Dr. Larry Maduabuchukwu Udorji (Ichie Ezenwamadu of Ihiala) – Altruist, Leader, Philanthropist, and Doctor of Clinical Psychology.
These are few titles that our Ihiala National USA (INUSA) Chairman garnered throughout his life.
lchie Ezenwamadu, succinctly put, was a contemplative man of many facets – he took family, laity, business, and community leadership to their highest levels, and even as he was going through challenges regarding his health, Dr. Udorji was still thinking about how to improve his community with the policies and projects he initiated and executed since he assumed the position of INUSA chairman. As we are all aware in 2019, Ichie Larry Udorji’s community commitment motivated him to go home to contest for a seat to represent Ihiala South Constituency in the National House of Representatives, which was a demonstration of his fervent determination to improve the lot of his community and our country, Nigeria.
Dr Larry’s pursuits on every level whether in the civic/community leadership, church, philanthropy and in politics, he connected people, and the communities through public trails and in preservation of the cultures of not just Ebeleris, but Igbos in general. This mien endeared him to many, who, in turn, entrusted him with the leadership of World Igbo Congress (WIC), Nwannedinamba, Ihiala Regional Congress, and the Catholic Community in Maryland.
His selfless services were not just to his community in Ihiala and the Igbos, but he extended to entire Nigeria and humanity. It was a testament of his leadership qualities that earned him recognition by many organizations, including the influential Business Day award which described him as one of the citizens that impacted the entire continent of Africa.
Indeed, Ichie Ezenwamadu, Nwa Ebeleri, exemplified what the proverbial father told his young son when he witnessed a fallen tree in the forest with other gigantic trees in the tropical forest. The young man said to his father, “a tree has fallen, a tree has fallen.” As the son and father walked in the direction of the fallen tree, the father said to his son, “This is not just a tree.” “This is the tree…the tree of all trees, this is the Iroko tree,” he exclaimed.
Yes, Ichie Dr Larry Udorji was our husband, father, son, brother, and uncle – a real Iroko tree. And so, an Iroko has fallen. But this Iroko tree that fell has several deep tap roots and memories to be treasured and evoked forever. His transition is also a lesson about life that we must always be aware. A lesson that nothing lasts forever and a testimony that it is not how long one lived but what impact that person made on others and the society that counts. Yes, as he did with records of success in all facets of his endeavors as evidenced from his achievements.
Ichie Ezenwamadu was the bulwark of the INUSA since its inception and led the organization to achieve great improvements in community development, health care, security, and philanthropy – key areas of his administration’s meridian programs in Ihiala. He lived fully everyday happily and successfully as a transformative leader.
Today, as we gathered here to pay tribute to our hero and our Iroko – yes celebration of life is what it is…because he will live forever not just in our memories, but series of his accomplishments are landmarks set on a marble worth celebrating every day, meaning he is alive and well in our memories. Let us therefore not dwell too much in mourning – shedding of tears and gnashing of teeth.
The story of Dr Larry is too long for anybody to tell in a chapter or two or even in a book about the life and his legacies. As his brothers, we will tell his story from our home front because charity begins at home (but does not end at home) as our Ichie Ezenwamadu personified. As records of his accomplished revealed, he was a leader that was involving in bringing to life several programs and projects he was involved. He came, saw, ran the race, and he won the race very well. INUSA was his soul, and he endeared himself to the responsibilities of a leader in the organization with a passion. Below are some of his accomplishments: indeed, these accomplishments are all about his character as a transformative leader:
As part of Ihiala National USA (INUSA) annual community development initiatives in Ihiala town, INUSA made its annual medical missions to Ihiala every Christmas season since its inception in 2008. In its first task on inauguration, INUSA embarked on its first medical mission on estimated budget of N2.36 million ($15,000 – the prevailing exchange rate in 2008). The medical mission programs include medical screening for all kinds of health issues, distribution of prescription drugs for patients diagnosed with malaria, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. More than 30 medical personnel including doctors, pharmacists, nurses from United States, and Ihiala, were mobilized as volunteers to the mission.
As its contribution to Ihiala community development in 2012, INUSA donated a brand-new X-ray machine to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Ihiala, at an estimated cost of N4.24million ($27,000 prevailing exchange rate in 2012).
In 2014, INUSA mobilized N7.25 million, toward its key meridian programs – Healthcare, Education and Security. N4.85 million was allocated to providing free health care to Ebeleris; N2.40 million went toward security and purchase of surveillance equipment for the Ihiala Vigilante security operative.
In 2019 through 2020, despite the raging COVID Pandemic, INUSA by zeal and motivation of its leader, Ichie Dr. Larry Udorji, a mission that was brainstormed for a while became a reality. INUSA’s embarked on a mission toward construction an international-standard Emergency Trauma Center in Ihiala. Several acres of land valued at over N25 million Naira was eventually acquired for the project. INUSA guarantees that with the transition of its chairman, his transformative leadership that motivated the project, coupled with cohesive and high performing team of executive members, all efforts will be geared toward the successful takeoff of the project.
27 Elementary and High Schools in the Ihiala town under its education program received N200,000 each in 2014 toward projects that were selected and of high priorities to the administrators of these schools. About N2.25 million INUSA’s donation went to support medical mission the same year.
N1.0 million ($6, 400) was donated to the vigilante group in 2010, with 7 motorcycles valued N942, 000 ($6,000) and medical equipment with free medical screening and medication valued at N3.30million ($21,000) were also provided to Ebeleris and other non -indigenes of Ihiala who to turned up to receive the medical screening and medications.
In the same 2014, a security patrol van valued at N2.04 million ($13,000) was donated by INUSA to Ihiala Vigilante. This is in addition to medical screening and provision of medicines valued at N3.14 million ($20,000) the same year. The empowerment of the Ihiala Vigilante group contributed enormously to the foiling of first robbery incident by a vigilante group to be recorded in the history of Nigeria.
Awards of Certificates of Recognition to Distinguished Ebeleri Sons and Daughters. December 29-30, 2017: Ihiala National USA (INUSA) held its 6th Biennial Convention for the first time since INUSA’s inception in 2009 to Ihiala town. As part of its annual community development, recognition, and appreciation of Ihiala sons and daughters that distinguished themselves in civic/community, religious and corporate leadership, and community services were awarded trophies and certificates.
On behalf of Ihiala National USA (INUSA)– the organization Ichie Dr. Larry Udorji provided a structure, the foundation upon which no wind, storm or earthquake will wobble; we wish you farewell. You have done your race on earth, you have danced full to the tone of life’s music, you have travelled the distance, won all the battles (including this one which eventually forced you to bow with dignity and took your last breath). You were stoic, strong and determined till the end, which explains your total purposive life. You have lived life full of transparent legacies.
We love you Ichie Ezenwamadu. We are delighted that our paths crossed, and we are related to you by DNA.
This is a painful exit but who are we to
query God, but what we promise you is that your legacies will never be blown by any storm or washed away by any gush of Tsunami. We will miss you, but in our spirits, you will live every day and forever. Nnaa nke oma. Rest in perfect peace – Ichie Ezenwamadu.
Dr. Primus Igboaka.
Chief Charles Maduaforkwa
Chief Austin Akabueze
Ag. Chairman, INUSA