By Ifeanyi Maduako.
Last Tuesday, August 17, 2021, the Honourable member representing Ikeduru State Constituency at the Imo State House of Assembly, Ambassador Uche Ogbuagu, celebrated his forty-eight birthday.
The good will messages from the poor, the downtrodden and even from the high and mighty were torrential and effusive.
Nigerians, especially Imolites from all walks of life trooped out en masse to celebrate a quintessential and exceptional lawmaker.
Those who could not travel to his country home at Akabo due to some exigencies rained goodwill prayers on the celebrant.
They thanked God for creating and preserving a man like Uche Ogbuagu. They thanked God for guiding and guarding Uche Ogbuagu from his first day of birth till this very day. They also prayed that God should preserve and multiply his years on earth, for the benefits of mankind and Heaven as well.
Hon. Uche Ogbuagu’s life is a study on what handwork and grace of God can do in the life of the chosen and the anointed of God. Ogbuagu, roughly translated in English, means the killer of Lion. Uche Ogbuagu has metaphorically killed many lions in his relatively young life so far on earth.
He had killed the lion which was represented by poverty. He had killed the lion represented by ignorance and illiteracy by training himself up to tertiary education.
He killed the lion of fear by venturing into the shark-infested and murky waters of politics. If the dead could see what happens in the land of the living, Uche Ogbuagu’s parents would be very proud of their son and the impacts he has been making on humanity.
Uche Ogbuagu has killed many lions which space and time cannot allow me to enumerate on this piece. Uche Ogbuagu rose from the ranks of the hoi-polloi to the tables of the rich in this world and started dinning with them having washed his hands clean.
Uche Ogbuagu’s parents sojourned at Aba, present Abia State. At a point when the parents couldn’t renew their house rent, the inconsiderate landlord drove them out of his house. The very young Uche Ogbuagu and his parents had to take refuge in an abandoned warehouse as there was nothing they could do. No help was coming from any quarters. His father was a cobbler while his mother was a petty trader. Uche Ogbuagu himself was surviving by hawking in all nooks and crannies of Aba.
From his personal narrative, they slept in the warehouse for quite some time amidst, perhaps reptiles and rodents dragging space and accommodation with them. During the day, his parents would go for their daily activities. At night, they would all recoil back to the warehouse to lay their heads.
Everybody knows how the entrance (or door) of a warehouse looks like; you draw the aluminum-like cover from up to down. A warehouse is usually without windows, so what Uche Ogbuagu’s parents usually did was to leave a little space at the entrance for them to breathe air. That gave rodents, free entry and free exit at nights with the attendant disturbance and frightening they exacted on the young mind of then very young Uche Ogbuagu.
Even though then very young Uche Ogbuagu slept on the bench while his parents slept on the bare floor, the trauma the presence of the rodents and cats caused him took a look time to leave his young mind.
It is also worthy of note to thank God Almighty for taking away the attention of the enemy while the Ogbuagus slept at the warehouse. Just imagine what could have happened if an enemy had tip-toed, clandestinely and surreptitiously closed the warehouse while the Ogbuagus were deep asleep? They could have suffocated for lack of air. The world could have missed a man like Uche Ogbuagu long time ago.
Uche Ogbuagu is a man whose upbringing and fear of God guide his life style. He had seen abject poverty. He has also seen the riches and blessings of God Almighty. Uche Ogbuagu is a man who refuses to forget his days of little or humble beginnings. And that is why he takes the plight of the poor, the downtrodden, the aged, the hoi-polloi and the dregs of the society as a very serious concern.
Some people who had similar poor background experience like Uche Ogbuagu that finally become rich easily forget their past history. They want others to undergo the same level of suffering they had or even worse.
For Uche Ogbuagu, no human being should undergo the kind of suffering his late parents had even though he doesn’t encourage laziness on the part of anyone. I can count many so-called philanthropists who started their charity foundations primarily and purposely for political purposes.
Immediately after elections, these fake philanthropists closed their foundations whether they lost the election or won.
Uche Ogbuagu is not among these deceptive philanthropists. He began his philanthropic gesture well over a decade even before he ventured into politics. He won his election and the foundations are still running.
Uche Ogbuagu still has a lot to do for humanity What he has done so far is a minute percentage of what God has destined him to do in future. What he faces at the moment could be likened as a battle between light and darkness. Uche Ogbuagu is an ambassador of light.
My prayer is that his 50th birthday should be celebrated when he will become a member of the House of Representatives by the grace of God.
His golden jubilee celebration as a member of the green chamber ga adi egwu. I wish him a happy birthday and many happy returns.
Maduako, writes from Owerri (08061562735).