Posted by A Special Correspondent | 19 December 2017 | 2,099 times
The posh Obi Wali International Conference Center, Port Harcourt, was stretched beyond capacity as people from all walks of life gathered on Saturday, December 16, 2017, to celebrate with the Rivers State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bro. Felix Amechi Obuah, on his birthday which was also used to unveil two books.
The books, authored by four academic doctors, are: ‘The Man Felix Amechi Obuah’ and ‘Life and Times of Elder Bethel Chukujindu Obuah 1931-2016’.
To underscore the significance of the event, Bro. Obuah had the honour to receive as one of his guests, the celebrated Imo State Commissioner for Happiness and Purpose Fulfillment, Mrs. Ogechi Ololo, albeit on representative capacity. Little wonder, it was no coincidence, as Obuah’s first name, Felix, means Happiness!
It was an assemblage of the movers and shakers of the PDP in the State, friends, relatives, well wishers and PDP Chairmen from the 36 State Chapters of the Party including Abuja, the nation’s capital.
From across the country, the low, high and mighty emptied into the Conference Center to rejoice with a man whose knack for philanthropy, has arguably been adjudged unparalleled.
Chaired by Senator Osinachukwu Ideozu, the occasion had Governor Nyesom Wike who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo as Special Guest; former Governors Peter Odili and Sir Celestine Omehia; with the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Ibani and his deputy, Hon. Marshall Uwom leading the State lawmakers.
Also present were present and former Caretaker Committee Chairmen from all 23 Local Government Areas of the State as well as former Local Government Chairmen.
Not left out of the epochal event were federal lawmakers from the State. They include Hon. Betty Apiafi, Hon. Boma Goodhead, Hon. Jerome Eke, Hon. Okechukwu Chinda and Hon. Uche Nnam-Obi.
The list of dignitaries also included Secretary to the Government, Hon. Kenneth Kobani, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Emmanuel Chinwe Aguma, SAN; Information Commissioner, Emma Okah; Environment Commissioner, Professor Roselyn Konya; Water Resources, Professor Kaniye Ebeku; Culture and Tourism, Tonye Oniyide among others.
Sole Administrator of Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Anabraba, was also there even as a retinue of Governor Wike's Special Advisers and traditional rulers led by the King of Opobo and Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM, King Dandeson Jaja JP, Jeki V, also registered their esteemed presence.
Others who graced the occasion were Engr. (Dr) Chukwudi Dimkpa, Ag. Managing Director of the Rivers State Signage and Advertisement Agency (RISAA); Professor Okey Onuchuku, Chairman of the Board of Rivers State Bureau on Public Procurement; Rev. Monsignor Pius Kii of the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA); Rivers CAN Chairman, Apostle David Zilley-Aggrey; Senator Lee Maeba; former Sports Minister, Dr. Tammy Danagogo; former Transport Minister, Dr. Abiye Sekibo; Senator Olaka Nwogu, Chief Ofili Enebeli and the President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Dr Emi Membere Otaji.
Speaking at the event which was spiced with artistic performances by some of the finest names in the entertainment industry, the celebrant, Bro. Obuah who is also the President/Sole Sponsor of Go Round FC of Omoku, said the birthday party was a commemoration of the goodness and mercies of the Lord towards him, pledging to continue in celebration as long as he lived.
Bro. Obuah, who spoke amid thunderous chant of ‘Mbanabaragu’ from the audience, said that celebrating one’s birthday is an expression of thanksgiving to God for His guidance, protection and provisions.
With intermittent shouts of ‘Go Round’ from the joyous crowd, Obuah told the packed audience that dedicating birthday celebration unto God was like sowing a seed to Him, noting that the resultant effect would be ‘double, triple, quadruple and endless celebrations from God’.
“I want to say that as long as I live, and God grants me life, I must celebrate”, he declared. Amid wild ovation from the crowd, he went on, “Whoever that is annoyed that I am celebrating should continue to get annoyed because greater celebrations are on the way”.
Bro. Obuah, who is also the Sole Administrator of Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), said he was surprised at the large turnout of guests as according to him; the occasion was intended to be a low-keyed event.
He expressed gratitude to the authors of the books for a job well done, saying he had earlier objected to suggestions from friends to celebrate his birthday for this year, but that the respected academics who authored the biographies said they would use the occasion of his birthday to unveil the books to the public.
“Even when I appealed to the authors that the books should be given to me with a promise to pay for their efforts, they argued that the books were not just for me alone but for the benefit of the public.
“The four academic doctors who authored the books chorused that they would want to eulogise me when I am alive, hence the need to do an open unveiling ceremony,” Bro. Obuah told the crowd.
In a brief citation on the celebrant, the Special Adviser to the Rivers State Governor on Political Matters, Chief (Barr) Shadrack Akolokwu, described Obuah as a man of great honour who combined the virtues of kindness and generosity.
“His name, Felix means ‘Happiness’ and that is why he takes pleasure in injecting happiness into everyone who comes his way”, Akolokwu stated, adding that that apparently explained the presence at the occasion of a representative of the celebrated Imo State Commissioner for Happiness….
He noted that the celebrant as a student at the then Rivers State College of Education in 1989, emerged the best graduating student in Education, adding that that trait of excellence had marked him as what he called unrepentant promoter of hard work and excellence.
“He is a pacesetter, a political navigator and the man who stabilised the Rivers PDP”, he eulogised Bro. Obuah, adding that his records as ONELGA Chairman remained unparalleled.
Earlier in his address, Rivers State Governor, Chief (Barr) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike represented by his deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo applauded Bro. Obuah for living a life worthy of emulation, adding that that attribute explained his dogged quest to lead the State PDP to the path of rectitude.
“We are here celebrating a man who is so humble and yet so great. He is zero tolerant when it comes to performance and that is why RIWAMA under his watch has improved sanitation in the State”, she declared, adding that Obuah had introduced many innovations in waste management to return the State to its original Garden City status.
The Deputy Governor congratulated the celebrant on the book and also commended the authors for what she described as a well researched work which has taken a step further in promotion of the cultures of Ogba people.
She also promised that government would institute a foundation in memory of the late Pa Bethel Chukwujindu Obuah who excelled in commerce and industry during his life time.
Bro. Obuah was during the event presented with a plaque and certificate by the Rivers State branch of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR). The award, according to the State Chairman of the body, was for his emergence as Outstanding Sports Promoter of the Year following the exploit of Go Round FC in the soccer scene which culminated to its promotion into the elite professional league.
The event which was laden with cultural and musical performances attracted the like of Sky B, Lilly Tavez, Kessy Driz, Happiness Cultural Group, Aba Mass Choir, Body Language, African Vocals, Enugu, Church of God (7th day) Choir, Omoku and the host, Church of God (7th day) Choir, Port Harcourt.
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