The Orlu community in the Dallas metropolitan area wrote a new chapter in its history by turning a page from the decades of dark past to a celebratory mood of endeared unity on Saturday, November 7, 2015. Hordes of people from various communities trooped in to witness the historic occasion where the Orlu people professed that they have actually turned the page from the past to embrace a new and energized organization.
It was a remarkable event that ushered in a new era among the people as they celebrated harmony. However, the occasion did not occur without an obvious resistance to the union from a few individuals. It is fair to say that the accomplishment of a stable peace in the community did not obscure the dark hearts of some elements who derive joy in sowing seeds of discord and destruction. Nevertheless, it was an amazing experience that illustrated the possibilities various communities could achieve once united.
Indeed, it was not by accident that the occasion occurred; it was the act of God that allowed the community to once again swim in the ocean of peace and unity that had eluded it.
Undeniably, it was as result of years of efforts and overtures by two presidents of the organizations, numerous committees, and individuals to woo some people back to the Old Orlu Progressive Association (OOPA) which led to the triumphant return of staunch members on Sunday, February 9, 2014. Under the leadership of Mr. Ogbogu Achonwa (Nkwerre LGA) and his emissaries, Chief Emma Ibe and Chief Emma Obi from Orlu LGA and Njaba LGA respectively, OOPA is now gradually rehabilitating its image in the United States. Without vacillation, the August return of the key members to the fold, to the delectation of OOPA dwindling members, who were in celebratory mood to welcome the pillars of the organization, was a boon to OOPA.
But what happened to the association? Sadly, the power of the organization eviscerated when it lost its moral integrity. Lack of its moral fabric was antithesis of what Dr. George Njoku (Nwangele), Dr. Acho Orabuchi (Orlu) Atty. Fidelis Nwaozuzu (Njaba), Chief Ken Jerry Ike (Orsu), Nze Ben Nnawuihe (Oru East), and others, who form the inner citadel inside the Orlu community in the United States, believed in. After severe warnings and public indignation, some pertinacious members fell for unsavory bait that brought the organization to its morose state.
With the increasing whiff of moral degradation reeking deeply into the organization and constant deprecation from the public, those members who unwittingly towed the path of the so-called elders, who conflate turgid immorality and progress, realized the consequences of their short-sightedness and were hurrying to chart a new course for the organization. The absence of the pillars created a huge vacuum that could not be filled by the noisemakers. But in the face of the organization’s travail, people like Mr. Celestine Muoneke, Atty. Gabriel Ogueri, Chief Oliver Iheme, and Andy Ibe stood tall advocating for peace and unity.
In any case, people reacted favorably to the substance and significance of the occasion. Chief Johnson Ihemeremadu orated, “The Toast of Unity and Oneness by Dr. Acho Orabuchi climaxed the repertoire of events that marked the Old Orlu Progressive Association (OOPA) Saturday night Appreciation Party. After many years of agonizing personality conflicts cum rugged individualism, which almost destroyed OOPA, it is indeed quite refreshing and noteworthy that the Orlu people mustered courage to imbibe an air of freshness and new found Risorgimento to OOPA. Kudos to a few good men and women who worked tirelessly to achieve peace and unity in Orlu.”
Dr. Uzo Unegbu, a medical practitioner who came from Washington, DC said, “OOPA appreciation day held in Dallas, Texas was an event that exemplifies our existence as a community and its theme, “appreciation day”, acknowledges the saying that history determines the future. The affiliate association of ORAUSA in Dallas is one to emulate where they recognized all past leaders of their association with style. My wife Lolo Titi Unegbu and I, had fun and felt welcomed by our brethren’s in Dallas. The Honorable President Chief Achonwa was a great host. His humility will take him far in this great organization. Organizing such an event is not an easy task, but he represented the organization well. Dallas Igbo community can party and they danced until the break of dawn. It was an honor and a privilege to celebrate unity with great people of Orlu in Dallas.”
Nze Ben Nnawuihe said with excitement, “It was incumbent upon us as a people to have an event aimed at primarily exhibiting our uniqueness and to reunify our organization. I saw a great sense of humor and relief from the members who were bold to bring out their families again after a state of confusion and long turmoil of moral decline and indiscipline of some individuals. As the Chairman of the Planning Committee, I made sure we left no stone unturned to get our members to understand the importance and boost enthusiastic support for the party. And we were very successful, though OOPA still has a tough job ahead to adequately restore full peace and unity. We are hopeful that protracted acrimonious sentiments of the past have left us.”
Mr. Peter Ebere said, “The OOPA unity celebration event was well organized with good food. I want to thank and congratulate the Orlu people for organizing such a historic event. Many times we tend to forget the importance of unity and those who worked tirelessly and sacrificed to ensure that peace reigns in an organization. I am glad that Orlu people found it worthy to honor those individuals who sacrificed to achieve unity in their community; I wish that other organizations will emulate Orlu people as we move forward.” Sir Iyke Ginigeme echoed, “OOPA once again proved to Ndi-Igbo in Dallas that they are united. In fact, without a doubt, it can be said that unity is power. Therefore, I call other senatorial zones to emulate OOPA and come together as a united front. As I commend the chairman of the Organizing Committee, I pray and hope that the Orlu people will sustain peace and unity in its community.”
Mr. Ngozi Echebelem illustrated the evening this way: “People who attended the event last weekend hosted by the merchants of OOPA witnessed unity at its best for an organization that was once known for its unity in everything they did. Dr. Acho Orabuchi, the first chairman of the board who toasted at the event called for unity and collective responsibility for the organization’s members.”
Truly, not only that there is strength in numbers and diversity, but there is also synergy in cohesive organization; a necessary condition that allows the accomplishment of common purpose.
- Dr. Orabuchi lives in the United States (Daily Sun)