2019: A PHENOMENAL YEAR FOR HIGH CHIEF ENGR. JOHNBOSCO ONUNKWO
By Kingsley Ogugua
In 2019, one name had continued to resonate and reverberate across political lines, social circles, capacity buildings, rural health care delivery, social work and of course in academic institutions. The name High Chief Engr. Johnbosco Onunkwo had invaded the state by storm following the great humanitarian activities of his foundation, the Johnbosco Onunkwo Foundation.
Engr. Onunkwo is a native of Umuchu in Aguata Local Government Council Area of the state, a major player in the Oil and Gas sector and based in Port Harcourt, Rivers state where he work as Rotational Equipment Engineer with AGIP Oil Company. The mention of major stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress in Anambra state cannot be complete without a mention of High Chief Onunkwo. In fact, he is seen as a shining light in the party.
Engr. Johnbosco Onunkwo through his Foundation won plethora of awards in 2019 owing to his humanitarian gestures which criss-crosses the length and breadth of the state. The foundation in 2018 kick-started what it termed “Free Medical Care ” where the 14 towns in Aguata Council areas were visited. With the high cost of medical care and the concentration of High-tech medical services in the cities, the foundation thought it wise and pertinent to not only bring the medical care to these rural dwellers who include ageing fathers and mothers but equally on a pro-bono basis.
The towns that benefitted from this noble gesture include in no particular order, Ekwulobia, Akpo, Achina, Uga, Igbo-Ukwu, Isuofia, Umuchu, Aguluezechukwu, Ezinifite, Ikenga, Amesi, Oraeri, Umuona and Nkpologwu.
From the statistics gathered, over 7000 rural dwellers benefitted from this all important exercise. Overwhelmed by the success recorded from these exercise and the clamour from neighbouring communities, Engr, Onunkwo decided to expand this noble gesture to Orumba North and South. On completion of this exercise in December, this young benefactor decided to take the humanitarian gesture to all the Local Government Areas in the state in 2020.
To crown it all, Engr. Onunkwo commenced the construction of a primary health care for his community. This project will be commissioned and handed over in few months time.
Worried over the unemployment rate in the state, Engr. Onunkwo organized the largest human capacity building workshop in the state where over 3000 young men and women were in attendance. The event tagged “The New Conversation” had professionals in the Agricultural sector, the Information and Communication Technology sector, among other wealth creating sectors who drilled the participants on money making ventures in their various fields.
Addressing participants, Engr. Onunkwo maintained that the era of white collar jobs is fast winding up, urging young people to embrace Agriculture, ICT and the creative economy. Some of the participants were empowered by the Johnbosco Onunkwo Foundation after the workshop.
Identifying the position of Academics in positioning and repositioning of young people and equally understanding the imperative of Research and Innovation, Engr. Onunkwo through his foundation made an endowment of 5 million naira in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka his alma mater in support of research. Sequel to this and responding to the cries of students of the varsity, Engr. Onunkwo embarked on the construction of a multi-million naira Ultra-modern Bus station befitting of the great University. The project which commenced in November is expected to be commissioned in few weeks’ time.
The Foundation also partnered with the Students Union Government of the institution in organizing a Transport workshop for students and drivers within the campus to avert incidence of road mishaps.
Equally appreciating the importance of sports as a means of relaxation and global visibility of any state or nation, High Chief Onunkwo on the request of the Amawbia City Sports Club is constructing an ultra-modern Premium court in Amawbia. This, when completed would not only serve as a training ground for future champions of the world, would equally serve for the hosting of global standard competitions in Lawn tennis. This is equally expected to be commissioned within the first quarter of 2020. Engr, Onunkwo has consistently financed the football tournaments in his community, Umuchu. As a sportsman himself, he is very optimistic that Anambra state would in no distant time significantly increase her sporting exports.
As a believer and lover of Education, Engr. Onunkwo through his foundation organized the “Back to School programme” where school bags, textbooks and writing materials were distributed to many primary schools in the state. Engr. Onunkwo strongly believes that the greatest gift a parent can give to his child(ren) is Education hence his resolve to assist indigent parents by sponsoring their wards to school. A lot of students across different levels of academic pursuit are in his scholarship board.
As a promoter of Health, Safety and Environment maintenance culture, Engr. Onunkwo was one of the early callers at the ill-fated disaster at the Ochanja market where he donated 2million to the traders and 500,000 naira to the people at the hospital . Not satisfied yet, he, through his foundation procured fire extinguishers numbering up to 3000 for onward distribution to traders across major markets in the state. The first tranche of the distribution was done in Ochanja market in December.
The foundation equally trained the traders on the use of the
equipment. Addressing the traders, Engr. Onunkwo maintained that as individuals, “We must do our part while awaiting government’s intervention”.
Akaekpuchionwa as he’s fondly called has remained a beacon of hope and light to APC party faithfuls in the state. In his unresolved preaching on the need for Ndi Igbo to connect to the centre, Engr. Onunkwo’s love for the APC has never been questioned. His contributions in the party resonates across individuals’ interests. Remarkable is his gaint strides in various communities where he single handedly paid for the acquisition of ward party offices. About 9 of such offices were commissioned in December while others would be acquired and equally commissioned this 2020.
Not relenting in his quest to rekindle the hope among party members in the state, Engr. Onunkwo distributed bags of rice and cash gifts to party members during the Christmas period, a feat that has endeared him to many and had earned him the appellation, “APC Anambra’s beacon of light”.
As a man who strongly believes in the unity and progress of this nation, Engr. Onunkwo sponsored the Strongest State in Nigeria Reality Tv in which youths were drawn for 36 States of Nigeria include the FCT, camped in Samanka for 4months and taken good care of.this programme creatively and succinctly designed to identify, harness and nurture the various indigenous and significant attributes of our various states and ethnicities. Addressing the audience, Engr. Onunkwo said, “We are strongly assured that the SSN project will not only be a driving force towards the unity and togetherness as a nation but would equally be a platform for greater partnership among our youths across the Southern and Northern divides of this country.
Beyond religious and ethnic affiliations, lie a people imbued with uniqueness. It is our belief that we can unite if we look beyond our perceived differences. The fostering and sustenance of diversity and the drawing of the merits of its strengths should be something we would have to deliberately take seriously here in Nigeria.”
A man whose love for kingdom business knows no bounds, Engr. Onunkwo had in the year under focus distributed brand new cars and buses to clergymen and religious organizations. This according to him remains the password to success and long life.
The proverbial golden fish that has no hiding place appears to have taken its deep meaning in the life of High Chief Engr. Johnbosco Onunkwo as his recognitions, awards, chieftaincy titles were uncountable in the year 2019. Most significant among them was his investiture as the Grand Patron of the Ohanze Ndigbo Youth wing Worldwide owing to his unparalleled philanthropic gestures.
I am very optimistic that the year 2020 would be more eventful as Onwa through his foundation has laid out dimensions to go this year in his uncommon way of touching lives of Ndi Anambra. I leave you with his popular saying, “I am a Rotarian, A humanitarian, the new Conversation, I am the IFEDICHE”. Onye ana-ekwu maka ya nwelu ife o na-eme.
Ogugua, writes from Abuja.