By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
The truth is that I stand guilty as charged for always looking for, and celebrating, leaders in far-out places without paying much attention to zestful achievers very near at hand.
It just dawned on me during this Christmas season in my hometown of Umuchu in Aguata Local Government of Anambra State that Nigeria can reap a rich harvest of informed leaders from the youthful and profound captains of industry and politics around my locale.
The particular example that stands out now is that of Chief Chux Ononuju, a young friend of mine whose accomplishments are much larger than his age.
He has, for instance, been an aspirant to the Federal House of Representatives, sponsoring the bid with own hard-earned means without depending on any godfather whatsoever.
For Chux Ononuju, the word that stands out is “Hospitality” as he almost always gets the people around to come together in an admirable spirit of unity and camaraderie.
A forward-thinking inspirer, I see in his prudent carriage the words of the great Colombian novelist and Nobel Prize winner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who wrote in his classic One Hundred Years of Solitude: “…in the southern extremes of Africa there were men so intelligent and peaceful that their only pastime was to sit and think…”
The biblical saying that a prophet is without honour in his homeland does not apply to Chux Ononuju because on December 30, 2023 HRH Igwe G O Ezechukwu, Okwuluora Umuchu, OON, JP, conferred on him the high chieftaincy title of Akajiugo na Umuchu.
It was a particular instance of giving honour to whom honour is due as the gathered multitude of men and women of the homeland resoundingly applauded his title-taking ceremony.
The other exalting dimension is that he had also been honoured in neighbouring Imo State with the chieftaincy title of Ezechinagbaraogu of Akokwa.
It is noteworthy that Chux stands strong from the worthy pedigree of the Ononuju family where he and his two elder brothers are celebrated as “The Trinity.”
The eldest brother, Chief (Sir) Fidel Ononuju, Eziokwu-Daa-Oshimili na Umuchu, the father of a Reverend Father, is the CEO of Ansell Dellis & Co Ltd, a Shipping & Logistics Services firm that has created more millionaires than most business schools!
Chux’s immediate elder brother, Engr. Emeka Ononuju, is the immediate past esteemed President-General of Umuchu town.
The three inseparable bothers have their mansions built inside one expansive compound in the head village of Ugwuakwu in Umuchu.
Educated early in life at his hometown primary school, St. Matthew’s, and then St. Peter’s Secondary School, Achina, Chux Ononuju took honours BSc from the University of Port Harcourt and Master of Transport Panning (MTP) from Lagos State University (LASU).
A distinguished member of Rotary International, he has served as a past President of Rotary Club of Tincan Island, Lagos.
He is a member of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, as well as a member of Prestigious Ikoyi Club.
Chief Chux Ononuju is the current President of G20 Club.
He is happily married to Dr (Mrs) Bibi Ononuju, and the marriage is blessed with four children, made up of a girl and three boys.
Let’s raise a toast to the good health of “Mr. Hospitality”, Chief Chux Damian Ononuju, Akajiugo na Umuchu!