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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Umuchukwu, Anambra State: How deity community became glorious city

From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha

...As philanthropist liberates his people

Umuchukwu: How deity community became glorious city
The Umuchukwu community in Orumba South Local government Area of Anambra State formerly known as Nkerehi before the name was changed in 2008 after a referendum and government gazette was then known for poverty, idolatry and underdevelopment.
But the people have gone through the valley of the shadows of death and came out triumphant.

The community, which is made up of five villages namely Isiama, Umueze, Uhu, Umualaoma, Umuana, shares common boundary with Ogbunka community and Abia State.
Before the wind of change blew in Umuchukwu community, the community was like a cursed area with several ugly stories until one of its sons, Dr. Godwin Maduka, an American-trained physician, decided to carry the cross of liberating the people from the shackles of poverty, idolatry and backwardness.

Giving an insight into the pitiable nature of the community before Maduka's intervention, a native, Mr Godwin Duru said:
"We were like caged people. We had one or two people who were opportune to be educated and had left the shores of the country . But while the few seemed to be comfortable in their own way, the rest of the community was running around in circles with nothing to boast of. While poverty was ravaging us as individuals, our community lacked all the basic amenities of living that made life to stop at our neighboring communities while we lived in another world altogether."

Oriental News gathered that it was Dr Maduka, chief medical director, Las Vegas Pain Institute, who decided to take the risk of changing the face of the community through empowerment of the youths, education and development projects.
According to Duru, at the heat of the struggle to effect a positive change, Christians in the community after a revelation during prayers made efforts to change the name of the community from Nkerehi to Umuchukwu.

Also Mr Nnamdi Okoli in a chat with Oriental News talked about the revelations and what happened after moves to effect the change.
"The name Nkerehi is an ancient name which by prayers it was revealed that it literarily means those who struggle to get anything or those who delighted in snatching cows from people by force. It was by the same divine revelation in prayers that we elected to change our name to Umuchukwu which means the children of God or God's children. But those who wanted us to remain in our backward state vowed to truncate our struggle, but in the end I can say that in line with the reigning song of Korede Bello that God -win"

In the struggle for the name change and attracting of development projects in the community, those opposed to the wheel of progress instigated trouble and division in the community.
He said that things got to a point where attempts were made on people's lives and property were destroyed as the instigators labeled Dr. Maduka as a religious zealot and one who wanted to use his money to control everybody.

But Maduka was said to be unfazed by all the criticism as he continued to look for ways of improving the living condition of his people.
It was during that turbulent period that former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi after seeing Maduka's genuine efforts also remembered the community. Before Obi left office, he constructed the Umuchukwu, Ogbunka road, Owerri-Ezukala -Umuchukwu road, provided a five-class room block, new transformer and security vehicle for the community.

But it was Maduka's unusual philanthropy that really changed the face of the community.
During the recent burial of his elder brother and the traditional prime minister of the community, Chief Obioma Maduka, visitors marveled on the great transformation that has taken place in the community courtesy of Dr Maduka.
Presently, several new buildings are springing up in the community, projects being executed by those whom Dr. Maduka has trained in choice professional courses in the university and also others empowered in their various businesses.

A volunteer who took Oriental News round the community noted that no single individual has ever done what the man has done, saying that he had to endure all the pains and insults heaped on him by those who are simply jealous that he has decided to live his life for others to be happy.
Valentine Obienyem, who represented former Governor Obi at the burial ceremony while mourning the late traditional prime minister, described Dr Maduka as "the proverbial tree that made a forest of the thick Amazon type."
Among the structures that have sprung up in Umuchukwu through the Godwin Maduka Foundation, are about 90 living houses built and donated to the poor in the community replacing their huts.

The Catholic priest in charge of St. Jude's Catholic Church, Umuchukwu, Rev. Fr. Maximus Muojekwu, reflecting on the journey so far in the community, said that Maduka has built a city.
He said that he was overwhelmed that an individual would make such a huge investment for his people.
Another native, Godwin Ezeji said that the Godwin Maduka Foundation has also sponsored 90 per cent of the lawyers in the community while there are about 450 children enjoying his scholarship.

"There is also a 14 storey building, the first of its kind in the community and another structure of 60 room apartment meant for workers in the community," he said.
But Dr Maduka described what he does for his community as little acts of philanthropy, which came about from meager earnings in his medical practice out of necessity so as to alleviate the plight of his people.

Hear him: "Everybody knows that about 10 to 20 years ago, we cannot boast of any single amenity including pipe borne water as everything eluded us. Anybody growing up in that environment will have no choice than to do something about it. I started this many years ago with the little money I earn. When you see people living in thatched houses in this age and you know you can do something about it, you will not have rest in that situation. It is necessity that pushes me to do this because you can't make money to buy a fine car and you come home and discover that many people around you are suffering and dying while you keep silent."

Talking about those who fanned the embers of discord in the community while people like him were struggling to liberate the people, Maduka said that it was those who struggled to paint him black that eventually propelled him to higher heights, saying that "truth will always triumph over falsehood."
He said the love for his people still propels him to keep struggling to better their lives as he asked God to forgive those who hurt him while he keeps asking for God's strength to keep touching lives through his chosen field of medicine.

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I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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