Nigeria’s former envoy to Mali, Ken Nwachukwu, an old boy of St Augustine’s Grammar School (SAGS), Nkwerre; the President of the School’s Old Boys Association, Prof CBC Ohanuzue and others are said to be presently in trouble for spearheading the cleaning of the name written on a dormitory modernization and addition, furnished and equipped by Nkwerre native, U.S based Attorney, Nze Daniel Chigbu in line with the contractual agreement he reached with the, Orlu Anglican Diocese, the owners and Proprietors of the school.
The agreement which was sighted by this reporter was signed by, the Bishop of the Orlu Anglican Diocese, and other witnesses, specifically stated that in exchange for the extensive and comprehensive renovation, modernization and addition, the dormitory that was formerly known at one time, as Nkwerre House at SAGS would be renamed Nze Daniel Chigbu Nkwerre House in appreciation of Attorney Chigbu’s input and to also sustain the dormitory’s heritage.
It would be recalled that this Old Boy of SAGS, Attorney Nze Daniel Chigbu, a United States of America based Attorney and former United States Army Major and Judge Advocate from Nkwerre of same L.G.A of Imo State spent a whopping sum of N36m in renovating, addition, modernizing and furnishing the dormitory which was totally dilapidated.
In addition to renovating and modernizing this dormitory, Attorney Chigbu, for the first time since the school was established in 1948 brought solar-powered water to the school with over-head tanks. He also equipped the dormitory with 24-hour Solar power, modern toilet facilities with modern showers and toilets, and furnished the dormitory with beds, wardrobes, mattresses, pillows, all the way down to the pillow cases and bedsheets.
This Reporter learned that after the new sign “Nze Daniel Chigbu Nkwerre House” was unveiled on the dormitory, some of the Old Boys began to grumble, followed by a harsh writeup by Prof. Ohanuzue, the President of the Old Boys Association, who said that the name change amounted to bastardizing the school and even challenged the authority of the Diocese to enter into such an agreement and demanded that the agreement be immediately rescinded.
This Reporter further learned that even some Old Boys, like one Nze Obinwanne Chinaka from the same Nkwerre, threatened to remove the sign by force. It was also said that another Old Boy, Engr. Chinaka Nwogu, also from Nkwerre was said to have boasted that he would refund Attorney Chigbu the N36 million he spent on the projects, the next day so he can bring the sign down. All these threats and exchanges were made on the SAGS Old Boys WhatsApp forum. Even a writeup and plea made by another SAGS Old Boy, U. S. based Retired Judge Kenneth Ukadike on their same WhatsApp forum urging the Old Boys to respect Attorney Chigbu’s agreement with the Diocese fell on deaf ears.
Regrettably, sequel to what some concerned stakeholders refer to as peer envy and abuse, the President of the school’s old boys’ association, Prof C.B.C. Ohanuzue, Ken Nwachukwu and some others reportedly conspired, plotted and facilitated the erasing of Attorney Chigbu Jason’s name thereby altering the dormitory’s new name. The said actual hideous act was allegedly carried out on the instruction of another old boy, Mr. Marcus Ohagwa, also from Nkwerre and a teacher at the school who is also an Old Boy of SAGS, at the instance of Ohanuzue, Nwachukwu and others with total disregard to agreement reached with the Church.
This is said to have attracted public condemnation as people are wondering why a professor and an ex-Nigeria’s Envoy would, despite their levels of exposure and education condescend to the level of acting contrary to the contents of a duly signed contractual agreement.
A community leader in the community who is also an old boy of the school who pleaded anonymity said, “Ken Nwachukwu and the President of the school’s old boy’s association have now begun to “Lord” themselves over the Old Boys in a disgusting way. Their bigoted objections over renaming the dormitory that has been renamed severally in the past with others are really misplaced and out of envy.
Renaming buildings, schools, dormitories, universities, stadiums, airports are done every day and everywhere, both here in Nigeria and abroad. Everybody knows that. They would rather keep the old colonial names than recognize Attorney Nze Chigbu, SAGS biggest benefactor to date. N36 Million Naira is not N36,000”.He added, that many of the Old Boys who were excited at the prospect of renovating other buildings in the school and having them renamed after them to leave a legacy for themselves and their families have now all gone away and abandoned that idea. He said SAGS could have gone a long way further now, but the envy derailed that.
The source further stated that,”With the recent alteration of the name on the signpost, it is generally believed that they have made good their threat. That is why we are accusing both and others who have been canvassing the removal of Chigbu’s name from the signpost of being responsible for defacing the name of the dormitory”.
Continuing, he said, “it is annoying that these people raising dust over a genuine cause to develop the school and make it habitable for our children have not contributed much of anything towards making the school better. If not for Attorney Chigbu’s efforts, St Augustine Grammar School Nkwerre would still have remained without water. The dormitory in question would still have remained in a terrible state of dilapidation or at best, a whitewash renovation.” Instead of embracing what Attorney Chigbu brought to the school, they chose instead to vilify his efforts.
He aknowleged that other Old Boys are doing some renovations, but they are still ongoing. “The Old Boys are still struggling to finish the renovation of one dormitory they started before Attorney Chigbu began his projects. He has since finished, and they are still struggling to finish one dormitory”.
Another old boy who spoke on condition of anonymity said,”Chigbu brought excitement to the Old Boys forum by constantly updating them and showing them photos of the projects and their stages, but they just didn’t like his style, out of envy; and wondered if Attorney Chigbu’s demands for the National President to render an accounting of all the money the Old Boys had raised further angered them.
“Many of the Old Boys that showed excitement or complimented him were shunned and castigated; and in some cases, removed or deleted from their WhatsApp forum. Now, the Old Boys are in the dark with hardly any updates of the ongoing projects.
Efforts to reach Attorney Chigbu for his reaction over the development proved abortive as he didn’t take his calls but one of the executive members of the Old Boys of SAGS(namewithheld) who has long distanced himself from the high handedness of the President and his cohorts said,” I was informed of the development and was shocked they carried out their threats to forcefully remove the sign or his name from it”.
According to him, having known Chigbu for long and how passionate he is in helping his people, these actions would not stop him from continuing his philanthropic work for humanity and for SAGS, adding He still owns the contractual naming right to the dormitory and will decide his course of action and as an executive of SAGS old boys, he will always support Chigbu having known the gravity of such offence- breach of contract.
He disclosed that despite shenanigans of the President and other Old boys,Chigbu has been maintaining the dormitory since the students moved in and will continue to do so, to maintain the dormitory’s high standards and modern facilities. He concluded by saying he was dismayed and numbed by the current development.
However, a group known as Orlu Political Action Committee, OPAC has threatened to take up the matter. Speaking through their spokesperson Comrade Ifeanyi Nnadi, the group said they are still studying the situation. “We would take appropriate action to address the situation based on the outcome of our finding and discussion with the donor.”
OPAC argued that if people like Chigbu are not protected and encouraged to do more, other of our diasporan brothers who may wish to support their people will avoid doing so.
Efforts to reach the duo of Ohanuzue and Nwachukwu for their reactions on the allegation were unsuccessful as they shunned calls put across to them.