By Osita Anagboso Okeke
As Nigeria cannot do without Igbos is just as Agulu Town cannot do without Nkitaku Village. Only a person who can look but cannot see, can doubt this aforementioned fact of mine. This particular slogan – ahoo Agulu, Agulu ahoo Nkitaku, portrays the first statement of this write up as the truth because, according to William Penn – The great Quaker Statesman, “Right is right even if everyone is against it and wrong is wrong even if everyone is in favour of it.”
Nkitaku is the most popular village in the whole Agulu and at the same time, a pacesetter in most activities that take place in the town. Whenever you mention in any particular place in Igboland that you are an indigene of Agulu, People there will ask you whether you are from Agulu-Nkitaku.
To be candid, Nkitaku is a role model in Agulu Community. First and foremost, Nkitaku people are those that lured other Agulu people into bread baking business today. The pioneer bread bakers are Chief Michael Nwanya Ocho; Chief Bob Ezeh; Chief Nwankwo Okwudili, whose trade mark was Okwu’s Yahwe’s Bread; Chief Daniel Ozueh, whose bread was nicknamed TUCHII!! owing to the size of the bread he made in those days and also His Royal Highness Igwe Ejidike’s Bread, who integrated science and technology in his bakery. All of them are from Nkitaku.
There was a man called OGBUOGALANYA who hails from Nkitaku Village. This particular mad man existed before the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War and was endowed with native intelligence that people rallied round him to listen to his fantastic Igbo proverbs which always held them spellbound. Probably, too much wisdom made Ogbuogalanya mad because, over education, they say is very close to madness, and that is the reason why an Ijebu Ode man by name Professor Sanya Onabamiro stressed and I quote “There is a thin membrane separating the area of intellectuality and madness, which when a person attains may end up being mad,”
He gave an example of a German philosopher by name – Dr. Fredrick Nietz who said that to taste life, you must live a dangerous life. He ended up a mad man.
Moreso Nkitaku is famous in the fields of culture, with its various masquerades.
In security, Nkitaku vigilante group appears to be one of the most organized security outfits in Anambra State and that is the reason why her members are allowed to use guns. Nkitaku is made up of seven kindreds, namely; Ezinkitaku, Efele, Esidimuamahu, Umuodum, Umuejionu, Umuejemeaju and Umukpoko.
Chief Toochukwu Ezisi (Alias Akunyinwataegwu) is the second son of a school Headmaster and Headmistress by names, Sir Herbert and Lady Virginia Ezisi. He hails from Umuejionu Kindred in Nkitaku Village. His parents are middle class which means that they earn the salaries accruing to their teaching profession but do not swim in the ocean of wealth. Fortunately, their son, Toochukwu, joined business after his education and became rich. At once he realized that his wealth is not meant for him alone but held by him, in trust for the Nkitaku Community which he forms a part of, so he decided to extend his magnanimity to his people, especially the indigent ones, because he understands that his wealth will acquire value if it is put into the service of humanity. After all St. Gregory the Great stresses that it is the duty of all Christians to reach out to the poor because earthly goods are for all and not for some. Also President Mahatma Gandhi of India believes that there is sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed; that great statues are never erected in honour of getters, but givers.
Moreso, J.H. Howett emphasizes that God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.
Chief Akunyienwataegwu has realized that there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor in our society today and decided to bridge that gap. He therefore started his magnanimity from his village – Nkitaku, before extending it elsewhere as charity begins at home. As a great philanthropist, Toochukwu has renovated and also built new houses for about fifteen indigent people in Nkitaku Village. He has also offered five hundred thousand naira each to about eighteen people in his village to kick start different businesses of their choices.
Toochukwu has footed the hospital bills of many sick people from his village. He has also awarded scholarships to indigent Nkitaku students who are studying in different institutions in Nigeria. Toochukwu tarred EZISI STREET which led into his and his father’s compound and around Nkitaku Village Hall, named Oye Nkitaku, with interlock blocks. He also empowered the people trading in the stores located around the hall with a generator and a freezer each.
Chief Akunyienwataegwu and some Nkitaku public spirited individuals have decided to alleviate poverty and crime in Nkitaku Village by providing employment in the field of agriculture for Nkitaku youths yearly and these nice gestures of Toochukwu and his friends have made the youths to be fully engaged in farming and animal husbandry.
During the New Yam Festival of 2017, Toochukwu donated two shuttle buses while Nweke Anagbo donated one motorcycle. The next year, Akunyienwataegwu donated two shuttle buses, again, and his immediate younger brother – Kasie (Alias K.K), donated one shuttle bus, making them three, while Chief Leonard Anagbo donated one motorcycle. Chijioke Anisiobi donated one motorcycle, Martin Edimobi donated one motocycle, Peter Ochonma donated a sum of N100, 000 and Osita Offor donated a sum of N50, 000.
In the New Yam Festival of 2019, Chief Nkunyienwataegwu donated two shuttle buses again, while Kasie (Alias K.K) his brother, again supplemented the two buses with one bus, making them three, while Chief Martin Edimobi donated one motorcycle.
Other donors include, Paul Enemchukwu donated one motorcycle, Chidozie Ezidinma donated one motorcycle, Onuorah Onyemaenu donated N150, 000, Mr. Fredrick Ukoh donated N100, 000, Mr. Osita Nwafor donated N50, 000, Col Reuben Nwakor donated N100, 000, Mr. Amaechi Okoye donated N10, 000, Amaechi Mmuoebonam donated N10, 000, Leonard Okeke (Mayor) donated N150, 000, Mr. Ethelbert Offor donated N10, 000, Ezidinma Chinedu donated N5, 000, Mr. Bede Ezeani donated N10, 000, Michael Mbanisi donated N10, 000. These buses, motorcycles and money are distributed yearly to Nkitaku agriculturists depending on the performance of their agricultural products.
To crown it all, Akunyienwataegwu knew the importance of food to human living and had provided all the drinks and food eaten by everybody in Nkitaku Village Hall where the Yam Festival took place in 2018 and has also promised to supply the same food and drinks this year.
Finally may the almighty God make other well-to-do individuals in Agulu entire Igbo land and Nigeria to emulate Chief Emmanuel Toochukwu Ezisi in order to alleviate poverty and crime in our society.
May God shower blessings ten folds on one of the greatest philanthropist of our time – Chief Akunyienwataegwu and other philanthropists in Nigeria.
Osita Anagbaso Okeke (A celebrated Social Philosopher)
Writes from Nneogidi Village Agulu