The Chairman and CEO, Ejison Group of companies, Chief Joseph Ukeji has bagged another well befitting chieftaincy title from Aguleri, Anambra state. He was decorated ‘Ukpaka na Agbalu-Ora I of Aguleri’ by His Royal Majesty Eze C.N. Idigo (Ogalagidi II) on the 6th of January 2018.Inset: Chief Sir Joseph I. Ukeji, Ukpaka na-agbalu Ora I of Aguleri, Lady Loretta Ukeji (Ejison Amiable Wife) Chief Sir Victor Umeh, Hon. Solo Chukwulobelu, Secretary to Anambra State Government & A Chief of Aguleri Royal Cabinet by the left hand side of Loretta Ukeji. after the Conferment of Chieftaincy Honour on Chief Ukeji at Aguleri.
Ukeji who is known for his magnanimous and charitable lifestyle has received many accolades, awards and honorary titles from different parts of the world including United state of America, thus to balance his kind gesture.
A brief description of his personality pontificates that Chief Ukeji is an unusual art of connoisseur, impresario enigma, a man with a benevolence heart, Pulchritude personified.
He is sobriquet a philanthropist who merits the traditional honour of Ukpaka na agbalu – Ora I of Aguleri, a befitting honour for an accomplished businessman and an undisputed philanthropist that teaches people how to catch fish.
Touching lives positively in our society can be described as the known trademark of Chief Joseph I. Ukeji. He is an epitome of humility and as a true Christian; he abides by the biblical admonition of not allowing ones left hand to know what the right hand is giving as an offering.
A research into the lifestyle of Chief Joseph I. Ukeji fondly addressed as Chimalunzu by friends and well-wishers, revealed that he has empowered a lot of people in our society; most of whom are reportedly doing well in their various businesses. He is a silent achiever and one of the most successful businessman in Igbo land. He built his business success foundation with truth and hard work.
His business partners describe him as a reliable man whose words are his bonds. He does not abuse business opportunities rather he utilizes them very well. He is also not a trouble-maker hence the reason he thread off the trouble paths. He is a lover of good governance and that is the reason why he gave Governor Obiano overwhelming support in the last governorship election.
He is not a government contractor but supported the Governor during the last Governorship election, thus Obiano’s performance wooed him. In an Interview I had with him at his G.R.A. Onitsha palatial residence, he disclosed to me that he has already concluded arrangements on relocating his business from Anambra to Lagos State because of insecurity during the administration of Mr. Peter Obi.
He changed his mind when the current administration came up with good security initiatives which immediately started yielding fruitful results in the state. He made it clear in the interview that security is the bedrock of sustainable development and any government that ensured the security of lives and properties of the people deserves commendation.
Chief Joseph I. Ukeji as a businessman is always focused on doing the right thing for the progress of his business and he abhors anything that will soil his hard earned reputation. He has made giant strides in the business world. He obviously succeeded in a terrain where many failed because as a child of God, he puts God first in everything he does.
He always credits his business success to the good work of God in his life and the support of his amiable wife Lady Loretta Ukeji (Adadioranma of Oraukwu).
At this juncture, permit me to humbly use this medium to reel out Chief Joseph I. Ukeji’s profile. Chief Sir Joseph I. Ukeji, KSM, was born 58 years ago to the Christian family of Ukeji in Ottah village of Oraukwu community, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
He had his primary education at Obianazonwu Memorial Primary School now Holy Trinity Primary School, Onitsha. After the completion of his primary education, he enrolled in a secondary school but unfortunately his secondary education was cut short because of his father’s early death.Inset: L – R Lady Loretta Ukeji, Chief Sir Joseph I. Ukeji, Ukpaka na-agbalu Ora I of Aguleri, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, Hon. Chinedu Obidigwe, Aka oma Jide aku I of Aguleri (Special Adviser to Gov. Obiano on Political Matters & Ezeoba, A High Chief from Oraukwu Community after the Conferment of Chieftaincy Honour on Chief Ukeji at Aguleri.
He did not allow his father early death to weigh him down rather he trudged on like a Spartan to achieve success in a world where many failed on flimsy excuse. Chief Joseph I. Ukeji did his business tutelage under Chief Andrew, Ichie Diji I of Oraukwu, his maternal uncle. After the tutelage, he started his own business in Onitsha with N4,000 naira as a textile merchant.
His love and quest for education made him combine business and educational pursuit together. He ended up pursuing his education to the University level and earned a degree from a reputable University. He has attended various local and international business seminars and courses. As at today, Ukeji has built a successful business conglomerate in Nigeria. One of such is ‘Ejison Group of Companies’. They are into Oil and Gas, manufacturing and fast moving consumer goods. He is an Ozo title holder from Oraukwu who does not accept further traditional title offers from traditional rulers.
He accepted the chieftaincy honour of Ukpaka na-agbalu ora I of Aguleri because of his love for Governor Obiano and also for his respect for Aguleri traditional institution as the cradle of Igbo race.
Chief Joseph I. Ukeji is happily married to Lady Loretta Ukeji, his pillar of success. Their marriage is blessed with wonderful and well-behaved children. A lot of people have benefited from his philanthropic gestures.
Some of which are:Construction of a road at his Oraukwu Community in 2004. He is currently building a Catholic Church at his Ottah Village in Oraukwu. He empowered not less than 100 people financially to setup their own business and they are all doing well. He built houses for many people including his personal driver that hails from Uturu Okigwe in Abia State.
Chief Joseph Ukeji philanthropic gestures in our society fetched him many awards and they are:Award of Excellence from British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014. Award of Excellence from British High Commission in Dubai in 2016. Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International in 1994. Pillar of the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity Award in 2010. Nigerian Red Cross Honour of Volunteer General for Service to Humanity Award in 2013. The Nigerian Police Award of Honour as Mayor in appreciation of his immense contribution to the police and mankind in 2016. Pillar of APGA Award in 2016. Certificate of special award by Nigeria Police Force Community relations Committee (PCRC) in recognition of his contribution to community policing. Philanthropist Extra-ordinaire and Business titan award from Anambra State Government. His holiness Benedict XVI – Apostolic Blessing in 2010. The Holy Father Francis – Apostolic Blessing in 2014. Pope Francis Apostolic Blessing in 2016. Exemplary worthy Brother of Knight of St. Mulumba (KSM) Award. Holy Trinity Cathedral Jubilee Merit Award in 2000. Onitsha Sports Club Performance Trophy Merit Award for his outstanding performance in sports in 2003 – 2004.
All these awards were bestowed on him as a result of his success in the business world and also because of his humanitarian services in our society.
Chief Sir Joseph I. Ukeji is a man of the people, an Idemili North son of the soil that is priced above jewel.
He has an undying love for draft game to the extent of using it as a way of empowering the less privileged. He initiated a yearly draft game competition for his people at Oraukwu which whoever wins go home with a huge sum of money.
Having reeled out his profile, you will agree with me that His Royal Majesty Eze C.N. Idigo and the entire Aguleri Royal Cabinet were right in their decision to bestow the Chieftaincy honour of Ukpaka na agbalu ora on Chief Joseph I. Ukeji.
The traditional honour is an encouragement to him for all his philanthropic gestures towards the development of our society. It is said that “when a child is doing well, he or she will be encouraged to keep it up”.
Chief Joseph I. Ukeji has done a lot especially for the less privileged in our society and he deserved the accolades and honour he received as a result of his kind gestures.
I can state without mincing words that his heart overflows with milk of kindness. If you go to him with problems, you will not come back home the same, he will definitely offer you some help or proffer solution that will help you resolve your problem.
He is a rare gem that does not joke with handwork. He knew that hard work contributed immensely to his success and that is the reason why he still supervises his businesses by himself at his level.
His enormous contribution to his people has earned him untainted love from his community. His love for peace made him to ensure the enthronement of peaceful co-existence and harmonious relationship among his people.
Chief Joseph I. Ukeji is a man in whom the downtrodden are well pleased and the chieftaincy honour of Ukpaka na-agbalu Ora I of Aguleri that was bestowed on him by Eze C.N. Idigo can best be described as a well deserved honour to a man of the people.
More strength to your elbows.
Written by: Evang Chinedu Obigwe.
National Co-ordinator of APGA Media Warriors Forum,
E-mail: [email protected]