Ekene Omenma, Omekwa Ozo; this is an Igbo saying which when translated semantically means “When you appreciate a man’s good deed, he does more”. This is the story of one of Nigeria’s Outstanding Lawyer and Entrepreneur, whose works to humanity have been speaking on his behalf, even when he has decided not to make it a media affair. Being Human is a responsibility to serve God and humanity, whereas, handing down of wealth is a responsibility of trust from God to man to be used for the benefit of humanity. Allen Onyema understood the above, which is why he have chosen the path he is trading, touching lives on his journey of life.
I believe, this generation surely appreciates God Almighty for the parents of Allen, Late Chief Michael Onyema and Lolo Helen Onyema for the breed of orientation they accorded him. A man’s prosperity and peace of mind depend largely on his family, specifically the wife of his youth, appreciation goes to his wife, Lolo Alice Ojochida Onyema for the support and encouragement she has accorded him all these years. To all his children, a big well done, for being great kids.
Barrister Allen Ifeanyichukwu Onyema, is indeed a Rare Gem and a scare specie in our today’s world, especially the African society which we found ourselves. The Bible said and I quote “If you pour yourself out for the hungry (poor), and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness and your gloom be as the noonday” Isaiah 58:10, and “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble” – Psalm 41:1. These divine principles no doubt is the driving force of the man “Allen Onyema”, especially as he have decided to fulfill all that he promised God in prayers, to give back to society that which he receives. (The above revelation was made public on his appearance at Thinkation XX, an interview session with Ubong King in 2020.) This no doubt is why God is keeping him amidst all the storms of life, placing his feet on the right path. It is an obvious fact, that parental upbringing, personal orientation and conviction of Allen is the bases for all he is offering to the down trodden, prospective and young entrepreneurs, his nation and the globe (Humanity).
This piece of writing is not to appraise the humanitarian and Philanthropic gestures of the man ‘Allen’, but having followed his humanitarian activities, in both business and non-profit endevours, I write to appreciate all he has given back to society and to say a Very Big Thank You and Well Done on behalf of the generality of Nigerians of goodwill and also open up the broader picture of what Allen’s Philosophy stand for “helping the indigents and giving back to society”. An Igbo adage says “Jide ki Iji” which means when a man is asked to hold unto what he has, it means what he have is good”. Indeed, Allen’s pattern and way of life is rare in our world today, where the rich are working daily to enslave the poor and make them subjected tools for building personal empires, where men will rather wish all people will be at their mercy to survive. But his is meant to serve humanity. For this I say, Jide ki ji.
Allen Onyema is one man that have taken upon himself to dare every odd that comes with human responsibilities to serve his people selflessly. As an entrepreneur, he goes all out to meet the yenning of the people, even when it seems to be a government base responsibility: he has built chains of humanitarian businesses over the years, creating employment, giving business grants, offering humanitarian assistance and also proffering peaceful solutions in times of violence conflicts since in the 1980s. He has also gone far as taking up national responsibility upon his shoulder that men who are termed to be richer, whose businesses benefits largely on government patronage dare not attempt. He put himself, his plane and crew of Air Peace at risk to always evacuate, rescue and lift Nigerians in days and times of trouble at home and abroad; some of which include but not limited to:
• Evacuating Nigerians from South Africa during the Xenophobic attack – 2019.
• Returning Nigerians back home during the COVID – !9 lock down – 2020
• And the recent evacuation of Nigerians from the War-Torn Sudan – 2023
The Nigerian government can never pay him back all these good deeds, but the Nigerian people will forever be grateful to him for his love for country.
Allen’s level of humility is one that cannot be comprehended in just a glance because with all the wealth and affluence, he is down to earth. For a man of such caliber living his life just too simple and easy going, respecting all human class is just but better imagined, God have indeed blessed him with a great asset in character that many will wish to have.
Barr. (Chief) Allen Ifeanyichukwu Onyema is a man with multiple traditional feathers to his cap: Ide of Ihiala, and Obata Obie of Mbosi, he is also known with many other accolades and awards from both government and private sector:
Commander of the Order of the Niger 2022.
Silver Bird Man of the Year Award for Extraordinary Achievement 2021.
L&M Leader of the Month Award 2019 for Demonstration of Compassion and Meeting Need
2007 Martin Luther King Global Award for Pioneering Nonviolence Education in West Africa.
2006 African Leadership Merit Award by Africa International News Magazine
Hope for Humanity Award by Rotary Club and many other.
All these honours and award were attracted by humility, leadership and love for humanity. In area of business, Allen Onyema has over years spring up chains of businesses ranging from legal practice, estate management, business consultancy, importation, NGO for promoting non-violence and peace development. These establishments include: Air Peace, Allen Onyema & Company Real Estate, Onyema & Co. Law firm, Continental Business Link Limited, Every-Child Business (Electronic Import), All Time Peace Media Communications and International Centre for Non-Violence and Peace Development. The quest to impact lives is what triggers the establishment of all the above businesses and non-profit organization to see that humanity is not trampled upon, creating job and livelihood for people around him. And today, he has given job to a global workforce cutting across continents.
In every man’s life all that matters is the legacy he leaves when all about him is only but history (Only remembered by what we have done). Allen understood this assertion, which is prominent in one of his notable quotes which reads and I quote “One cannot go to his grave with his wallet, but the legacy you leave behind is what matters”. Holding unto the assertion passionately have been one of the greatest weapons in his arsenal, which have helped him in all his dealings. Holding unto God at all time and place, honouring all men and looking down on no man, always lending a helping hand, seeking peace with all men and helping one’s country is a feat that cannot be wished away even by an Arch-enemy and this is the greatest strength of Barr. (Chief) Allen Ifeanyichukwu Onyema and have kept him going amidst all storms of life. He is indeed a gift to this generation and the one to come.
Allen Onyema, the Nigerian People salute you. Your story cannot be put together with pen on one paper, for many will always write the impact you created in their lives in their own perspective. Nigeria applauds and appreciate your humanitarian, national and selfless service, congratulating you for the kind of life you chose to live and the path you have traded, keep it up. Your path has been an encouragement to many secret and open young admirers, who mentors after you, as your lifestyle and footstep have been a principle of life for many to emulate. History will write your story in gold letters, posterity will treat you well, Nigeria and Africa will always remember you long after you are gone, for you lived your life for the good of the people and your shoulder have become a National Burden Carrier. As the sayings goes, a Man’s name follows him and makes way for him. ALLEN, you are indeed a GREAT MAN.
Thank You and God bless.
This is piece is to encourage service to humanity
Mazi Uchenna Nwafor
Youtube Video Link for Allen Onyema – The Great Man’ Poem: