PERSONALITY OF THE WEEK
CHIEF F. EKA NWAUGBALA
IKA WEEKLY – The Ekawunweze of Owa Kingdom, Chief Francis Eka Nwaugbala said that as there are bad eggs in Nigeria so also it is in the Western World because a whiteman who was in partnership with him for the production of paint, dupped him to the tune of N875,000 in 1985.
Chief Nwaugbala who was fielding questions in a “personality of the week” programme, organized by Ika Weekly said the money, which was part of a bank loan, grounded the paint production company, situated along Ajuebon Street, Boji-Boji Owa, in Ika North East Local Government Area.
The Ekawunweze who is a big time businessman said, it was his saddest moment as he never though that a whiteman he took as a partner could dupe him and fled the country, adding that after the incident he was left with no option than to become a taxi driver.
The traditional Chief disclosed that when the pressure for the repayment of the bank loan became heavy, his father advised him to sell some of his belongings to settle the bank.
He said in response to the advice, he sold one of his storey buildings, one bungalow, one big lorry and one car, before he could repay the loan, and used the balance to pay his childrenâ€™s schools fees.
Chief Nwaugbala gave thanks to God that at date, he is not indebted to anybody both in business and in traditional circle.
He said the premises where the paint manufacturing business was going on, has been converted into a hotel known as Ugbala Guest House B.B. Owa. Born 73 years ago to Nwaugbala family of Ugbala quarters, Owa-Alero in Ika North East Local Government Area, Chief Francis Eka Nwaugbala had his elementary education in Owa-Alero and Boji-Boji Owa through an Asaba-born female teacher and passed his standard six certificate examination in 1956.
He sat for an entrance examination to a college under the C.M.S Mission and passed but he could go because his father had no Â£3 an equivalent of N6, as an entry fee to a college at that time.
Since the opportunity for high education was shattered, young Nwaugbala decided to go into trading which he started after preliminary apprenticeship, first at Owa-Alero and later in Boji-Boji Owa, before the civil was broke out,
In his words, “I completed all traditional rights and obligations at Owa-Alero, and I am a qualified native doctor as I was initiated into the traditional group at an early age”
Within his few years stay in Boji-Boji, Owa, Chief Nwaugbala was able to build his own house and married two wives who have successfully given him many children.
Because of his humble beginning and consistency in life, Chief Francis Eka Nwaugbala was conferred with the traditional title of Ekawunweze of Owa by the Obi of Owa-Kingdom, His Royal Majesty Dr. E.O. Efeizomor II (J.P).
Expressing thanks to the Obi for the honour done him, Chief Nawaugbala who has also been sworn-in as a Justice of Peace (JP) said he has been struggling on his own as he does not want to offend or cheat anybody.
He said he does lean on anybody or indulge in get-rich-quick syndrome.
The Justice of peace specially gave thanks to God that today he has been able to train 47 persons, the art of trading, adding that 12 of his children are graduates, amongst them, a doctor, an engineer, a lawyer a pharmacist and a teacher.
According to him some of the 47 persons who passed through his tutelage are now doing well, while seven of his children are in dispora, namely, two in Germany, two Spain, and three including a qualified nurse and midwife are in America.
Asked about the secret of success in business, Chief Nwaugbala said truth, hard work, consistency and financial base are some of the secrets for success in business.
However, Chief Nwaugbala said the above qualities will work well if one has no bad family members who act as enemies of progress towards good and hard work.
He appealed to Ika parents to always endeavour to train their children so that they would not suffer at old age and called on the youths to shun all acts to get-rich quick, which he described as wrong value system.
Chief Nwaugbala finally appeal to Ika politicians to always be their brothers keepers and to support their fellow politicians who are seeking positions, so as to get someone to support them when it comes to their turn.
Chief Eka Nwaugbala praised the publisher of Ika Weekly Mr. Steve Ekiri Mekiriuwa Ashien for his endurance and consistency in life and in business and urged the entire management of the newspaper not to relent in their efforts in producing the newspaper as he promised to send some copies of the paper to his children abroad to encourage them to subscribe for the supply of the newspaper to them by mail.