Onwe: Turning Restive Youths Into Millionaires.

By Monday Eze, Senior Correspondent, The Nigerian Voice, Abakaliki

The honourable Commissioner for Information and State Orientation in Ebonyi State, Senator Emmanuel Uzor Onwe, is one leader who infuses ingenuity and creativity in everything he does. Even in Onwe's chosen vocation which is giving, he has continued to give with the creative targets of building a community of self-reliant beneficiaries, curbing social ills and building a virile support-base for the transformational administration of Engr. David Nweze Umahi at the same time. He commenced another round of empowerment beginning with his people of Ndufu-Echara in Ikwo Local Government Area. A committed advocate for the Divine Mandate Administration of Apostle David Nweze Umahi in Ebonyi state, Onwe believes that poverty is the progenitor of many social ills and that the best way to sanitize the society is to keep the people, especially the youths, busy by empowering them to earn their living through lawful industry. This too, according to him, is the easiest way to expand and strengthen the support-base of both Governor Umahi and the Peoples Democratic Party ahead of the approaching 2019 general elections.

Given the antecedents of this courageous giver, the atmosphere in the sleepy pastoral community of Ndufu Echara Nkpoke in Ikwo Local Government Area was fully charged with positive expectations in the hot afternoon of Saturday, 20th October, 2018 as news of his proposed visit made the rounds. From Onunwode junction, Onwe was greeted by cannon shots, a cultural troupe and an enthusiastic crowd which were on hand to lead Onwe and his modest train into Edukfu Nkpoke, the playground which qualifies as the first and principal playground in the whole of Echara Nkpoke, by virtue of its location at the ancestral home of Echara Nkpoke people. That symbolic playground was the venue of Senator Onwe's empowerment programme. Onwe's arrival electrified the entire venue where Ndufu Echara community had poured herself out. Onwe who seemed to know every indigene of Ndufu Echara by name meandered through the sea of heads to greet and exchange pleasantries with elders, men, women, youths and children of Ndufu Echara who had gathered in their numbers to welcome their all-round hero and a practical ambassador of the leader and governor of Ebonyi State, Apostle David Nweze Umahi.

Addressing the people of Ndufu Echara, Senator Onwe thanked Governor David Umahi for transforming Ebonyi landscape and Ebonyi people through his infrastructural revolution and meaningful empowerment programmes, charged the youths to shun thuggery and unlawful acts and asked the people to continue to support Governor Umahi in his bid to develop Ebonyi state. According to him, "Governor Umahi has transformed Ebonyi state; he has transformed our psychology; the way we think and feel about ourselves have all changed under the leadership of Governor Umahi. It is the responsibility of every Ebonyian to support him in whatever way he or she can. That is what I am here to do because we should not leave everything for the Governor who is but one person". Onwe empowered each of ten young poultry farmers with a financial grant of one hundred thousand naira, and each member of another group of ten young traders with financial grants of fifty thousand naira. He promised an additional financial support of one hundred thousand naira to each of the 20 young men upon proof of diligent commitment to their respective farms or businesses after an appraisal tour which would hold in six months' time. The commissioner explained that his aim was to grow the 20 youths into young millionaires before the end of 2019. The people applauded this rare-breed charity-worker in waft-piercing decibels. Before the applause died down, Onwe took one thoughtful look at the hut which served as shelter at the cradle of the great people of Echara Nkpoke and was dissatisfied. He halted the applause and promised to construct a befitting modern cultural center before 2018 would run out in place of that lilliputian hut. Onwe went on to nominate the former commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters in Ebonyi state who is presently the secretary of Ebonyi State Local Government Advisory Committee - Hon. Oke Oreke - as chairman of Echara Nkpoke Cultural Centre project committee. Onwe charged the committee to bring him the design and cost of the project in a week's time to enable him commence work on the project. Onwe concluded by donating princely sums of money to the elders, the women, the council of village heads and youths who were not part of the 20 young people who had benefited from the empowerment programmes. Those pronouncements of Onwe sparked off intense excitement among the people of Ndufu Echara and they demonstrated it through chants, cultural displays, edifying comments and in every way known to mankind. The joy that Senator Emmanuel Uzor Onwe brought to his people of Ndufu Echara was so great and contagious that it spread to onlookers and visitors who were not from the community!

In appreciation for all the great gestures of their son, the elders of Ndufu Echara blessed Senator Onwe and prayed God to continue to protect and promote him and Governor David Nweze Umahi; and vowed to further accentuate their electoral culture of voting for the Peoples Democratic Party in the approaching 2019 general elections. In their separate speeches, Hon Oke Oreke and Mrs. Mary Orogwu who doubled as the councillor of Ndufu Echara ward and Deputy leader of Ikwo L.G.A. legislative council expressed hearty thanks for Senator Onwe who, they recalled, had given scholarships to over 200 undergraduates of Echara Nkpoke; single-handedly taken up the construction of the 25 kilometer Omege - Agubata road, distributed fertilizers free to farmers among other development programmes for the community. They called on other elected and appointed stakeholders in Governor Umahi's administration to emulate Onwe's beneficent lifestyle which, apart from its many positive implications for the society, they insisted was the most efficient method of building and strengthening the support-base for the second term project of Governor David Umahi.