ISAAC OJO writes that the sleepy town of Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State has honoured fifteen of her citizens who are breaking new grounds in their chosen endeavours
In his welcome address at the occasion which held at St Mary’s school field, Ukpor, the President General of Ukpor Improvement Union (UIU) Mr Emmanuel Nwachukwu said the personalities recognized and awarded have distinguished themselves in their profession, business, public service, academia and on the international stage.
Chief Nwachukwu noted that the recognized outstanding persons have brought pride to the community by leaving distinguished marks on their chosen areas of endeavours.
He pointed out that the Ukpor Special Award started a year earlier with the recognition of Major Gen. Ben Ahanotu who was the chairman of the second edition.
The PG of UIU said with relish that there are so many sons and daughters of the community who have blaze the trail and are qualified for recognition but added that every one of them cannot be awarded at the same time.
Chief Nwachukwu who said with emphasis that UIU is passionately committed to protecting the common interest of Ndi Ukpor recalled some of the major breakthroughs recorded by his administration.
“This interest includes those of the oldest villages, the privileged Umunnas, the strongest and the most ancient in royalty and the richest just as it stands for those of the newest non indigenes of our town who live and do business here, the less privileged Umunnas and the weakest of all,” he noted.
Chief Nwachukwu said further that electricity has been fully restored to the sleepy community and that almost all vandalized transformers have been either replaced or repaired even as pointed out that the union is in the process of reversing the problematic bulk prepaid metering which created huge billing challenges to the people.
“As Ukpor is growing from being a village through semi urban to an urban area, so are the daily needs of its residents, we have as a result created Ukpor daily market so that those among what want to make profession of trading can do that effectively and efficiently. We also want to create opportunities for our farmers and craftmen to have a place they can take their wares every day to sell instead of waiting for the next turn of four days as was the case. We are pleased to announce that over forty million Naira of the Anambra State government’s choose your project initiative(CYP) has been invested in Afor Ukpor Market, we now have two blocks of forty lock up shops and fifteen open sheds with over four hundred stalls and toilet facilities,” PG UIU noted
The PG who called for unity of purpose among Ukpor citizens said the community’s Civic Center is also getting attention from his administration.
In his comment, the Ukpor monarch, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Dr Felix C. N. Onyimadu commended the UIU PG and his executive council for the transformation they are creating in the town even as he congratulated the personalities recognized and awarded in second Ukpor Special Award.
An awardee, Chief Kingsley Emeka Egwuh, the deputy comptroller of Nigeria Customs thanked Ukpor people for the honour bestowed upon him and fourteen other prominent indigenes, noting that the recognition meant so much to him as prophets hardly get honor at home.The other awardees are: Prof. Tony Igwegbe, Dr Henry Nkemadu , Dr Irene Ochem, Mrs Chizor Malize, Okwudili Igweka, Uzozie Zenco Oragwa, Celestine Emokai, Chika Arinze, Greg Okafor, Sir Simeon Arazu, Prince Clem Okoli, Mike Ireka, Prince Gozie Arinze and Bishop (Dr) Goddy Okafor.