By Nwafor Okafor
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige and veteran Journalist/broadcaster with the Anambra Broadcasting Service, Rotarian Abuchi Nwozor were amongst the dignitaries honoured by the traditional Ruler of Awka, Obi Gibson Nwabueze Nwosu during the biennial Egwu Uzu festival.
Also honoured on the occasion was a Public Relations guru, Dr Dennis Ekemezie.
The personalities were honoured for their service to Awka in particular and humanity in general.
Speaking during the occasion, Obi Gibson Nwosu called for the establishment of Blacksmithing village in the South-East .
Nwosu said the call had become necessary to ensure that blacksmithing which the people of Awka Community were known would not fade away.
The monarch who narrated how blacksmithing had taken the people of Awka to various parts of the world, maintained that the gate at the Backighan palace of Queen Elizabeth in England was constructed by Chief John Uzoka from umuogbu village Awka.[ The traditional Ruler emphasized that the establishment of the Blacksmithing village in Awka for South East would ensure the sustainance of Blacksmithing culture in the Igbo Nation
Nwosu used the opportunity to commend the Anambra State Government for series of development in Awka especially the Awka city stadium, Anambra International Convention Center in Awka among others which he noted had changed the face of the community.
The traditional Ruler used the forum to call on the Federal Government to map out more policies that would improve the living standards of the people
Speaking during the event, the Archbishop Ecclesiastical province of the Niger and Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, the Most Reverend Alexander Ibezim who described culture as people’s way of life called on traditional rulers to abolish all culture that negates human existence.
Ibezim who during the event prayed for permanent return of peace in Awka Community, charged the people of Awka to continue with their support for Obi Gibson Nwosu for more robust development in the Area.
The chairman of the 2021 Egwu Uzu festival and Director Emeka Anyaoku institute of international studies and Diplomacy, Prof Austin Nkemdilm Nnonyelu who described Awka as a blessed Community called on the people to come and invest in the community which had a Serene environment for investment
The Traditional Prime Minister of Awka Community, Chief Benjamin Okoye, thanked all that graced the event including a frontline philanthropist, Prince Arthur Eze, and a former Special Adviser to former president Goodluck Jonathan, Senator Ben Ndii Obi among others for their commitment to Egwu Uzu project
The event featured conferment of Chiefaitancy title on some deserving individuals including the Minister of Labour and employment Dr Chris Ngige,who received the title of Onyili Ngugba, while a Media practioner Mr Abuchi Nwozor who hails from Awka was recognized by the Traditional Ruler of Awka with a meritorious Community service Award for his selfless service to the community.
Others who were honoured at the event included the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA, Dr Victor Oye, Senator Uche Ekwunife, AIG Garuba Umar,Chief Emeka Ihedioha, a commissioner with the Federal character Commission,Mrs Ginika Tor, Dr Pete Ibida,and a one time member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations Dr Dennis Ekemezie among others.
The event which was attended by a former Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly Chief Anayo Nnebe,and one time member of the House of Representatives Chief Ben Nwankwo and incoming Deputy Governor of Anambra State Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim featured cultural and masquerade displays and performance by Awka Black smithers.