Chief Eke Kalu Uwaoma and his contemporary, Nna Awa Ugbunta (Alias Banigo) through their itinerant status had become increasingly enlightened than the rest of the Community advised the then village head (Chief Imaga Agwunsi) and the elders on the need to establish a Christian Mission Church and School in Ohafia. The advice was heeded and a strongly worded petition was sent through Rev. John Rankin in Arochukwu to the Calabar. As a result, Ohafia was freed from the manacle of ignorance, disease, and polytheism through the establishment of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria and Central School in Elu Ohafia.
To elucidate these facts, our forefathers were devoid of insouciant tendencies and treachery of any guise. Rather, their main focus was the maintaining of their status quo via Love, Unity, and Peace. They surmounted all obstacles and thereby bequeathing a permanent home garnished with arable land, good rainforest and above all, human and material resources.
Without any equivocation, the preponderant vision and mission that our forefathers left on the sands of time had tampered. Thomas Fuller once said. “Let him who expects one class of society to prosper in the highest degree while the other is in distress try whether one side of the face can simile while the other is pinched”. I think the addendum to the phrase above is a clear pointer for us not to allow the political bigots and shenanigans hijack the psyche and polity of Ohafia.
However for us to reap genuine dividends of democracy from the government of the day in Nigeria is for us to repel acrimony, rancor, brinkmanship or horse-trading of any guise by our brothers and sisters in corridors of power “Umua anyi ni – ni, Onye awani ya re aniga adia-agbasakwa”. (a person sold as a slave by his own brother is difficult to be redeemed). The only visible negative gains would be Chagrin, Pariah, and Forlornness. In all ramifications, experience had shown that this ugly development had brought us nothing but retrogression. An adage can be used to depict these facts. “When to Elephants fight; it is the grass that suffers”.
Therefore, it is high time we went back to the bases so as to guard jealousy what our for-fathers and Ohafia intelligentsia like professors Kalu Ezera, Eni Njoku, Eme Awa, U.U. Uche. Others are Mr. Awa Agbai Ngwobia, Elder Kalu U. Kalu, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, and Honorable Justices A.K. Uche and K.O. Anya etc. these erudite scholars were guided by integrity, humility, kindness and without intellectual or political arrogance. Still, their call to Public Service brought hallmark achievements to Ohafia. These resource persons were potted in their attitude and they rendered their services to Ohafia and humanity in general without garrulity and they won garlands for themselves.
Finally, Prof. Chinua Achebe once said: “An intellectual is a thinker or visionary with or without a college education”. Let us retrace our steps by rekindling that spirit of oneness, Unity, Peace, and Love. So that the past glories of “Mben’ would not be in vain; for their names are all written in the annals of history. For “You will be remembered for two things. The problem you solved or the ones you create” (Mike Murdock).
Ofuri Ishi, Unu mara kwa si “Onye garaniya agba ikpu, ekperi nmia Nna ya”.
Owudulu si unu cho ha anyi gi “Mben” diri elege Nkoko Ogoni”?.
UNITY, PEACE, AND LOVE IN OHAFIA HAD BEING OUR STRENGTH!
By – Negro Chukwuma Uma