Day Abbi community honoured ‘Mr Grassroots’
It is not often that a community collectively concludes that an individual has earned honour and therefore deserved to be celebrated. That was exactly what Abbi community in Ndokwa West council, Delta state, did when they unanimously decided to honour Mr. Austin Ojunekwu Avuru, the MD of Seplat Petroleum Company PLC, acclaimed by all as Mr Grassroots, for all the developmental projects he brought to the community which changed the lives of many.
The quiet Abbi community was literally awoken last Wednesday when it hosted over a thousand visitors from within and outside the state in a grand ceremony to honour Avuru.
According to the Chief Neku Opute, chairman of the occasion, the entire community decided to honour Avuru because he selflessly embarked on huge and continuous supply of developmental assistance to the entire Abbi community.
Opute described Avuru as a grassroots man despite being an accomplished boardroom guru and technocrat. He listed Avuru’s accomplishments in the
community to include the construction of school blocks and upgrade of infrastructure, establishment of ultra modern hospital and Church cathedral, provision of multiple borehole water systems in all schools, construction of
palaces for the traditional councils, reconstruction and upgrade of Abbi police station and barracks to a divisional police headquarters.
Other projects include the completion of the magistrate court, provision of lucrative employment opportunities to Abbi sons and daughters and the provision of many empowerment programmes for citizens. He observed that while some other affluent persons from the community had channeled their wealth to sponsoring division and chaos with the community Avuru had channeled his for the community’s development and well-being.
At the grand appreciation party inside the field of Umia Primary School, many eminent personalities paid tribute to the celebrant.
According to the chairman of the Abbi traditional council of chiefs, Chief Eka Iloma (JP) it wasn’t difficult for the community to agree to honour Avuru because he was loved by all, as his projects had touched their lives.
He said: “Through him we know that drastic absence of government is not felt in Abbi. Through him our people can easily access good medical facilities.
Through him some of us have a good place of worship. Through him, we have access to justice at the magistracy. Through him Abbi community now has good security coverage and our sons and daughters are gainfully employed into the most enviable oil and gas sector”, he said.
On his part Mr. Emmanuel Konyebagu the CEO of Platform Petroleum Holdings Ltd said Avuru’s footprints on the community are too numerous to mention.
“His philanthropic works in Abbi cuts across quarters and sections of Abbi evenly spread.”
He said Avuru had refused to be drawn into sectionalism and favouritism but has doggedly strived to promote the unity and progress of Abbi.
In his appreciation message Avuru thanked the community for honouring him. He said he is motivated to do what he does for Abbi because it is the land of his forebears. He said individuals whom God has blessed must endeavour to improve the lives of the less privileged in the society as this would make the world a more peaceful good place to live.