Ohafia must rekindle communal spirit, speakers say at inaugural colloquium
Obu Ohafia, a socio-cultural organization of the Ohafia people of Abia State recently held its inaugural colloquium and dinner in Lagos with the purpose of fostering better relationship among sons and daughters of the clan.
Eminent personalities, including Ohafia sons, Dr. Uma Oke Eleazu, Chief Uche Uche Ohafia, Chief Uduma Olugu, Chief Okpa Ibe Okpa and a friend of Nde Ohafia, Peter Obi, who was the Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 general election were among those that graced the occasion, which was chaired by Chief Udy Kalu, a banker and financial expert.
Chief Paul Ochea Ibe, current president of Ohafia Improvement Union, Abuja branch, who delivered the first lecture at the event, urged Ohafia clan to embrace team spirit and reject the tendency of becoming their own worst enemies.
He said: “Our biggest challenge in Ohafia today is ourselves. Yes, ourselves. Please allow me to speak frankly on this. We have, too often been our own worst enemies. We have allowed ourselves to be divided. We have lost focus, we have lost sight of our biggest asset; a sense of unity, cohesion, and mutual support. We no longer have solidarity. Instead, we have fragmented so much as a people and that has made us forget how to work creatively with each other and together as a team.”
Chief Ibe said if Ohafia sons and daughters could build a sense of cohesion and common purpose, other problems including poor infrastructure in their communities, insecurity and political positioning could easily be solved.
Dr Nnezi Uduma-Olugu, a first class chartered architect and associate professor at the Department of Architecture, University of Lagos, delivered the second lecture entitled; ‘Ohafia first, Innovation and Creativity.’
She said the formation of Obu Ohafia was long overdue in reawakening the warrior spirit which the clan is known for. “When I was told of this group of successful Ohafia ‘warriors in the market place,’ who plan to come together to help each other, help others and help Ohafia, I was overjoyed. I said to myself, it is finally time – the right spirit of unity, teamwork and love can only birth great innovations and creativity.”
She urged the group to focus on the innovative and creative reawakening of the Ohafia people, the type that gave the people first in many areas – including producing the first Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Eni Njoku.
A panel of discussants later analysed the papers presented by Paul Ibe and Uduma-Olugu.
They called on Nde Ohafia in walks of life to work towards the general development of the community in the areas of information and technology, arts, education, and skills development.
They charged Ohafia sons and daughters to encourage the young ones to embrace public service as well.
In his remarks, the president of OBU Ohafia, Chief Nnanna Ajike said Obu Ohafia had come to stay and it was not in rivalry with other such groups in Ohafia but was only complimentary towards a better community.
He said it was only one of the vehicles aimed at harnessing the multitude of talents in Ohafia community for the overall good of Ohafia, Abia State and Nigeria in general.
The Chairman of the event, Chief Udy Kalu expressed optimism that Obu Ohafia had started with the right footing and encouraged the members to work as a team with a common purpose to make the difference.
For his part, the Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi who graced the occasion thanked Ohafia people for their industry and resourcefulness in all communities where they found themselves. He urged them to always live in peace with their neighbours and reminded them of the need to remember their families in their community back home.
Peter Obi called on Nigerians to join hands in ensuring good governance and ask questions from their political leaders.
He said government must be made to be accountable to the people at all time.
The Chairman of the organizing committee of the Obu Ohafia inaugural committee, Chief Peter Okwara, said Obu Ohafia had put together the conversation through the colloquium to bring on board all well meaning Ohafians to join in building the new political economy of Ohafia.
The high point of the inaugural colloquium was the formal presentation of the constitution of OBU OHAFIA Association.