Chief Don Ubani
Down to earth, straight forward and uncompromisingly blunt, without minding whose ox is gored, Abia State Commissioner for Petroleum and Solid Minerals Development, Chief Don Ubani, in this interview with Olaolu Olusina, says he is satisfied that he is a member of Ochendo’s transformation administration that is changing the fortunes of Abia State.
The team, according to the Okwubunka of Asa, is working quantifiably hard to rewrite the fortunes of Abia State; a state, which, he said, “was unfortunately, inexplicably and unjustifiably dislocated by the previous administration.”
And still basking in the euphoria of his 55th birthday which he marked on January 1, Ubani, in an e-mail interview with THISDAY, said he has more reasons to thank God.
“I felt highly grateful to God Almighty for His kindness and mercy which have combined to guarantee that I live not only up to 55 but equally living a very pronounced purposeful active life,” he said.
“I, therefore, feel immensely elated that, so far, I have had the uncommon privilege of living a robust and self-fulfilled 55 years on planet earth. Apart from being absolutely faithfully grateful to God, I also feel morally indebted to His Excellency, Governor T.A. Orji, Ochendo who, purely out of his own volition, enormously added value to my personality. At 55, I would not also forget His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Adolphus Wabara for carrying me along when he was President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Looking back with a sense of humility, he also maintained that he has been very lucky to have gotten to where he is today at his age. Ubani, who was a Principal in the Abia State School System, started out as the State chairman of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) and was one of the 21 political leaders that convened the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State in 1998 following which he became the first organising secretary of the party in the state.
A two-time special adviser to a state governor and special adviser to a former President of the Senate, Ubani, who was also a commissioner in Abia State Local Government Service Commission, was a federal board member of the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria, Benin City.
The former Abia State Commissioner for Information and Strategy was also the State Director of Communication of Ochendo Campaign Organisation in 2010 and Director of Propaganda and Publicity of Abia PDP Campaign in 2011.
He was also the Executive Director of Centre for Equity and Eradication of Rural Poverty as well as the Managing Director of Asa Global Enterprises Nigeria and Akudinulo Agro Enterprises Nigeria.
The commissioner, however, said he has been humbled by these records of achievement as he attributed them to God’s infinite grace. “Being a blue-blooded aborigine of Asa land, I am unreservedly grateful to Asa traditional rulers, who in 1991, under the above leadership of His Royal Majesty, Eze Shedrack Ezere Ahuama, conferred the prestigious chieftaincy title of Okwubunka of Asa, meaning “Speech is an art”, on me.
“Again, not long ago, the traditional ruler of my autonomous community, Umuiku-Isi-Asa, His Royal Highness, Eze Timothy Edwin Agu, conferred on me the most prestigious chieftaincy title of Ihe Mba, meaning “The light of the community”, on me. Above all, my church; Aba Diocese of Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion ordained me as a Knight of St. Christopher in 2002.
“In all my enterprise in life, God and His angels, through my Lord Jesus Christ, have been and will remain my source of strength,” he said.
Ubani also attributed his success to the cooperation of his wife and children. “As it has always been said, beside any successful man is not just a woman but a woman of good virtue. My wife, Lady Anthonia Ubani, a very meticulous and articulate sociologist and public administrator, is a personification of motivation and psyco-social balancing.
“My six children have actually added hilarity to my family as their intellectual exploits in their respective places of learning have remained second to none. So, I salute Chiamaka, Chukwuka, Ugonnem, Ezenwanyi, MacDon and Chimagoziem,” he explained.
A lover of sports, Ubani said that informed his membership of Aba Sports Club (1926). “When I have the time to spare, I often drive to the club for either golf or tennis. I strongly appreciate recreation,” he said.
Ubani said he believes unequivocally in equity, justice, transparency and accountability. “I also admire loyalty to and respect for a cause one believes in,” he added, stressing that the antithesis of the above intrinsic qualities would always draw him into a head on collision with those on the other end.
His advice for the youths is simple. “My advice to the Nigerian youths is to get back to the basis. They should make both individual and concerted effort to study and appreciate our ethos.
“They have to cherish the simple fact that our value system in entails self discipline, respect for our elders, loyalty to our state, hard-work, resourcefulness, transparency, accountability, obedience to the laws of the land, patriotism, accommodation of one another, religious tolerance, commitment to agriculture and, above all, faithfulness in our God Almighty.
“The Nigerian youth should neither allow himself to be used for economic sabotage against his country nor as a destroyer of precious human lives, ” he advised.