Abatete mourns ex-President General Igwealor
By Franz Ndulue
Abatete community, in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, was thrown into deep mourning as the body of former President-General of the town and Onitsha-based business mogul, late Chief (Sir) Ezeora Basil Chukwujekwu Igwealor KSM (Akalugo I of Abatete), was laid to rest in his country home at Odida Village, Abatete.
The funeral ceremony was graced by a galaxy of personalities, including giants of commerce and industry, political top-notchers, religious and community leaders and who-is-who from within and outside the country, who converged to pay their last respect to the fallen hero.
Late Chief Igwealor, aged 68 years, a Knight of St. Mulumba, also belonged to several professional, religious and charitable organizations during his lifetime, and was popularly known for his philanthropic services to God and humanity, having trained numerous well-established businessmen who passed through his tutelage to fame.
As an illustrious investor and consummate community leader, Akalugo Igwealor held several positions, such as past chairman of Uru-Eze Welfare Organization (two terms), past President of Odida Welfare Union, Odida Abatete, chairman of Abatete Erosion Control Committee and past President-General of Abatete Development Organization (ADO) worldwide.
He established several flourishing ventures which include B.C. Igwealor and Brothers Trading Company Limited, Baslon Agro Allied Industries Limited, Jekwubas Commercial Agencies Ltd, Basoono Farms and Agro Allied Ind. Ltd, as well as Diamond Tobacco Processing Ind. Ltd, both of which formed the Igwetraco Group of Companies Limited.
Academically, late Chief Igwealor, who was born on 15th May, 1954, enlisted into St. Joseph Primary School, Abatete, in 1960 -1962 for infant one and two before St. John’s Primary School, Odoakpu, Onitsha, from 1962 to 1966, but stopped in Elementary Five. He later completed his primary education in 1967, when he obtained the First School Leaving Certificate at St. Joseph, Abatete, due to the outbreak of the Nigeria/Biafra Civil War.
He joined apprentice trading in later part of 1970 under the mentorship of Chief (Sir) Dom Oguanyia from 1970 to 1976 when he graduated into sole entrepreneurship, and later married to his heartthrob, Mrs. Sussan C. Igwealor, and the marriage blessed with six children, but four alive, namely, Engr. Emmanuel C. Igwealor (son), Mrs. Ifeoma Izuakor, Mrs. Theodora Chidimma Ezeoke and Mrs. Clare Ogochukwu Chukwudebelu (daughters), and survived by many relatives.
Undaunted by the setbacks of the Biafran War, he sustained the zeal and keen interest to acquire the golden fleece by enrolling with the Rapid Result Correspondence College, London, and Exam Success Result College, Yaba, Lagos, as well as part-time studies at Timek Academy, Onitsha, where he successfully passed the General Certificate of Education (GCE).
Late Chief Igwealor was later offered admission into the Distant Education Programme of the former ASUTEC (now ESUT) where he graduated in Accountancy with a Bachelor of Science (B. Sc) degree, in 1997. He also possessed several academical and professional accolades, including FCON Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OCCIMA); FNISM Institute of Sales Management of Nigeria; Hon. Doctor of Philosophy (PHD) Pacific Christian University, USA, and Honorary Life President of OCCIMA, etc.