Our Reporter, New York
Nnobi people in North America came together this Father’s Day weekend in Newark, New Jersey, for their 2023 Convention. During the event, they raised over $60,000 to rehabilitate their general hospital and provide health insurance for the elderly in their hometown.
The three-day event kicked off with a meet and greet at the home of one of their illustrious sons in America, retired Professor Ferdinand Ofodile. The preeminent plastic surgeon is the brain behind the ongoing project to equip Nnobi general hospital and make it a center of excellence for more than primary healthcare services.
Prof. Ofodile’s group, the Nnobi Diaspora Health Group USA, has raised funds to equip the hospital with 24-hour electricity, water supply, medical equipment, and decent residential spaces for doctors and consultants. The group had undertaken several health missions where they worked with the health centers in Nnobi to identify people with chronic illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure, provide treatment and register them for regular monitoring and continuing assessment.
The Nnobi Union of North America (NUNA) used the 2023 convention to raise funds to support and expand the work in progress at the general hospital.
Speaking at the convention’s sideline, the hosting affiliate’s president, NUNA in tri-state, Rev. Father Cosmos Nzeabalu, said: “We are doing nothing new or unique. We are just following in the footsteps of our fathers who built schools, post office, levied themselves to provide electricity to the town and other amenities that the government provides in other parts of the country.”
The gathering was also an opportunity for Nnobi people across America to meet each other face-to-face and for their children born abroad to connect with Nnobi culture and traditions.
Nnobi dignitaries from around the globe came to grace the occasion. Those who came from Nigeria include: Igwe Nnobi, His Royal Highness Igwe (Engr.) Muodum Nick Obi, Omenyili Igwe Nnobi; High Chief Emeka Agbanari, Ike Idemili & CEO Seaman Group; and Barr. Emeka Okafor, Ide Nnobi.
From Maryland, US, came Chief Hamilton Ezeonu, Ikemba Nnobi; Professor Chuka Obah; Professor Peter Ezekwonna; Pastor Joe Ezeigbo; Professor Ikenna Uzuegbunam; Dubem Amakaeze; Joan Okigbo; Martin Ogbuachi and many others.
From Virginia came, Chief Samson Okafor and his wife; Dr. Stella Okafor. From Georgia, Dr. Clement Emeka Okpala; Sylva Okwudili Egbochue; and others. From Florida, Emma Ezenyi. From Michigan, Rev. Father Okey Okagbue. From Minnesota, Chief Godwin Okolue. From Dallas, Texas, Steve Ezeonu.
From the tri-state of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were Prof. Ferdinand Ofodile, Akajiofo Nnobi; Dr. Charles Ezeonyim; Ezemgbede Nnobi; Sir Solomon Nduka; Sam Ngwudo; Eze Atukulu; Timothy Aghaji; Felix Okafor; David Ezekwesili; Theo Okanume; OJ Ifeanyichukwu and his wife, Dr. Ifeoma Ojukwu; Uche Ezeonyim; Fidelia Okeke; Ifeoma Udogwu; Dr. Chinwe Nduka; Edna Okonkwo and many others.
During the Saturday event, the organisation elected a new set of executives who will champion its affairs for the next two years. Those elected into the new national executive were: OJ Ifeanyichukwu, president; Ebele Nwaenyi, Vice President; Steven Ezeonu, Secretary; Ikenna Uzuegbunam, Assistant Secretary; Sylvester Egbochue, Treasurer and Financial Secretary; Oby Ngwudo, Publicity Secretary and Rudolf Okonkwo, Provost.
The organisation announced the Maryland branch as the host of the 2025 convention.