Monday, 26 September 2016

How The Animate and Inanimate Celebrated Ilonzo's 70th Birthday

By Okechukwu Onuegbu

Like the bees in the beehives, de crème de la crèmes and commoners (so to speak); fully clad in cultural, religious and English outfits trooped en mass with dancing steps and diverse gifts. The ecstasy found on their facial expressions show that they wished the three days events to continue indefinitely as neither the troublesome sun nor rain dares raised ugly heads, having vowed to join the world in the commemoration of the 70th Birthday of Chief Dr. Mrs. Flora Ifeanyichukwu Nkemakoram Ilonzo, the Chairman/CEO and Founder, Centre for Psychic and Healing Administration (CPHA—You and Your Health), Awka.

Born on September 24, 1946 in Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria, Ilonzo—Ambassador of Peace (UN-Polac) who has made remarkable imprint in her services to the people in the area of charity, healing, education, and peacemaking had her early education in Ogidi, Umudioka and Aba, all in the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

DAY 1 (Sept/24/2016)—Skills Acquisition
The celebration galore which begun on Friday 23rd September, 2016 drew about hundred youths from all over the country to CPHA Skills Acquisition Centre where they were bequeathed with practical and theoretical skills on soap making led by Mr. Anthony-Maria Odikesieme, a renowned Lagos based Medical Practitioner and MD/CEO of WISDOM HEALTH PRODUCE LTD (producer of WISDOM SAFEGUARD HERBAL SOAP).
According to Odikesieme, Nigeria and Africa at large were endowed with 99.9% ingredients for soap production yet they resolved to importation as a result of ignorance and quest for foreign cultures.

He said, “Nigeria has all it takes to produce soap of all kinds namely; herbal, medicated, beauty amongst other fascinating detergents been imported into the country on daily basis. And once we discover and wisely utilise these, we shall become the major exporter of soap in the world, and also, great healer because well produced soap will not only beautify the body but prevents skins from bacterial and viral infections.

“We have the raw materials but no machine; and these machines can also be manufactured here if we start harnessing the resources embedded in our soils, plants and animals. For instance, I use palm kernel oil, water, alkalin, salt, honey, citrus, water lettuce, physic nut, coconut extracts and fragrance in producing mine, SafeGuard Herbal Soap; and it safeguards skin and scalp against infections.”  

Odikesieme, while lamenting that over 99 percent soaps currently in circulation in the country were imported from Europe and other continent, stressed their readiness to takeover once the government create enabling environments for their business to thrive through banning of soap importation, making good policies/legislations, putting adequate machineries, and markets.

He further charged the government at all level, including the philanthropies, NGOs, associations and private individuals to borrow a leaf from Ilonzo by organising similar lectures, because according to him, such training could drastically reduce unemployment and poverty if sustained.

 On her part, Ilonzo, whose love and humanitarian services have endeared her to the heart of people, who subsequently crowned her with countless titles such as Olinandu of Ukehe, Nne di Mkpa of Ngwo, Anyafulugo of Enugwu-Ukwu Na Umunri, Omepulu onye o na afialu aru of Uke, Ozo Uwa ndu of Aguleri, Nwanyi ka ibe ya of Oko, Ugochukwu tubelu of Onitsha, etc., took the attentive audience to the nitty-gritty of  the African Plants, charging them to rally round them for fresh and healthy life.

Speaking to, some of the trainees, Mrs. Angela Aguncha, a student of Medical Lab. Tech. Nkpor; and Ogujawa James, a 4th Year Student of Chemical Engineering Department—Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka expressed their willingness to diversify their income and profession through soap production, which according to them was capable of keeping them affluent amidst economic recession.

Day 2 (24th September, 2016)—70th Birthday event proper

Relatively, Saturday, 24th September, 2016 (the event day), was ushered in with interdenominational prayers led by HRH Eze Alh. AGI Emetuma of Imo State Central Mosque (representing Islam/Moslems); Ven. Canon Obazie of Ohitor in Ogbaru LGA (for Anglican Church of Nigeria); and the Parish Priest of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, GRA (who stood in for the catholic faithful).

The trio, who prayed for Ilonzo’s longevity, asked God to double her wealth to better more lives, even as they solicited for God’s intervention on the country’s economy; her lasting peace and unity. reports that among the highlights of the occasion that followed thereafter were free drugs distributions to people, music thrilling the air, cultural dancing troupes, and masquerades display from Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Imo, Delta, Yoruba, Igala, Kogi, and Hausa lands added glamour to the event.

Among the notable entertainers was an award winning Aguleri trekker, Mr. Chibuzo Dibor (the great survival buzozo, the legend of Africa), who claimed to have come to honour the woman to whom honour was due to.

In his speech, Prophet Dr. Ramas Okoye Asuzu, Eze-Oba, Akajiofor
Ndigbo of Liberation Church of Absolute God, a universal worship centre (UN-POLAC) blessed God for the life of Ilonzo, who according to him remains fresher and younger like under 30 because she feeds and behaves well, as a mother and daughter of the soil.

Calling for a standing ovation to honour the celebrant, Asuzu urged Igbos and Nigerians at large to imbibe the culture of celebrating their outstanding heroes and heroines while alive.  

Also speaking, Ilonzo’s relations represented by Chief Nwoye Obumese (Akunwata 1 of Abagana), who is over 100 years old, and Ezenwa Nebosa from Ogbulieke Onitsha, while confirming that she inherited her herbal expertise from home, said they were proud of her, even as they wished her longer life to fulfill her destiny.

Similarly, one of the children of the celebrant, Okechukwu Eze-Chude, CEO/MD DjKey Entertainment, asked God to keep his mother healthy and hearty to sustain her legacy, as well as to see her grand and great grand children.  

Mr. Ben Egbune, from the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN—Enugu), while speaking on behalf of the media practitioners, urged Anyafulugo not to relent on her kind gesture as God would definitely reward her accordingly.

Other speakers, including Mrs. Joy Igboka of Network of Grassroots Elites, Prince Nnamdi Aguna (son of late Igwe Osita Aguna of Enugu-ukwu), Fidel Okechukwu and his colleagues from Botany &Chemical Department of UNIZIK, the residents of Ahocol Phase 11 (GRA) and host of others, eulogized Ilonzo for her various contributions to the mankind, and vowed to emulate her kind heartedness.

3rd Day—Thanking Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

As part of her tradition, Anyafulugo in the company of her father, Obi Gibson Nwosu (the Traditional of Awka), and other monarch led family members, friends and guests to thanked God for successful celebration, and more years ahead.

Speaking in a homily, the Manager St. John of God Secondary School, Awka, Rev. Fr. James Ibekwe, while speaking about the Parable of the Lazarus and the Rich Man urged the world to live a life of sacrifice.

According to Fr. Ibekwe “The world you trampled upon today may trample upon you tomorrow. Live a life of sacrifice. Do not neglect giving a helping hand to people around you. It is not only the rich that should give. There are the rich who are in need more than the poorest of the poor you always pray for. You can only find out what help they will require from you when you draw closer to them. That is why I will advise you to make yourself available for philanthropy in anywhere you could.

“Caring for people can bring salvation into their lives, thereby saving them from hell to heaven. To prevent a repeat of what happened to the rich man in the bible, I will also advise you to make inform use of the teaching of Christ you heard in the church, radio, television, newspapers and fliers, on transit, road and so on because they will be used against you in the last day if you do otherwise. And as the saying goes, charity begins at home. Therefore, let your caring, love and giving start from your home to the family members, relatives, neighbours, etc.” the man of God concluded.   



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