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Ndi Ukpor Celebrate 2019 Ukpor Day Amidst Panegyrics and Fanfare

By Izunna Okafor
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Ukpor, the capital of Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State was agog over the weekend, as the community marked this year's edition of her annual her flagship events —the 2019 Ukpor Day.

The event which held at the Central School Field, Ukpor attracted great sons and daughters of Ukpor, and also featured presentation of Ukpor Special Award to some deserving indigenes of the community.

Speaking at the event (In his speech), the President General of Ukpor Improvement Union (U.I.U), Chief Emmanuel Nwachukwu disclosed that the event always accords them the opportunity to come together as a people, to interact and discuss how far they have fared over the year, as well as discuss the way forward, towards the progress and overall development of the community, and the well-being of her citizens.

While acknowledging that Ukpor was growing from being a village through semi-urban to urban area; Chief Nwachukwu highlighted some of the great feats and achievements recorded so far under his administration, which include: full restoration of electricity in the community; refurbishing and renaming of Nkwọ-Ọha to Ukpor Daily Market (UDM); construction of 2 blocks of 40 lock-up shops, 15 open shops with over 400 stalls and standard toilet facilities at the Afor Ukpor Market, through the State Government's Community Choose Your Project Initiative, among others.

On the Ukpor Special Award, the community helmsman, Nwachukwu further disclosed that it was the Union's initiative to recognize Ukpor indigenes who are breaking new grounds on different fields, including: business, public service, professional, academic, or entrepreneurial flank, and even at the international echelon; even as he congratulated the recipients and encouraged others to keep working hard, as it could be their turn next time.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Barr. Moses Okezie Okafor who is also a worthy son of Ukpor and aide to the Executive Governor of Kogi State, called on the people to always embrace peace and love one another, as no community, group or entity can develop or achieve any meaningful progress without peace and love.

On his own part, while presenting awards to some of the recipients; the Special Guest of Honour at the event, Major General Ben Ahanotu, who himself was the first and only Onye Ukpor to received the Ukpor Special Award in 2018 during (at) its inaugural edition, congratulated the fifteen 2019 recipients of the awards.

He encouraged the Ukporians in general to continue beating their drums well and louder in their respective areas of endeavours, even as he equally re-echoed the Akụ Ruo Ụlọ clarion call, on which he charged the people to always remember, identify with, and support the place where they came from.

The 2019 Ukpor Day, as usual, attracted the 54 villages of the community, and featured fund raising for capital projects in the community; presentation of Map of Ukpor, which was drawn by an illustrious son of the town —Mr. Ebuka Ujubuońu, as well as various forms of cultural displays, including masquerade, plus other side attractions and merriments which made the event eponymous and convivial indeed.

In a vote of thanks, the Chairman of the Planning Committee, 2019 Ukpor Day, Mr. Odili Ujubuońu appreciated the guests and Ndi Ukpor at large for eliciting time to honour the day, notwithstanding other activities that brim the season.

While thanking everyone who contributed in one way or the other towards the success of the event, Mr. Ujubuońu, a published author, also thanked the leadership of the town for giving him the opportunity to serve his people, even as he avowed the constant availability of his service to the community any time, any day.

The 2019 recipients of Ukpor Special Award include: Prof. Anthony Osita Igwegbe (the Chief Medical Director, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi); Mrs. Irene Ogoamaka Ochem [the Founder/CEO, African Women Innovative and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF)]; Dr. Henry Nkemadu [the Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC)]; Lady Chizor Malize [MD/Executive Officer, Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC)]; Chief Mike Ireka (Educationist/effective Community Leader); Chief (Sir) Simeon Arazu (Business Mogul); Bishop Goddy Okafor (President/Founder, Peculiar People's Ministries Int'l Inc.; Prince. Clement Nkem Eze-Umuokoli (Administrator, Business Mogul and Industrialist); Prince Gozie Martins Arinze (Entrepreneur).

Others are: Chief Celestine Emokai (Managing Director, Emcel Group); Chief Uzozie Oragwo (Managing Director, Zenco Group); Chief Chika Arinze, (Chairman/CEO Kirkwood Properties Ltd. & Kariz Motors Ltd.); Chief Gilbert Igweka (Managing Director, Crystal Wire Industries Ltd.); Mr. Kingsley Egwuh (Deputy Comptroller, Nigerian Customs); and Chief Owelle Greg Okafor (Chairman/CEO, Oris Group).

Among other guests, the 2019 event attracted the Traditional Ruler of Ukpor, H.R.M. Igwe Dr. Felix C.N. Onyimadu, the immediate past Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Barr. Rita Maduagwu; the Transition Committee Chairman for Nnewi South Local Government Area, Hon. Chieloka Okoye; and the member representing Nnewi South Constituency Two in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Johnbosco Akaegbobi.