By Michael Jude Nwolisa
The Anaocha Local Government Headquarters, Neni, was on Saturday, January 12, flooded by distinguished sons and daughters of Anaocha from the 10 different communities that make up the local government to witness the launch of the maiden Anaocha Compendium.
The compendium, which is a historical compilation of life, culture and achievements of prominent men and women of Anaocha since the creation of the local government in 1983, was put together by Nzuko Odimma Anaocha, a socio-cultural organization that comprises worthy and eminent people from the 10 communities in Anaocha LGA.
In his opening remarks, the chairman, Nzuko Odimma Anaocha, Prof. Pita Ejiofor, revealed that the intention of the landmark documentation was to showcase the very best people and culture of Anaocha and project them more to the outside world. He noted that many Anaocha indigenes had been known to excel in different fields of human endeavour, both in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
Prof. Ejiofor, who further called for the total re-orientation of the people, drew the people's attention to some pertinent issues bordering on improper rural roads construction and building of scandalously massive compounds while leaving no lands for farming.
The emeritus professor who also champions Otu Subakwa Igbo, a group that promotes the Igbo Language, called on all to join in the campaign to save the Igbo language from extinction by speaking it in the homes, schools and different socio-cultural functions.
Speaking during the event, the pioneer chairman of Nzuko Odimma Anaocha, Sir Tony Akpulu, enjoined Anaocha youths to embrace technical and vocational education. He argued that not every high flying achiever was privileged to attend a university.
Naming the likes of Henry Ford and Karl Benz who made landmark achievements in the auto manufacturing industry, he reminded all that they were not privileged to attend a university.
Sir Akpulu further advised that acquiring relevant technical education could place one on a greater path to success.
Unveiling the compendium, the senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial Constituency, Sir Victor Umeh, pointed out that Anaocha had produced people of timber and calibre in all areas of endeavour. He noted that there were many Anaocha indigenes making waves in areas of sports, health, religion, business, and education, among others, both at the national and international levels.
Some of them include personalities like the former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi; the auxiliary bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, Most. Rev Jonas Benson Okoye; former national director of NAFDAC, the late Mrs. Dora Akunyili; Nigerian Super Eagles player, John Mikel Obi, among others, were worthy of mention.
He added that showcasing those great achievers to the world was what necessitated the putting together of the compendium.
Finally, the senator urged all to join in the promotion of Igbo language and culture.
The member representing Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia federal constituency, Hon. Dozie Nwankwo, represented by Odu 1 of Enugwu Ukwu, Sir Clem Nwafor, while speaking in an interview, appreciated the leadership of Nzuko Odimma Anaocha for such an initiative. He explained that the compendium, which showcases the achievements of prominent Anaocha indigenes, dead and alive, will serve as a guide to younger generations to forge through life's struggles and achieve more in different areas of endeavours.
Sir Clem Nwafor further urged the people of Anaocha to appreciate the good works of their representatives by re-electing them into their various political posts. They, he said, would employ their political knowledge and experiences for the greater good of the electorate.
Speaking to Fides after the event, the treasurer, Nzuko Odimma Anaocha, Hon. Chief Ojuah Theophilus Ofoma, revealed that they had been working tirelessly for the past two years to see that the compendium was a huge success. He also noted that the landmark documentation would help Anaocha people to know the great men and women from their communities, see through their struggles and then appreciate their achievements.
Hon. Ofoma further advised the people to vote in clear conscience in the forthcoming general elections, noting that it was important to vote into power, capable leaders who would steer the affairs of the country.
Other dignitaries at the event expressed joy at the launch of the compendium. They include, Ezedinobi Ezeani; traditional ruler of Agulu, HRH Igwe Innocent E. Obodoakor; former commissioner for women's affairs and social development in Anambra, Dr. Mrs. Ego Uzoezie; special assistant to Anambra State governor on housing, Engr. Simeon Okafor; chairman, Anaocha LGA, Hon. Ikeobi Ejiofor; chairman, publication committee, Nzuko Odimma Anaocha, Ichie Sam Enenebeaku Eze-Akudo.