THE medieval literary icon, William Shakespeare in his literary masterpiece penned an immortal saying that “When beggars die, there are no comets seen, but heaven blazes forth the fall of kings”. The lamentable material chasm between poverty-stricken class and men with the proverbial Midas’s touch, had from time immemorial characterised the great lamentation that occurs when the later quits this mortal realm in contrast with the snobbish indifference when the former dies.
P.O. Ogbuawa, [Ogboogu na Oraeri], and “Yoko Master” going by his flourishing motor cycle business, “flew this mortal realm” [according to William Shakespeare] at the middle age of 67 on the February 6, 2020 after a brief illness. The funeral ceremony would have taken place after Easter but for the COVID-19 nationa-wide lockdown. His mortal remains were committed to mother earth on the August 8, 2020 at his palatial place, Oraeri.
The business mogul could not have been said to experience poverty and penury since his father was a wealthy fish merchant at the popular Igboukwu market.
Writing a funeral panegyric of a man of many parts and immense greatness is very challenging as he is not around to add more things that made him thick. Pius, as he was called in his childhood attended St. Mary’s Catholic primary school Oraeri between 1960 to 1966 when he passed his First School Leaving Certificate with flying colours.
The Ogbuawa family ab intio was noted for brilliancy hence the emergence of the first born who is a United States of America- based specialist medical doctor.
In line with the usual inexplicable existential complexities, Pius, after his primary education unconsciously opted to venture into business as if he had a premonition that God would give him immeasurable success in business.
As usual in Igbo cultural heritage, he went into indentured servant-hood to learn trading with the traditional ruler of Oraeri, Eze Nri Lawrence Obijekwe of blessed memory who was living in Gwombe now Bauchi state. But when he perceived that the religious conflagrations in the north appeared to be unstoppable and having been weaned from indentured servant-hood, relocated to Nnewi, Anambra state and became one of the pioneer importers of new motorcycle and the spare parts.
As a shrewd businessman with foresight, he mobilised resources and travelled to Japan and struck a rewarding business transaction with one of the industrial conglomerates in motorcycle and the spare parts productions and sundry industrial goods which have ready markets in Nigeria.
P.O. Ogbuawa earlier in his life had made up his mind to serve the living God as he was a “mass servant” during his primary school days in the 1960s. The consuming zeal led him to explore more knowledge of God by becoming one of the first set of born-again Christians in Oraeri.
The Christian virtue he cherished resonated in his business affairs as he was reputed for selling original motor cycle spare parts in Nnewi auto market. To say that he was a model in morality in business is merely saying the obvious as he would not like to make a shipwreck of his hard-earned salvation.
In Oraeri, P O. Ogbuawa demonstrated admirable consciousness in the unity of the community so as to up the ante of community development since community crises affect mobilisation for the execution of basic infrastructures and amenities that will raise the living standard of the rural dwellers.
To keep the restive youths from the allure of anti-social gambits, Pius floated inter-community football competition among Aguata and Anaocha local government councils. He mediated to the material needs of the poor widows and vulnerable members of the community even as he also floated scholarship awards to ensure that indigent but intelligent primary and secondary scholars acquire education for self-sustenance. Thus Pius lived up to billings of his name “Ogboogu”.
In community development projects, P. O. Ogbuawa contributed significantly in the provision of basic infrastructural facilities and amenities that alleviated the privation of rural dwellers. He tarred a portion of Igboukwu-Nwagu-Agulu road; and was preparing to tar some intra-village roads but for his untimely demise.
P.O. Ogbuawa would be most remembered for the unique role he single-handedly played on the issue of autonomous communities that devastated many communities in Anambra state including his home town Oraeri.
His spade-work to douse the inflammable utterances in the town has led to a re-think on the part of some stakeholders and doused the combustible issue; but sadly he is no longer alive to see the encouraging unfolding scenario that is likely to bury not only the autonomous community agitation imbroglio but also other the inter and intra-communal village altercations that had their source and spring from failure to observe rule of law in village and town development union administration.