The sixth hour on Saturday, the 28th of December, 2013 saw the unveiling of another edition of the ‘Walk for life’, an intricate part of Ibobo Ujaligwa which is a human development project undertaken by indigenes of the Umuavulu Abor community of Udi L.G.A in Enugu state. The project evolved from a group of inspired members of the community but has quickly spread out to include the neighboring communities in its goal of celebrating the beauty in the people’s united heritage.
The three-mile run around the town culminated in the same place it had originated – the Orie market square approximately two hours later. After refreshments of okpa and cold drinks had gone round, the people were split into two factions. The first faction constituted the children of ages 13 to 18 years while just about everyone else – infants, youths and the elderly – made up the other faction.
|students taking part in the education competition organized by IEF|
Meanwhile the second group of people gathered across the road from them in the market square for the Medical Mission, another arm of Ibobo Ujaligwa. The outreach started with a health talk by Dr. Eva Offiah, a Chief Medical Officer (CMO) with Parklane hospital, Enugu. His talk was majorly centered on the issues of dietary regulation, exercise and their relevance to the general well being of the human body. Questions bordering on the relevant issues were asked by attending members of the community and the CMO did justice to all of them.
The Medical Mission then kicked off. It was organized into seven stations – the Clerking station where patients were registered and their bio-data filed; Blood pressure post, Blood sugar post, Urinalysis post, Body Mass Index (BMI) post and Consultation where practicing doctors analyzed the results from the conducted tests and diagnosed accordingly. The last station was the Drug dispensary unit where drugs were dispensed according to the doctors’ prescriptions. The chairman of the Medical Mission for Ibobo Ujaligwa 2013, Dr. Neze Njeze in a chat with this reporter, noted that the Medical Mission was a definite improvement over the past year’s affair; in addition to the increased number of stations available, there had been a greater turnout of people. She laid the praise for this at the feet of all the members of the family and community who had participated and volunteered in all capacities.
|Drug dispensary unit of the medical mission|
Ibobo as a name, Mr. Njeze revealed, refers to the substantive quality of charm or beauty a person or people possess. The Ibobo Ujaligwa, consequently, identifies the substantive charm of the Ujaligwa people. The motto of Ibobo Ujaligwa - Eka di igwe na-aru ohue which literarily means ‘A Collaboration of Equal Partners’, he concluded, summarizes Ibobo’s laser-like focus on human capacity development and character formation.
|A patient gets checked at the blood pressure station|
The third and final talk of the evening was a topic, which questioned the modern Abor indigene’s commitment and loyalty to the presiding power vested in one’s Umunna (or kindred) by tradition; it was delivered by Sculptor Innocent Anidi. Aptly titled ‘I mawo ku ezhi di? I maru I mee gunu?’, the presentation encouraged indigenes to actively identify with their Umunna especially as distance was no longer a barrier in our technologically-advanced world.
Other activities that spiced up the evening included Igbo speaking competition, traditional music competition, songs, dance and the Mr & Miss Ibobo pageant which yielded Mazi Nwachukwu Etta and Nwaada Munachi Orji as the newly-crowned Mr Ibobo and Miss Ibobo respectively.
|Dr. Offiah delivering health talkk|
Other prizes given out for the evening were the Award for Personal development won by Miss Kanayo Anidi, Award for Ibobo person of the year won by Dr. Obinna Onodugo and Award for Sports person of the year which went to Chief Chilo Offiah.