All roads – on August 17, 2015 – led to Sheba Events Centre in Maryland, Lagos, as captains of industries, chief executives of financial institutions, the academia, celebrities, the clergy, in fact, crème-de-la-crème of the Nigerian society and people from all walks of life converged on the above named centre to honour a distinguished Nigerian, Mazi Sam I. Ohuabunwa (OFR) as he turned 65.
The event was the public presentation of two of his latest books and commemoration of his 65th birthday. The books – The Port Harcourt Volunteer and Sam Ohuabunwa’s Paradigm – were unveiled by top notch Nigerians at the event.
On that day, the venue could hardly contain friends, admirers and followers of Mazi Sam’s entrepreneurial voyage.
Scheduled to begin by 12 noon, guests could hardly find parking space two hours to commencement.
As mentioned earlier, the public presentation and birthday bash took place in Lagos, Enugu, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
Chaired by Prof. Anya O. Anya, speaker after speaker eulogized the qualities of the celebrant. His contributions to the nation’s economy cannot be overlooked as he had made invaluable contributions to the country. From the likes of the former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi to Dr. Stella Okoli, Dr. A.B.C Orjiako, Rt. Rev. James Odedeji, Anglican Bishop of Lagos West, Dr. Uche Ogah, Obinna Nwafor (St. Obi), Emeka Onwuka, Emma Kanu Ivi, Emeka Ugwu Oju, Ike Okoronkwo, Udo Chijioke, Naira Okorafor, Sonny Allison, Julius Imuoh, Prof. Akinkugbe, Prof. Wale Omole, Dr. Christopher Kolade, Emma Ekunno, Bruno Nwankwo etc, all were in agreement that Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa deserves the honour and accolades bestowed on him.
Food and drinks were in abundance as guests took the rare opportunity of attending a public function on a Monday afternoon to unwind and network.
The Port Harcourt Volunteer, with its foreword written by Mazi Sam’s childhood friend, Mazi Sonny Allison, chronicles his exploits as a young military officer fighting on the Biafran side during the Nigeria civil war. It tells how his educational career as well as other young east of the Niger was almost truncated by the war, his last days at Okrika Grammar School, to his enrollment into the army; his various close shaves with death and other interesting exploits.
Sam Ohuabunwa’s Paradigm is a compilation of the author’s weekly articles in Newswatch Times and Businessday newspapers. The articles he has written over the years on various national and global issues are captured in the 463-page book. The foreword is written by Prof. Adebayo Williams.
The books were reviewed by Prof. Jemie Onwuchekwa, Editor-in-Chief of Businessday and Prof. Ayo Olukotun of the Department of International Relations, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Though he clocked 65 on the 16th of August, many used the opportunity of the 17th to thank God for the gift of a rare gem to the nation like Sam Ohuabunwa.