... As Julius Nwagu emerges Rear Admiral

Kanayo O. Kanayo, Esq

By Ori Martins 

It is with every sense of pride and satisfaction that Mbaise Nation celebrates her heroes and heroines. This is a remarkable and profound feat that spans over 80 years. 

When the visionary and irrepressible Jamike Joseph Iwunna from

Chief Mike Ahamba, SAN

Amaohuru in Nguru, Aboh Mbaise LGA, coined the name Mbaise more than 80 years ago, precisely on June 12, 1941, he inadvertently created a historic and symbolic force, tailor - made for freedom and development. 

Ever since then, Mbaise Nation, in spite of a most malicious but delibrate assult as well as inanities visited on her by ruthless traducers, has  majestically attained greatness with  an unparalleled super performance. 

In the legal profession, the first two SANs from Imo State - Mike Ahamba and Bon Nwakamma (RIP) - were of Mbaise stock!!! This is wonderful. 

The first ever 1st Class in Mathematics in the history of University of Nigeria Nsukka, is an Mbaise ward, Prof Kevin Osondu, from Lude, Ahaira, Ahiazu LGA. 

In the academic world, the first Black man as well as the first African to win the Foreign Researchers of the Year Award in Japan is Prof Joe Ahaneku, who later became the fifth vice chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University ( UNIZIk). 

Politically, and this must be sounded with trumpets and drums: Commodore Luke Ochulor, a scion of Mbaise aristocracy, was the first military administrator of Delta State. He is always being credited as the man who laid the true foundation of that state's growth and development in the real sense of it. 

Of course, Nigeria's entertainment bassline, particularly the star studded Nollywood wouldn't have gained its Olympic height status without the sparkling imprimatur of Mbaise's high ranking actors and actresses like Kanayo O. Kanayo, Eucharia Anunobi, Rita Dominic, Genevieve Nnaji, Victor Osuagwu, Ben Papa Andy Nwosu, Valentine Chima Agwulonu, and few others. 

In sports, Mbaise produced the first African to be bedecked with an Olympic gold medal off the tracks at Atlanta '96 when policewoman Chioma Ajunwa cruised to victory in the long jump event. Chidi Nwanu from Nguru, Aboh Mbaise was a member of the 1994 World Cup team while Eucharia Uche still remains the only Nigerian female player ever to have served as both the captain and chief coach. In the same manner, Dr Pat Ekeji reached the apogee of national sports administration as he was the director general, National Sports Commission. 

Indeed, the wonder musician Sir/ Dr Warrior's influential, inspiring and exciting voice is perhaps the most attractive as well as enticing chant West African music industry has ever witnessed. As a matter of fact, everything about Warrior was substantially mystic, myth and mysterious, and that was why he was a legend. Yes, Warrior's eventual separation with Dansatch brought the ultimate eclipse on the then excellent musical group known as Oriental International Band. 

Biafra flows in the veins of the Igbo. And Biafra means creativity, ingenuity, resilience and panache. These were the factors General Ojukwu considered when he, in complete trust and confidence, appointed an outstanding Mbaise financial guru, economist and banker, Sylvester Ugoh, the governor, Central Bank of Biafra. And when Ojukwu made the epoch making declaration - the document that defined the essence of Biafra cause, he chose no other locality than Ahiara, hence it is known as Ahiara Declaration. 

Recall that the first Igbo to be made controller general of Nigeria's Prisons (correctional centres) is Dr Peter Ekpendu from Ibeku in Okwuato Aboh Mbaise.   

Politically, in 1998/99, an Mbaise son, the late Innocent Diala Nwoga exhibited maturity garnished with equity, justice and fairness when he insisted that political power should shift to Orlu zone, the region yet to produce Imo governor. That was what gave rise to Achike Udenwa's emergence. 

And only last year, another Mbaise child, Rev Fr (Prof) Fidelis Agwulonu from Mbutu was elevated as the vice chancellor of a university in DR Congo. 

Not too long ago, first and second best students in the 2019 WAEC results in all the English speaking countries of Wet Africa were Mbaise kids identified as  Chizobam Ugboaja from Akpodim, and Alozie Chukkwuemeka from Oboama, Nguru. 

Based on merit, Barrister Madu from Okrika, Ahiazu LGA was a minister in Canada in 2018.

About four months to the last Christmas, Mbaise was almost turned into a kill -  field to wit: an Otulu traditional ruler was gruesomely murdered. A PDP ward chairman was expired in similar fashion just as security operatives at Ahiara Junction were wasted in cold blood. For more than four months, gunmen established various battle lines and fronts in Mbaise thereby making life unbearable and nasty. 

However, the home coming of Julius Ahamba Nwagu bearing the prefix of rear admiral has completely changed the sagging negative sin song to positive chorus delivered with joy, happiness and triumph. Yes. Rear Admiral Julius Ahamba Nwagu hails from Obo, Lagwa in Okwuato, Aboh Mbaise LGA, Imo State.

Ori is a journalist and Public Affairs Analyst