Tribute to a statesman, Onowu Patrick Ifeanyi Agbo, by Gabriel Agbo

One is comforted by the fact the Papa Agbo lived an admirable and fulfilling life. He also served his people in many capacities, including politics and business

It is no longer news that the traditional prime minister of Amechi Awkunanaw in Enugu South Local Government Area, Enugu State, Onowu Prince Patrick Ifeanyichukwu Agbo, passed on in August at the age of 76 and will be laid to rest later this October. This noble son of Nkanuland, who has been described as an armour bearer and defender of the oppressed, while alive devoted his life not just to the service of his people, but to humanity. No wonder condolences and tributes have been pouring to his family. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in his condolence massage said: “One is comforted by the fact the Papa Agbo lived an admirable and fulfilling life. He also served his people in many capacities, including politics and business.”
Onowu Patrick Agbo worked for the S.C.O.A. Motors and the Crusader Insurance Company in the former Eastern Nigeria in the 60’s before leaving for Britain for further studies. While in Britain, he worked for Boots Pharmaceutical Company as a sales supervisor. He was with Caxton’s Publishing Company in London and later with the London Gas Board as a sales representative. He also worked for the Coal Merchant Association London, who later sent him to the Coal Utilization Council Training Centre for a course  on public health inspection and also on Appliance Distribution Course on solid fuels at the council’s training centre in London. He was a strong advocate of clean fuel then. In 1967, He had an interview with the then ENTV where he talked about smokeless fuel and the uses. This great Nigerian has truly, positively advanced the cause of humanity politically, socially and environmentally.
Late Prince Agbo, returning from London where he studied insurance, marketing and economics, met the unfortunate Nigeria civil war. Out of patriotism and the zeal to serve, he joined the fray, trained in the then school of infantry Okigwe and was sent to the battle field. Once he was arrested and detained in Nsukka. Another time he was betrayed and lynched at Enugu. But he miraculously survived all and continued his service to his humanity. Upon the creation of Enugu local government in 1977, he was sworn in as a councilor with other great personalities like Late John Nwobodo, C.C. Onoh, Isaiah Ani, Uche Offia Nwali, John Okwor, Eze Ozobu and other great minds. They performed excellently well. They built the great Ogbete main market and also the relief market, developed the parks and other infrastructures in the city.  Prince later became the sole administrator of Premier Brewery Onitsha. This company was then a major investment of the state.
That class of councilors in the greater Enugu Local Government Council (1977-1979) was a brilliant one as C.C. Onoh later became a governor, Isaiah Ani a senator, Eze Ozobu a Chief Judge, Uche Offiawali a commissioner in the Second Republic, etc. Prince Agbo became a foundation member of the defunct Nigeria People’s Party, with people like Great Zik, quintessential Ibrahim Waziri, Jim Nwobodo and others. He worked so much for the victory of that party in the Old Anambra State.  Onowu Ifeanyi Agbo, a philanthropist, had also served his community and the society in other ways: customary court, chairman land committee, security committee, police public relations committee, zonal patron civil defense amongst many others. I am very proud to have this great Nigerian as a father. May his soul rest in perfect peace – Amen!
. Gabriel Agbo is a journalist, minister and the author of the book, Power of Midnight Prayer. Website: E-mail: [email protected]. Tel: 08037113283.