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[NKANU TODAY] A Tribute To A ‘Messiah’ [Icon], His Royal Majesty, Hon. J.E Igwesi
HRH Igwe Rt. Hon. John Egbo Igwesi

[NKANU TODAY] A Tribute To A ‘Messiah’ [Icon], His Royal Majesty, Hon. J.E Igwesi


EDITOR’S NOTE: April 11, 2024 marks the 43rd anniversary of the death of HRH Rt. Hon. John Egbo Igwesi.

By Chief Mark A. Ngene


God in His infinite mercy created Hon. J.E Igwesi to liberate Nkanu and Awkunanaw people from primitive and timid lifestyle and obnoxious custom and tradition. He also created him to salvage the people from the clutches of backwardness.

The early life of Hon. J.E. Igwesi was very clear from when we were all in school. While some of us were eager to pass standard 6 (six) and went to teachers training schools, John, as he was called, had his own ambition going into secondary school because teachers training school and secondary school education were at variance.

There was no secondary school around our area, the few secondary schools could be found at Agrey Memorial College, Arochukwu, Methodist College, Uzu Akoli and D.M.G.S, Onitsha.


John Igwesi was one of the foremost students of Nkanu. He attended the college, Agrey Memorial College with one Ezekiel Nnamoko from Akpawfu. So, when he came out of the school he secured employment in Nigeria Coal Services; from thence John started his natural assignment. First, he summoned Awkunanaw people to discuss and revert the old insinuation that Awkunanaw people denounced colonial administration and all its benefits. He did this with the cooperation of the newly recruited colliery workers of Awkunanaw origin.

While he was still in the services of coal mining, parliamentary election into Eastern Region of Nigeria came into focus. John joined forces within N.C.N.C with Chief Daniel Nnamani of Agbani, Chief Denis Nnaji of Oruku, Chief Aneke Chime of Udi and Chief Charles Abangwu of Nsukka; they all won the elections into Eastern Nigeria House of Assembly, Enugu. There and then John made manifest of his wisdom and sagacity.

The following were some of his notable achievements in the parliament:

-Nkanu and Udi earlier merged were demerged [and the whole area, is presently recognized as Nkanu East, Nkanu West, Enugu East, Enugu South and Enugu North.]


-Wawa State Movement: Hon. J.E. Igwesi was one of the foremost Architect of the Wawa State movement, renamed Enugu State. The victory of the movement was the full concern of Hon. J.E Igwesi, Hon. Christian Onoh and Barr. Enechi Onyia. The road to the victory was rough and perilous because some of the militants of the movement were wounded during encounter with Chief C.O.C Chiedozie led opposition group.

-The acquisition of the entire Enugu township from Udi hill down to Ayo River acquired as coal field and signed by paramount Chief Onyema of Eke in Udi. The process and the signatory were erroneous thereby these named parliamentarians went into the House of Assembly and cancelled the acquisition. The Akwuke people who were paying annual rent stopped. Ugwu Akum Attakwu took over their land from the wrongful acquisition. Amagu, Akegbe took over their land from within. Also, Umuatugbuoma, Amechi Awkunanaw also took over their land within, so also the pople of Nike.

-Also on the floor of the House of Assembly, they jointly sponsored a motion calling on each representative to advice their people not to come to Enugu township bare bodied, either to come and sell or buy, and nobody should bath openly on the running waters such as mmiri Akegbe, Asata River and Ekulu River. Open defecation from all sides was abolished, also encouraged was wearing of footwears.


Hon. J.E Igwesi made Awkunanaw situation his primary objective because he was instrumental to the establishment of Awkunanaw first and second layouts, Achara Layout. He encouraged land owners from various villages that their lands fell within the layout to exercise caution in the sell and maintainace of their various plots/portions of the lands. He also co-sponsored other bills on the floor of the House of Assembly.

Hon. J.E Igwesi was an Ambssador Extraordinaire to various areas of the country where there were conflicts among our members. When chieftaincy issue arose in Eastern Nigerian, John had no problem in becoming Chinawaeze of Obuoffia Awkunanaw.

In his early days, he invited all headmasters in Awkunanaw and advised them to establish literal members to enable the children develop their talents and become well educated and go into various fields such as law, medicine, engineering and others.

The life and times of Hon. J.E. Igwesi by our assessment, had no dull moment. It was because of this, because of all the engagements here and there, materially he was disposed to being very rich but his principal aim was to develop the people through education.

In the final analysis. Hon. John Igwesi had, in obedience to our ancestors’ traditional prayer, that the family after his demise be greater than the family in his lifetime. Therefore, the children of Hon. J.E Igwesi had kept the flag flying, they are vibrant, vocal and eloquent.

His first son has immortalized his dear father by establishing schools of various branches to foster education which was the cardinal policy of their late father.

May the soul of Hon. John Egbo Igwesi rest in perfect peace, Amen.

Chief Mark A. Ngene (“JP” Egbeanuzu)


Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.

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  1. Dr. Onyeke,N.G.

    Congratulations! Congratulations!!. A clear 43 years of celebration. HRH Igwe John, your ancestors has ordained you likewise your children whom you did not see. They’re proud to have you and come from your linage. Continue to intercess for us in your own way as a leader of those ages, preserve Nkanu land, Igbo at a whole and Nigeria. Instill good leadership to those of our traditional leaders and those we are under.
    HRH, you are no longer alive but you can stand by our gaps. May your life on earth continue to shine forever in Jesus name Amen 💖. Sleep on Eze, Educationist, Humanitarian legend and our mediator.

  2. Dr. Uzoamaka Ogwo

    Congratulations to a man of vision, a pacesetter, a king, a legend and a leader per excellent. Your legacies will forever live on Daddy. May your Soul continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord in Jesus name, Amen.

  3. Offor Ifeanyi

    A great man.. continue to rest in paradise

  4. Chief, Hyginus Nnaji. ( Ohabuenyi )

    What a great and visionary leader who had thought us the best way to go in life. The legacies he left behind will continue to be a pointer, not only to his children, but to all of us who live now and those after us.
    May his soul continue to rest in peace till we meet to part no more.

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