Sunday, 31 December 2017

Glitz, Glamour and Excitement as Uwelle-Ukehe re-confirms Ilonzo as Orinandu 1

By Okechukwu Onuegbu

Uwelle-Ukehe, a hilly but an agrarian community in Igboetiti Local Government Area of Enugu State was agog recently as the people came out en-masse with a pump and pageantry to welcome and celebrate their mother and cultural liberator, Her Excellency, Chief Dr Mrs Flora Nkemakonam Ilonzo, the MD/CEO of Centre for Psychic and Healing Administration (CPHA).

The event entitled a grand reception and chieftaincy title reaffirmation was organised by Uwelle-Ukehe community in association with Orinandu Old Students (OOS) to re-confirm Ilonzo as Orinandu 1 of Uwelle-Ukehe, the accolade they bequeathed on her 35 years ago following her humanitarian services.

Ilonzo, also known as Flora de Art owing to her artistic prowess, had in 1982, waded into and resolved the conflict between the members of the dreaded Odo masquerade Cult and the Christian community which nearly consumed the entire Uwelle-Ukehe land.

Similarly, she singlehandedly built and funded Orinandu Community School, Uwelle-Ukehe, the first primary and secondary school to be established in the community, for years before handing it over to government.

The first female Artist of old Anambra extraction (comprising the present Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi States), during her stay in Uwelle-Ukehe, sponsored people of the community to attend their heights academically and otherwise, help them to secure federal and state jobs, vocational trainings, as well as constructed motorable roads to link them to neighbouring communities and Enugu, the capital city.

The epoch making event which started with a church service presided over by Rev. Fr. Samson Itodo, had in attendance dignitaries like Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, Obi of Onitsha, Anambra State; the Chairman, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; Princes Stella Ngwu, the member representing Igbo etiti and Uzouwani federal constituency; Bishop Michael O. Amamieye, the President of Aggressive Faith Ministries, Port Harcourt.

Others were Chief Akunnia Anionwu, former Comptroller of Immigration; Lady Chinwe Nnedm, Anambra State Chairman of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR); Chief Alloy Agbakoba; Prof. Okey Emodi; Chief Nicholas Ojike, Enugu State former Head of Service; multi talented international award winning event planner based in Spain and won awards as best MC, Princess Nwanneka Campo (first daughter of the celebrant) and her husband, Engr. Ignacio Campo; Okechukwu Eze-Chude, CEO/MD DjKey Entertainment, an international award winning DJ who incidentally is one of Ilonzo’s sons; Hon Kennedy Agu, Executive Assistant to Enugu State Governor.

Also present were the Traditional Ruler of Ukehe autonomous community, HRH Igwe Michael Odoh; Chief Joy Igboka of Network of Grassroots Elites; Chief Emmanuel Eze; Chief Jude Iyoke, President of Ndigbo in Jamaica; Mrs Uche Ngwu; Habiba Umar and her group, Muslims Women Association; Awal Yusuf and his own Muslim group; and others.

Princess Nwanne Campo, who coordinated the event from Spain and was also its Masters of Ceremony (MC), was visibly happy, excited and dance throughout the event, even as she thrilled the audience with her edifying voice.

In an address of welcome, Amadi Aroh, the Secretary of the event planning Committee, vowed that the community would no longer lose contact with Ilonzo as they did in the past thirty five years.

According to him, “She is our worth social crusader, leader and wonderful philanthropist whose contributions and influence have brought remarkable development to our community. As a pathfinder, many rings roads in and around our community were constructed by this world renowned artist.”

In their various contributions, Chief Nicholas Ojike, the former Enugu State Head of Service, and Chief Nnia Nwodo, President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, while describing Ilonzo as a woman of inestimable value, implored her to continue supporting them with her wisdom, wealth of knowledge and experience and motherly love.

Re-decorating Ilonzo as Orinandu 1 of Uwelle-Ukehe, the eldest man in the community, Chief Owagu Olenyi prayed God to bless and keep her to continue with her good jobs to humanity.

Okechukwu Eze, one of the children of the celebrant, while speaking on behalf of his brothers and sisters, assured his people that the reunion would bring positive change to both Orinandu Community school and Uwelle-Ukehe kingdom.

Earlier, Mr Damian Nweze, the Principal of Orinandu Community Secondary School, while extolling Ilonzo for gift of the citadel of learning, called for more support in giving it a facelift.

Responding, the excited Ilonzo, while going down memory lane, prayed God to heal the land and people of Uwelle-Ukehe, even as she re-emphasised the need for her children and notable figures from the community to join hands with her to move Uwelle-Ukehe forward.

Highpoint of the occasion was re-confirmation of Ilonzo as Orinandu during which she mounted a horse, even as some cultural dancing troupes namely, Otu Ofuobi, Chiweta, Ode-Uwelle Ukehe, and others entertain the august visitors.



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