spirit of yultide.