By Stanley Okehie
Sir Fidel Onyeneke has charged Nigerian youths to emulate Chief Anthony Akuwuigwe, an octogenarian and traditional Prime Minister of Okuku Autonomous Community, Owerri West Local Government Council, who wrote a book about himself.
Onyeneke gave the charge during the presentation and launch of the book, “My Journey So Far” held at De Range Hotel, World Bank, Owerri, weekend.
According to him, the only way one can contribute to the development of the society is by converting personal knowledge to public knowledge.
“For those of us who are younger, we must emulate Chief Akuwuigwe. Let’s see him as our role model and learn the fact that we must document all our experience in life. That is the only way we can transfer our knowledge to the generations yet unborn.”
Onyeneke who chaired the occasion, remarked that the author made sacrifices in order to develop his community and for the good of the society.
Responding to questions on the author’s experience during the Civil war, Onyeneke was emphatic when he said that “war is never a solution to any problem” and advocated for peaceful methods to resolving issues.
The former Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Imo State Council was also of the view that through peace, unity and harmonious co-existence, Nigeria will be a better place for citizens, and harped on the need for tolerance for one another.
The Book Reviewer and Professor of Christian Education, Rev. Prof. Nnochiri Uchendu explained that the book contained eight chapters and 105 pages.
He said the author’s good sense of patriotism and resourcefulness started manifesting from his early life, adding that the author did not allow his dwarfed educational attainment blur his vision and thirst for success.
He said the author was more interested in what he would do for his people than what his people will do for him, advising that political participation is part of life and must be done with selfless spirit.
Prof. Uchendu described the author as a social bridge builder and instrument God used to quench the troubles of Okuku Traditional Stool.
The author and Prime Minister of Okuku Autonomous Community, Chief Anthony Akuwuigwe said the book captured the story of his life and few things he did and some others he did not do for the good of his community.
Akuwuigwe popularly called Onowu, said his intention was to teach the younger generation that learning has no limit and that history when left undocumented can be easily distorted by some disgruntled and mischievous individuals in the society.
Prince Faith Iwuorisha, President of Catholic Men Organization, Owerri Archdiocese testified of the author’s transparent life style. He recalled the time the author was the financial secretary of the association for 10 years, during which period, he exhibited high sense of duty and honesty and was never found wanting.
Engr. C.O. Billy said he is a beneficiary of the author’s vast knowledge and experience and described him as a wise person one can draw inspiration from, any time, any day.
High Chief Charles Obieze commended the author for the patience in writing his autobiography and prayed God to give him strength and good health.
The event also featured the unveiling of the author’s life-size portrait.
Others who attended were Monsignor Augustine Oha who unveiled the book, HRM Eze Dr. George Ugorji – Eze of Umuguma and Chairman PCRC, Owerri West Chapter, High Chief Kingsley Nnadi – CEO of Unbreakable Associates Ltd.