Reviving the Spirit of Selfless Service and Teamwork

Ascension High School, Nchia Eleme

On Sunday, 15th November 2021 the Punch Newspaper quoted the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi to have single-handedly sponsored 200 indigent students to study courses of their choice during his service as Chancellor of Usman Dan Fodio University, formally known as Sokoto State University. 

In October 2021 it was reported that the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, donated N4 billion to complete the ongoing construction of the Koko-Ogheye Road Project in Warri-North Council Area, Delta State. Although the administrative officer of the palace had denied yet is not unknown that the Monarch has a large heart, and he is willing to support the development of his Kingdom.

Similarly, 3D Multimedia was quoted on 27th October 2021 that His Majesty, King Dr. Edward Asimini Williams Dappa Pepple lll CON, Perekule Xl, Natural Ruler and Amanyanabo of Bonny Kingdom, through the Bonny Kingdom Education Trust Fund (BKETF), headed by Prof. Edward I. Banigo, paid the fees of Bonny Law students admitted to the Nigeria Law School for 2021 academic session.

In Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers of State Royal Highness Emere Amb. Dr. Appolus Chu, the Egbere Emere Okori of Eleme Kingdom has for several years running been offering a scholarship to Eleme students in the Nigeria Law School across the country.

Just recently, His Majesty, Emere Dr. Philip Osaro Obele JP Oneh Eh Eleme XI and Chairman, Supreme Council of Eleme Traditional Rulers and Elders offered the Youth Business School, YBS in Eleme accommodation for the training of graduates not limited to Eleme indigenes but across the country in entrepreneurial skills, an initiative of Sir Joseph Obele Ph.D. The Oneh Eh Eleme XI had earlier championed the founding of Community Secondary School, Aleto. Since then, students of the college have been doing Eleme people proud as have for several years running been winning laurels in different competitions across the country.

His Royal Highness Emere Sir Godwin Bebe Okpabi JP Oneh Eh Nchia X also, spearheaded the founding of Community Secondary School, Ogale.

At a time when the scriptures warns that Kings would take ownership of communal and individual assets, some traditional rulers particularly those in Eleme land are busy building the community for the benefit of all.

“These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and be his horsemen to run before his chariots, and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest and make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. (1 Sam. 8:10-17).”

These laudable efforts of these current traditional rulers to memory the reign of HRH Emere Walter Gbute Ngegwe Oneh Eh Eleme VIII, the father of modern Eleme who rallied Eleme people, adult male and female to contribute funds with which Justice Solomon Wai-Ogosu sponsored to study law in the United Kingdom. He also, negotiated scholarship with the Catholics having encouraged and led his people of Ogale to donate massive land to the Church for their missionary work.

His Majesty, Emere Ngei Aaron Oluka Ngei JP, Oneh Eh Eleme IX through a self-help scheme had mobilized his people and inaugurated Community Secondary School, Alesa and Eleme Water Production, Treatment and Distribution Company for his people of Alesa, a project which was later taken up and expanded to the whole of Ogale, Agbonchia, Aleto, Alesa, Alode and up to Ebubu.

His Majesty, Emere Dr. Samuel Oluka Ejire JP, Oneh Eh Eleme X facilitated the prompt payment of about 3 billion naira for the 7.5% shares offered on sale to Indorama EPCL host communities by the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE and offered his Palace to the Anglican Communion for the worship of the Almighty.

Eleme people have always collaborated to solve their common problems for instance in the colonial days, Eleme people were known as Mbolli but through the instrumentality of the Self Denial Society, Eleme people in unity resisted that strange name and in 1940, that name was reversed to her true name Eleme – I’m Favoured. Indeed, Eleme people are favoured people and this same Self Denial Society, ensured Eleme people returned from partly living on the farm and fully into the community and picketing children of school age to enroll in schools across the land.

That spirit of collaboration was what motivated the Alode pathfinders, to embark on adventure with their lives on line as they navigated through the high sea down to Bonny, only to return as light bearers introducing Christianity and Western Education in the entire Eleme.

That little light of yester years has over the years strengthened communal spirit among the people of Eleme and today, the people of Ebubu, Alode and Akpajo have collectively tasked themselves and established Community Secondary Schools in their various communities. In fact, Alode has new female school now, the very first in Eleme and in the coming days Ogale may reinvent a male school since Ascension High School is now co-educational. It is on record that community technical school is being built in Agbonchia.

Another prominent Eleme body of Scholars, the Asoo Ogale has over the years been offering a scholarship to well-deserving Eleme students.

This Eleme culture of working as a team has fast-tracked development and advancement in the land although a few have failed to adequately utilize their opportunities to develop human and material resources and indeed the community.

How can we forget that Sir M. Y. Oguru made immeasurable contributions to advance the number of graduates in the land? How can we forget so soon the contributions of Prof. Israel Owate who ensured that our qualified students were not denied their scholarship positions by the Rivers State scholarship board? How can we forget that Elder Gomba Osarollor facilitated the establishment of the Equatorial Guineas Returnees Camp at Ogale and Ebubu and many people worked in that farm to earn a living? Have we forgotten too Dr. Friday Osaro Nwator OON., Emere Obo Ngofa, Mr. Oluka Ngei, Emerengwe O. O. Ngofa, Pastor S. J. Okochi, Emere Sir Festus Ngochindo, Prof. Raphael Ngochindo, Emere Isaac Gomba Chu, Emere C. C. Okpa, Engr. J. J. Wai, Emere Godwin Chuma Chu, Archbishop I. C. O. Kattey, Prof. N. E. S. Lale, HM, Emere Nkpornwi, HRH Emere Hon. Dr. Osaronu JP, Archbishop Moses Kattey, Mr. Oluka Ngei, HRH Emere Engr. Paul Obelley, Elder Samuel Osaro, Prof. Emmanuel N. Amadi, Rev. Okundo, Archbishop Moses Kattey, Rev. Olaka Notbari Olaka, Emere Lawrence Osaro Oyor, Elder Gershon Osaro, Elder Ngulube E. Ngulube, Mr. Halliday O. Ngegwe, Emere Precious Ngelale, and their immense contributions and the respect they brought and bring to Eleme land?

Eleme is blessed with Sen. Olaka Nwogu, Barr. Joseph Obari, Emere Hon. Obarlomate Ollor, Sir Dr. Obianko Nwolu Elechi, Hon. Aforji Igwe, Rev. Engr. Ezekiel Osarolube, Elder Jerry Dee Olaka, Deacon Obele Chu, Hon. Marcus Nle Ejii, Mr. Ajuri Ngelale, Hon. Josiah Olu Elder John Abbey, Elder Emmanuel Chu, Emere Obo Obaa, Dr. Benjamin Osaro, Dr. Nwokolu Dimkpa Nte, Sir Abel Olaka, H. E. Emere Amb. Oji Ngofa, Emere Hon. Obarilomate Ollor JP, Hon. Isaac Kamalu, Dr. Abraham Olungwe, Emere Gomba Okanje, Archbishop Lizzy Paul Obelley, Justice Emere Godwin Ollor, Justice Teetitoo JP, Emere Friday Okpa, Mr. Promise Gomba, Mr. Fortune Oguru, Mr. Walter G. G. Ngegwe, Bishop Dr. Osaronu, Mr. Kendrick Oluka Ejire, Emere Elder Israel Abbey, Mr. Johnson Igwe Chujor, Mr. Dominic Nwator, Mbie Osarollor, Mr. Hope Igwe and Emere Joe Obarichinwi who are at present our shining stars.

One of the current challenges of this time is unity and one of the ways to achieve unity is to close the gap between the haves and the haves not, between the literate and the illiterates, and of course between the working class and the unemployed. This recalls the need to initiate a community radio project which will serve as a unifying medium like the ancient playground where Ebiri Ewinwin Eleme was showcased to the world. This radio station, Eleme City Radio can promote literacy, promoting our rich cultural heritage, ethics and embarking on a massive save our environment campaign as well as broadcasting in Eleme Language.

Eleme City Radio will create employment and build capacity for both arts and science as it will employ communicators, engineers, technicians, and other auxiliary staff. This will sharpen skills and make our sons and daughters more employable in bigger media firms as ambassadors of Eleme and as it was in the time of HRH Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi who employed a lot of school leavers into the State Fire Service but today are graduates and doing exploits in various firms. Eleme City Radio will encourage Eleme musicians to do more, and it will inspire creativity in younger ones. Topics on business, health and career choice shall be treated in a demystified manner for an improved standard of living as Eleme sons and daughters shall be invited to handle topics to bring development.

The question now is “Is Eleme Ready for a Community Radio Station?” Assuming the answer is yes to the call for the setting up of Eleme City Radio, ECR! Who funds it? Is it possible to ask the Eleme Legislative Arm to pass a bylaw that makes it possible that Indorama EPCL host communities to remit a fraction of their money say 0.5% or even less of their dividends and of course Ejamah, oil-producing communities of Ogale and Ebubu while the Eleme Local Government Authorities leverage on their governance structure to facilitate a license and provide accommodation for its kickoff at Ogale?

If the corporate bodies in Eleme are appealed to support this project will it be out of place? If men and women of integrity are constituted as governing board and signatories to this project and an app is developed for fund-raising, will you make history by donating to pursue this cause?

Your ideas and inputs are needed for the proper formulation of policies to avoid interference and undue influence from indigenous partisan politicians.

There is an urgent need to constitute committees on a non-profit basis akin to Eleme Bible Society, embark on community mobilization and sensitization and formulate an all-inclusive policy for the realization of this set goal and the time in now.