Giving of gifts, being liberal or generous is one of the major components of sacrifice, especially when such gift items, donations or good works are the proceeds of legitimate hard work and honesty. It even becomes more praiseworthy when it is coming from a passionate and sincere heart rather than for selfish or political ambition.
Nigeria’s political history is replete with politicians who wet their ambition in advance by embarking on premeditated development projects such as installation of transformers, drilling of borehole donations, scholarship sponsorship, among others with the motive of capturing the minds and hearts of the people ahead of the next elections.
But such cannot be said of the onyeka’s, okere’s, Nwaorgu’s and their illustrious sons and daughter who have put into practice the saying “charity begins at home.
Umuaku, a serene and quiet village in Umuodagu Ntu community in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area has started to witness gradual return of nightlife. This is as a result of the installation of Solar Energy powered street lights in major road streets that crisscrossed the four kindreds that make up the village.
The installation which is estimated to have cost over 1.5 million naira was the initiative of Mr. Calistus Onyeka and his family who visited home from the US for the festive period. While grapevine has it that Mr. Calistus Onyeka was the brain and initiator of the solar lights installation, but Mr. Calistus Onyeka in a forum refuted it. He declared that it was his first son – Kennedy and daughter – Shilla Chimdinma who merged their resources and funds for the purchase of over 30 pieces of solar energy lights.
Earlier before, people hardly stayed out to 12 midnight on a weekly basis, but the reserve is now the case with the solar street lights in place. People now gather in groups at strategic spots to discuss one issue or the other as they make merry under the illumination of solar lights. Owners of retail outlets, patent medicine stores, black-market fuel sellers etc have extended their business hours towards midnight.
Since the installation of the lights, both the young and old; women, men and the youths have continued to pour encomium, prayers and blessings upon the Onyeka’s. “I have seen the solar energy lights, it is a commendable feat by our brother Calistus, and I pray to God to bless you. I am happy with what I have seen. I love this. I appeal to others to emulate him”, said Mr. Okere Bonaventure, a retired civil servant.
On his part as a retired civil servant, Mr. Okere Bonaventure has made it one of his yearly acts of philanthropy by providing 9 bags of 50kg of rice to the village every December. This he has done without qualms for three years. Ever since he began this, his people have not hidden their appreciation or thanks.
This piece will not be complete without capturing the free medical services that was carried out by a US based illustrious son of Umuaku, who goes by the name Peter Izuwa Nwaorgu, alongside his wife – Pamele. In May 2021, tens and hundreds of thousands of Umuodagu Ntu people benefited from their free medical outreach or programme.
The medical outreach/service witnessed free supply of multivitamins, antibiotics, pain medications and eye glasses for those with vision problems.
“Basically, we supplied multivitamins, antibiotics, and pain medications. We also screened/tested people for diabetes, Hep A & B, HIV, hypertension, and vision. Those who were diagnosed with diabetes were given diabetic meds. Those who were diagnosed with HTN were given antihypertensive drugs. Some with vision problems were given glasses”, Mr. Peter said
A free medical service which was commendably praised, hailed and discussed at the time not only in Umuodagu Ntu community, but also in Amala, Eziama, Umuneche and Elelem communities, was said to be a huge feat, given the numerous number of people that benefited from it and their testimonies.
Mr. Benjamin Izuwa Nwaorgu on his own part, having seen the dilapidated nature of a major road that passed through Umuocham Ntu to Umuaku, considered it necessary in 2022 and gave the road a facelift by grading it. A cheerful giver, he in December 2021, in the spirit of the festive season donated one cow and assorted drinks to his people in Umuaku.
These charitable or rather philanthropic gestures of the above mentioned illustrious individuals need not be unrecorded, that is the reason I have decided to capture such for posterity and reference purposes. Remember Ndi Igbo si etoo dike na nke omere omee ozo.
Image: Rod Long on Unsplash