Saturday, September 9, 2023 was a day that excited members of Mbaise United of New Jersey, Inc (MUNJI), their friends and well-wishers trooped to Sacred Heart Church Hall, 537 Grove Street, Irvington, New Jersey, USA to celebrate her Inauguration as well as the Iri-Ji Mbaise ceremony.
It was pure ecstasy for guests and members of MUNJI who were present at the auspicious occasion. It was as if the angels came down from heaven and programmed the event in such a way that people were so relaxed while melodious music filtered into the hall and people danced to high heavens.
The event kicked off with an opening prayer before the chairman of the occasion, Chief (Sir) SOS Echendu delivered his welcome address, preceded by the address of the President of MUNJI, Chief Engr Ugochi Ikwu.
Foods served were not only succulent and mouth watering but also in abundance.
The arena was electrified by the gorgeous decoration, so appealing and scintillating that one could mistake the place for an arena specially prepared for angels to stay and sing songs and praises to God Almighty.
The superlative performance by the MUNJI Kids led by Lady Ezenwanyi Amadi was well orchestrated and enjoyed by all.
As the program progressed, the chapter was officially inaugurated by the President, Mbaise USA, backed by the Chairman, Mbaise USA Board of Delegates, Chief Dr Charles Iwejuo.
Two distinguished sons of Mbaise were honored with Awards for Leadership Excellence. In presenting the awards to the recipients, the Chairman of the Planning Committee, Chief Uzoma Nwagwu extolled the President of MUNJI, Chief Engr Ugochi Ikwu, for his leadership of the organization for eight years, noting that the association could pass as one of the fastest growing socio-cultural groups as it relates to their growing numeric strength and scope.
He also congratulated the 2nd recipient, the president, Mbaise USA, Chief Sir Echendu, conferred with the Humanitarian Service Award for 2023, alongside Nigeria’s former Chief of Army Staff, General T.Y. Danjuma on the 8th of September, 2023, during a special symposium on International Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflicts: An African Perspective at Nigeria’s International Conference Centre, Abuja – a prestigious award by International Human Rights Commission (IHRC). Uzoma praised the 2nd term presidency of SOS, his towering achievements, immense contributions and insatiable appetite for the development of Mbaise.
The traditional rites of the new yam festival were performed by Ndi Ezeji led by Ezeji (Engr) Linus Uzoaru. The traditional rulers in attendance, HRH Ezeri and HRH Eze Elect Iheanacho Mbalewe took turns to bless the yam barn, before cutting up the roasted yams. Special guests and most attendees voluntarily launched and collected tubers of yam from the barn.
There was no dull moment with DJ Topez, one of the best DJs in New Jersey who was on the music stand, while MC extraordinaire, Royal High Chief Mike Mbagwu (Akadike) and Dr Uche Bonny-Life Ndu anchored the joyous celebration.
Among the crowd of dignitaries who graced the historic occasion were MbaiseUSA President, High Chief (Sir) SOS and Mrs. Ijeoma Echendu, President Mbaise Family Union (MFU), Engr Paul and Mrs. Chinyere Onuoha, Chairman Mbaise USA Board of Trustees, Dr Charles and Mrs. Iwejuo, Ex-MbaiseUSA President, Dr Sir Law Osondu, Chief Mike & Lolo Promise Unegbu, Attorney Emmanuel & Chief Mrs. Doris Odoemene, High Chief Cally & Dr Mrs. Maureen Ndu, Hon Bethel Agomuoh, High Chief Gabriel & Chief (Mrs.) Chika Iyere, Chief Sir Charles & Lolo Beatrice Eluwa, Hon Judge Jude Nkama, Attorney Chris & Professor Justina Ekeocha, Dr & Mrs. Ike Ike, Engr Alex & Mrs. Ivy Nnorom, Multiple High Chief Kelechi & Lolo Oby Onyegbule, Attorney Uzoma & Mrs. Ubanii, Mazi Magnus & Lady Bimbo Adighije, Attorney Ejike Uzor. Socio~cultural groups Odinma Anedo, Ijaw Women Association, Mbaise Association Delaware, and Orange FC (OFC) were fully represented.
Well deserved accolades were heaped on the MUNJI President and his wife, Chief Engr Ugochi and Bola Ikwu, the Planning Committee led by Chief Uzoma Nwagwu and the entire members, all of who contributed towards making the occasion spectacularly successful.