Sen.Tony Agbo Pens Down Emotional Letter To Ohaukwu Youths

The Former Senator who Represented Ebonyi North in the 6th Assembly, and Representative of the South East in ICPC Sen. Anthony Oduma Agbo  has poured out his heart in an open letter he wrote to Ohaukwu youths.

The letter tagged REMINISCENCES ON SOME PAST EVENTS captured act of bravery he showcased as a young Ngbo man fighting for the liberation of his people.

He wrote:

“It was my dear brother and bosom friend, Elder Samuel Ebenyi who not long ago sent me a message reminding me that this year marks the 36th anniversary of our fight in Okwo Ngbo that ended the regime of foreigners in Ohaukwu LGA, in Okwo market and other markets all over Ohaukwu, and which also led to my first test of prison walls over Ngbo interest.

The market Master in charge of Okwo Ngbo that time was an Nnewi man by name, Mr Manafa ( I’ve forgotten his first name ). He had a full building as his office ( market master’s office ), opposite the garage at the point Emezaka road joined the major road that disected Okwo market. A huge, fair, cultured and fearful man that looks wealthy too. At that time, the market master was far more feared and respected even more than as people do to LG Chairmen, commissioners and eve national Assembly members today.

The Ngbo clan we met as young men when we were growing up was far different from the Ngbo the young people of today met. Ngbo clan then was less backward and less developed than a medieval enclave, with virtually no element of civilization; no road, no electricity, no Sec.Schools, no bore hole water, no cars, no motorcycles, etc. To travel from Ezzamgbo junction to Okwo that time will take nearly 2 hours due to the nature of the road. None of the roads that pass through the 8 autonomous communities of Ngbo that time could pass even a bicycle as they are dragged by hand for the greater length of the road, which were just foot paths. Okwo market that time was surrounded by thick forests, that were punctuated with various Ndulo play grounds and few residences of the elderly Ngbo people of every kindred in Ngbo that use to live around the play grounds.

Coming to Okwo in Okwo market days was a nightmare for Ngbo taxable adults that time because the Local Govt officials who were mainly foreigners will chase them through the hash thickets of the heavy forests surrounding Okwo in order to get them pay their taxes or to extract bribes from them. Women, young and old also were not spared as even the tiniest basket of vegetables which an old widow brought to the market must be levied.

I was a University student that time, about 22 years of age. Same were my colleagues, the most patriotic generation modern Ngbo nation will ever know. I was also then serving as the President of Ngbo Students and ex-students Union, leading a body of young people who each one of them was more intelligent than me; but one thing was common to all of us; extraordinary love for Ngbo and boundless sacrificial spirit and disposition to Ngbo affairs ; Anthony Agbo, Justice Ogbuinya, Hon Ben Omogo, Elder Samuel Ebenyi, Dr Peter Anyigor Okorie, Prof Sam Eze, Engr Silas Ugadu, Hon Eze Nwaeze, Bar Ituma Ede, Chief Simon Onwe ( Merume ), Elder Nworji Oke, and a few others. Our patriotism that time was so remarkable that my executives usually travel all the way from Ngbo to UNN, when school was in session to meet with me in my hostel that time ( Mbanefo Hall ) for us to hold meetings and plan how we can pursue Ngbo affairs. And we really changed the trajectory of Ngbo stagnated development direction then.

On this fateful Okwo day, which was Muslim holiday of idel Malud, myself and Elder Samuel Ebenyi walked boldly into the market master’s office and dragged the market master, Mr Manafa out of his office unto the junction opposite the market master’s office. ( We had severally sent warnings over their harsh treatment of our people to no avail) . Other Local Govt officials that were with him were shocked and frightened, watching in extreme unbelief. Ngbo people who were in the market ran away to a distance and stood in crowds watching us in unbelief. The market was full. Every body was in shock, and unbelief because, compared to today, it was like ordinary people going to arrest a Governor. The untouchable has been touched. Above all, we were under a military regime that time. The Local Gov Chairman was a foreigner. We started beating the man, Mr Manafa, untill he became unconcious and we left him. The next day, we were arrested and thrown into prison. Several days after, we were released and forced to sign undertaking that we will never trouble the Local Govt administration again. But 3 days after our release, I gathered members of my executive and preceded to Radio House in Enugu, the then Anambra Broadcasting Service, the only radio house then. There, we nerrated all the evil things the Chairman ( Sole Administrator ) and his officials were doing to Ngbo people. People feared that the Army will incarcerate us for the terrible things we said in the radio, but surprisingly, the Military Administrator gave the Sole Administrator/Chairman query over the things we said.

After these incidents, Manafa never came to Okwo again as a market master. Instead he worked a transfer and left Ohaukwu, and the first indeginous market master of Okwo was appointed, who was from Amoffia, the father Inlaw of Dr Peter Okorie. And our men and women began to enjoy Okwo market without harassment. This was not the only time I personally went to prison for Ngbo course.

The patriotism and sacrifice of our generation was unprecedented. And remarkably, they were not asking any body for any thing or depending on any body to do any thing.

In 1992, as a young man in my twenties, I approached the Directorate of Roads, Foods and Rural Infrastructure, DIFRI, with office then in Okpara Avenue in Enugu and told the director that I will not leave his office unless he assigned somebody to follow me to come and see the kind of roads we have. After several hours, I was asked to come the next day. I went the next day and one officer was given to me to go and see the road. DIFRI was doing only rural roads. I took him to Umuogudu Akpu Road. We could’nt reach Nwachi ( Ecumenical Sec Chl today ) and the man insisted he cannot go again. The road was so terrible that even to go by foot was terrible. When you’re passing through Nkwolu River and Ituma River that time, you must engage yourself in inner prayers, based on the kind of cross over woods in those rivers in which a lot of people, particularly drunken people perished by falling down unto the floor of the river beds in trying to cross them during rainy seasons. With follow up pressure after this visit, DIFRI awarded a contract to one Mr Godwin Ogbuagu, from Okposhi, the first Ngbo contractor who constructed about 28 culverts along Umuogudu Akpu Roads plus grading of the roads. After this, motorcycles and motor vehicles started plying our road. But DIFRI refused to do the Nkwolu and Ituma bridges, insisting that they were beyond their scope. But we did not rest, untill later I got a subsequent government to do them. Today, people pass Nkwolu and Ituma rivers without knowing that they are crossing bridges. It was a nightmare in our time.

As I was on these matters, so also were my colleagues whom I mentioned above in similar struggles in their own communities, plus the joint battles we were fighting together to the overall development of Ngbo.

Compared to what Ngbo was when we were youths, the Ngbo of today, which our generation contributed much, in addition to the noble efforts of our late leader, Ambassador Icha Ituma to achieve is like New York, London or Dubai.

This is just a tiny spec, a small funny story out of the mountain of efforts which my own generation that are called leaders today undertook to bring Ngbo to the stage it is today.

When the youths we have today, in their thirtys and fortys sit with their phones to castigate these leaders, and query why they are not coming to fight over clashes between Barrow pushers and lawless and selfish revenue collectors in Okwo market, who also are our own brothers, Or on issues relating to helping or not helping people, I look with utmost pity at the tragedy of our situation. People who at your age had already accomplished great things and have continued to do same till date. Somebody who does’nt have any record yet takes it as a daily task to castigate and condemn leaders, maybe as a way of blackmailing them to rush and help him. Pity! This has not been directed at me personally but I frown at it. Criticism is good but you need to know very well the person you’re condeming, what he has done and things he has not done with opportunities he had.

Before you go out to attack or radically comment on your leaders, you need to know the history of such people, their antecedents. You can get to know such people by asking others older than you, including your parents. As a young person, you may not know that there is something you may say about God’s anointed leaders and it becomes a snare to you spiritually, even if the very person you spoke about is not aware. That is why wisdom is of essence for a young person. You don’t even know whether the person you’re talking about may have contributed to your school fees when you were going to school. Parents who are hard up at a material time go to these leaders to help them over their children school fees, health issues or other things. Men generally have ego. If I get help from somebody to make up my Children school fees, as a man I may not deem it good for my ego to announce it to my children so as to protect my ego. That’s the way men are.

I urge our youths to make friend with wisdom at all times, and the first test of wisdom is from what you say.

May all our youths be blessed, in Jesus Christ Name”.

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