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By Admin on May, 26 2017

Views: 6433

Sitting from LEFT to RIGHT in this group photo are MESSR: (1) OGIDI OHUONU ,trader Calabar. (2) JOMBO NWAOGBURU -Managing Director Abiriba Trading Company (A.T.C). (3) OGBONNAYA KALU IFEGWU -One of the directors of Abiriba Trading Company/Treasurer, A.C.I.U. (4) EJIM AKUMA - Councilor in Calabar Urban and County, Calabar/Secretary-General A.C.I.U Abiriba Town. (5) OKEKE AGWU (a.k.a OKON-ITA) -Chief Propaganda NCNC Calabar Branch and President A.C.I.U, Calabar Branch/Vice chairman College building committee,Abiriba town.(6) OTISI OJI OTISI (D.D) -One of the Directors of A.T.C, Calabar. (7) ANYANSO KALU UME (a.k.a Czar) - Secretary and One of the directors of A.T.C ,Calabar/President of the Ibo section of DUKE TOWN CHURCH,Calabar. (8) EBE OKEKE UCHE -Chief Clerk ,A.T.C,Calabar and Financial Secretary, A.C.I.U,Calabar Branch.

This Group photo was taken at Calabar by selected members of  A.C.I.U Calabar Branch which was registered in 1949 AD by Governor John of Nigeria which had empowered A.C.I.U to build Enuda College in Abiriba,town (Now Enuda High School)..All these great men of our time are all gone to be with their maker who sent each and everyone of us into this world and Abiriba to accomplish one purpose or another. They were mostly not educated but highly visionary. The most surprising thing is that with little or no western education they saw tomorrow and made their moves ahead of such communities that boasted educated men before Abiriba.

They were dedicated and refused to be discouraged when it came to any issue that concerns Abiriba.  They left their families, friends, personal interests and businesses touring many cities like Umuahia to Calabar,  Port Harcourt etc in order to achieve their aims of propagating Abiriba to a greater level than they met it.

These people were selected to see to it that Enuda college building plan did not stop on the way and they, with their able front line leader , late Chief Jonah Ndukwo Kalu (a.k.a. Ndukwonta) delivered when it mattered most. We might not know that getting approval to build a community school like Enuda college under the white man's government by mostly illiterate traders in those days was not a tea and bread matter. We are just seeing and allowing Enuda Secondary school building to collapse today while the environments are mostly overgrown by weeds simply because we don't know the efforts, money and sacrifices made by our late fathers who made sure during their time that Abiriba got one of the first community secondary schools in Nigeria.

We may not know that at a time, these elders were asked to raise a specific amount of money to be deposited with the white man as a guarantee that they were serious about starting and completing the school building project without leaving it on the way uncompleted.  We may not know that, after raising the said amount demanded by the white man that Abiriba was asked to provide 5 able and financially capable men to sign a surety that, should the entire community which was planning the Enuda college building through the ACIU, fail to meet up, that those 5 men will complete the college building from their purses, and these men were able to rally round and provide same.

Is it not something to be commended that many such uneducated men in Abiriba could have such a zeal and vision which is yet to be matched till date in the history of Abiriba Kingdom?. Men in whose time every project started in Abiriba never stopped on the way by any reason(s), be it financial, age grade,communal crises or whatever excuse(s). Men who, despite the fact that some of them had royal bloods in them never allowed their wealth to takeover their senses of reasoning as they did not destroy the Abiriba kingdom.

Their selfless service and vision of building Enuda college helped Abiriba to produce the first and last military vice president of Igbo extraction in Nigeria (as at today) in the person of Rtd. Commodore Oko Ebitu Ukiwo who happens to be among the first set of students to be enrolled into Enuda college upon its completion, and so many other prominent sons of Abiriba who has benefited from their vision and sacrifices.

I have carefully checked the families of these visionary elders of our time only to find out that God's blessings and wealth have not departed their homes many years after their demise which goes to show that, as God rewards the unborn generations of evil doers with evil, so does He reward good to the families and unborn generations of people who had done good while alive. I cannot mention names for some reasons but a careful check on Abiriba development pioneers will show exactly what I am saying.

The biggest problem facing Abiriba today is lack of a dedicated leader like Late Chief J. N. Kalu (a.k.a. Ndukwonta) who was always ready to answer a call concerning Abiriba no matter how busy his schedule.  We lack people like Ete Igwo who, despite being mostly uneducated, happens to be the highest donor towards the Enuda college building. Men like Ete Igwo, J.N Kalu, George Ezikpe Anagha, Ikwan Onwuka (Ikwan Okpogho Okpogho), HRH Okoro Ijagha, Ezekiel . D. Ukuku and so many of them who always responded with huge cash and moral supports to solve Abiriba problems without waiting for everybody to contribute.  Men who never allowed hatred for the other parts of Abiriba to becloud their thoughts.

Until we learn and imbibe the old zeal and work with the same unity of purpose that helped our deceased elder statesmen to achieve their set goals we will still continue to play and dance KPUKPUNTA-OGELE dance in the name of working for the betterment of Abiriba community.

Just a respectable leader to be at the forefront like J.N.Kalu and everything will fall back in place.