The Lagos branch of Awba-Ofemili Development Union (ADU) has launched a N100m fund for a multi-purpose civic centre, just as call went out for building of institutions than individuals for the town to thrive.
The Chairman of ADU Lagos, Remmy Chuks Nweke, disclosed this in his address to the branch’s maiden award and civic centre fundraising held Saturday at the Welcome Centre Hotels, International Airport Road, Lagos, calling for strong institutions rather than individuals to pave the way for peace and development to flourish.
Nweke also said that the launch of N100m fund for the civic centre is important and strategic, as “it marks the beginning of a journey to a stronger socio economic base for our dear Union in Lagos.”
ADU Lagos, he said, conceived the idea of a multipurpose civic center, to serve as a focal point for the community gathering with facilities for indoor sporting events, theaters, concerts and shopping centre.
“Specifically, the ADU Lagos Civic Centre building is estimated to cost about N100m for completion; which outside acting as ADU Lagos meeting point, will be an income generating venture through offer of services to the public by renting out its halls for events when completed. ADU members wishing to use the hall will benefit from a special discount package,” he assured.
The chairman, equally urged invited guests for support to achieve this goal, “please donate generously and you’ll be richly blessed. God loves a cheerful giver.”
Additionally, he disclosed that a given percentage of the fund raised will be set aside for women empowerment, especially for widows in the town and specifically those who may have links with ADU Lagos.
He recalled that Awba-Ofemili indigenes have been in Lagos for over 40 years and deserved to have a meeting point of their own, reiterating that what the town needs urgently is not necessarily strong men or women, but strong institutions in Awba-Ofemili to prosper.
“What Awba-Ofemili urgently needs are accountable individuals and institutions, which focus should be to support good governance and ensure that dissenting voices are heard; to ensure equal administration of justice for all Ndi Awba-Ofemili; civic participation, so that our young people get involved,” Nweke declared.
The fundraise, chairman said, offered a great opportunity to recognise and honour great men and women who laid the foundation for ADU Lagos.
“We had great men like Chief Alex Chidebe (Mayor n’Awba-Ofemili) and wife, Mama Agnes Chidebe, Chief Peter Chidebe (NkeOnadi) and wife, Mrs Rose Chidebe and later Chief Charles Ifesike and wife, Mrs. Theresa Ifesike. These are of blessed memory,” he said, with a minute silent observed for all the heroes of the town departed.
Women participation in town union development, he said, cannot be over emphasised, and enjoined all ADU men to encourage their wives to socialize with ADU Women Wing, considering that it is only what the women know they can teach their children, especially the Awba-Ofemili culture and tradition.
He commended the leadership of ADU Women Lagos led by Mrs Nkem Nweke, vice chairperson Mrs Gift Nebeani, and supported by the Mother of the day, Lolo Gloria Chidebe, among others.
The father of the day, Ide Awba-Ofemili, Chief Benard Chidebe, said that the first indigene of the town came to Lagos in 1945 in the name of Col. Joseph Chidebe and ever since, Lagos has been a home to them, urging ADU members to remain law-abiding as they strive for success in their worthy endeavours.
Awba-Ofemili, he further said, is an agrarian community reputed for its quality rice production and fishery in Awka-North Local Government Area of Anambra State and is a border town between Anambra and Enugu States.
A total of 36 indigenes of Awba-Ofemili both home and abroad as well as some friends of the town were honoured at the occasion including the chairman, Fidwax Group, Chief Fidelis Nweke, who was the chief launcher as well as the Transition Chairman, Awka-North Local Government Area, Hon. Ferdinard Onwuje; Chief Dr. Nnamdi Okafor, CEO, Edinho Limited; and Mr. Benard Nebeani, to name but a few.
Over 86 indigenes were also presented with their certificates of membership by the leadership of ADU Lagos.