The emergence of a former Canada based Diaspora-Nigeria mobiliser and hospitality business fixer, Chief Johnny Metchie, as the President General (PG) of Umueri community in Anambra East local government, has elicited uncommon attention and excitement, as never experienced in the history of the ancient kingdom, ANAMBRA PEOPLE reports.
Although he was formally inaugurated as the PG on Easter Monday, April 18, Metchie had, immediately he was elected on March 5, embarked on tours of major cities in Nigeria, including Lagos and Abuja, where he met prominent sons and daughters of Anambra state as well as business owners and investors, urging them to bring investment to his community, Umueri, which he described as a favourite destination for business, currently.
It was during one of those outings that Metchie, then still a PG-elect, visited former President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Tuesday, April 12.
Although the visit was to condole with the former President over a recent auto-accident in which he lost two police escorts on his convoy, Metchie used the opportunity to seek Jonathan’s prayers for the success of his tenure as Umueri PG.
Earlier on Monday, April 11, Metchie was in Lagos from where he issued a press statement calling on government of Anambra state to look towards the Umueri community for investment, as the place has the potentials to contribute immensely to the building of the new Anambra homeland that is the dream of Governor Chukwuma Soludo.
Metchie, who holds the traditional title of Ezi of Umueri, also called on the CEOs of Air Peace and United Nigeria Airlines, Bar. Allen Onyema and Dr Obiorah Okonkwo respectively, among others to take advantage of the Anambra International Cargo Airport, Orient Petroleum Refinery, Capital University and the Eri House (the Centre of Research in Igbo History and Culture), among others, that are located in the community, to invest in whatever sector of the economy of their choice. It was due to excitement and of course, curiosity generated by the news of Metchie’s post inauguration activities that the Umueri civic centre was filled to the brim on Easter Monday when he was formally installed as the community’s PG at a ceremony conducted by one of the leaders of the community, Chief Sam Umeadi.
He was sworn-in alongside other members of the new executive, alongside the deputy president general, Udenze John Ajana, secretary general- Achunike Ivekwu, assistance secretary- Nzedigwe Obiora Francis and treasurer, Tochi Henry Chidebelu, among others. Speaking immediately after taking over, Chief Metchie appreciated the members of Umueri General Assembly and promised to give time and resources for the betterment of the Umueri people as well as deploy his wide contact in Nigeria and abroad to develop the community.
But the major pleasant surprise came on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, a day after his inauguration when he declared open, a one week intensive training and skill acquisition programme he initiated for members of the community. The hundreds of women, youths and disabled persons who registered for the training where awed to see the massive number of equipment for face beautification, hairdressing and barbing salon, fashion designing, bead making and cookery, among other vocations already procured by their new PG. The programme was declared closed on Saturday, April 23, with over 300 community members as beneficiaries.
Already, the new PG has written letters to embassies of some select countries soliciting for partnerships in the areas of rural community development projects including provision of accommodation for doctors and nurses to operate the Umueri community health center, boreholes, modern classroom blocks, malaria and mother/child mortality prevention units, among others. It is a combination of the above and many other giant strides recorded by Chief Johnny Chukwudi Metchie since he was elected as the PG of Umueri that have put him on the spotlight within the community, Anambra state and Nigeria in general.Chief Johnny Chukwudi Metchie was born on the 27th of November 1963. He attended Hope Children school, Gbagada Lagos, Government Secondary School Kuru Jos, Plateau state, Compucollege School of Business, Richmond, Canada and Columbia College, Vancouver, obtaining certificates and Associate of Art degree in Hospitality Management/Travel and Tourism and Business Administration.
Metchie returned to Nigeria and went into shipping with First Miles Shipping Company in 1996.
In 2004 he relocated to Ghana with his family and there, set up Maple Crown Services Inc which handles servicing, maintenance and supplies for the Canadian embassy in Ghana.
In the same 2004, he established Emperor Travel and Tours Inc which provides tour services.
The company later expanded into transportation covering routes across Benin Republic and Ghana.
The new Umueri PG is also involved hotel management with his Emperor Suites which now has branches in Johannesburg, South Africa as well as services in airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, railways, travel insurance, and package tours, in addition to finance and electronic payment system in Nigeria with his company, Nigepay Solutions.
© Melah, a journalist, writes from Abuja