By Izunna Okafor
It was a day of commendations and recognitions in Ukpor, the capital of Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State as the community recognised and commended 24 illustrious sons and daughters of the community during the 2021 Ukpor Day, which is the community’s mega annual event, celebrated every 29th December.
In his address of welcome at the event, which held at Central School Field, Ukpor, the President General of Ukpor Improvement Union (U.I.U.), Izuchukwu Nwawulu described the program as one which affords them the opportunity to come together as a people, to interact and discuss how far they have fared over the year and discuss the way forward towards the progress and overall development of the community, including the well-being of her citizens.
Chief Nwawulu, who assumed office last year, highlighted some of the achievements so far recorded by his administration, and thanked ndị Ukpor for their unrelenting supports, expressing optimism that the community will continue to march forward.
While beaking the kolanut, the Royal Father of the Day and traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Felix C.N. Onyimadu thanked God for the enduring peace in the community, and prayed for divine protection and more blessings upon the sons and daughters of the community in their different areas of endeavours.
In his address of welcome, the chairman of the occasion and one-time president general of the community, Hyacinth Maduagwu, who registered his patriotism and undying love for the community, traced the origin of Ukpor Day to the time of Chief Livinus Okeke administration in the community, and appreciated both the past administrations and the current executives for having sustained the light and making it to shine even better and brighter.
While also describing the day as a special day set aside to generally thank God for his numerous blessings over the year; he equally urged every member of the community to show patriotism by always participating in the event and avoiding fixing any other activity on that day.
Among other activities, the event featured inauguration and presentation of awards and certificates to some of the new patrons and Board of Trustees of U.I.U.; the recognition and presentation of certificates to some newly recognised villages in the community, as well as presentation of Ukpor Special Award to some deserving sons and daughters of the community who have visibly and meaningfully contributed in one way or the other, to the development of the community.
The newly installed patrons include the immediate-past president general of the community, Chief Emmanuel Nwachukwu (Onodugo); Onuora C.C. Anene, and Sir Simeon Arazu; while Sir Walter Okafor wss newly added to the members of Board of Trustees.
On the other hand, some of the recipients of the 2021 Ukpor Special Award include the MD/CEO of Apams Ltd., Sir Kelvin Chukwumobi; tll Member, representing Nnewi South 2 Constituency in the state’s House of Assembly, Johnbosco Akaegbobi; the Managing Director of Makson Oil and Gas, Chief Matthew Agbasi; Prof. Victoria Chikaodili Ukachukwu; Mrs. Esther Oluchukwu Okeke; Mr. Nwosu Maduabuchukwu Sylvester; Chief Anthony Ifeanyi Umeh, among many others.
In their respective speeches the awardees, who expressed their overwhelming joy for being counted worthy of the highly prestigious award, described the honour as a confirmation that their good works are being seen, recognised and appreciated. They equally described the award as great sources of encouragement and call to do more, even as they pledged to continue their good works and contributions towards the development of the community.
The event, which had Owelle Greg Okafor as the Special Guest of Honour, saw each village in the community sit, eat and drink in their respective canopies, while masquerades, Egbelioba Cultural Dance, and other dance troupes entertained and wowed the audience with their exhilarating performances.