Immortalizing the Heroic Deeds of An Accomplished Engineer, Notable Philanthropist and Community Leader, Engr. Dominic Ekesi

Registered Igbo socio-cultural organization, the Anambra Central People’s Forum extols the virtues of the past President-General of Abatete Development Union, a symbol of well-established unity of purpose, Engr. (Chief Dr.) Dominic O. Ekesi of the blessed memory.

A proud alumnus of Government College, Umuahia, from where he graduated with Seven Distinctions and a Credit in 1955, he attended the Senior Officers Course for Technical Officers-in-Training, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Works, at the Technical Institute, Yaba, then proceeded to the Pre- Engineering Programme of the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Enugu Campus in 1957 on scholarship by Costain(W. A) Ltd. He graduated in 1959 with Distinction in Pure Mathematics and Physics. His brilliant performance attracted three simultaneous scholarship offers, and he chose that which enabled him to study Civil Engineering at the University of Rome (Universitadeglistudi did Roma).

On arrival in Italy in 1961, he underwent a three-month course in Italian Language at Italian University for foreigners in Perugia and a six-month Pre-engineering course in University of Pavia before he underwent regular course from 1962-1866, and subsequently obtained the Degree of Doctor in Civil Engineering (Dr. Engr.) specializing in structures.

He commenced work with Salini Construction in Rome, and after six months, was employed by an Engineering Consulting Firm, Electro Consult(1967-1972). He worked in several aspects of Engineering, and returned to Nigeria in  February, 1972, to contribute to national development. In Nigeria, he worked as Executive Engineer, Grade 1 at the Federal Ministry of Works, Bridge Design Section (1972-1974); Deputy Technical Manager, AGIP Nigeria Limited (1974-1975); and Lagos Area Representative, CONTECNO International Project Consultants(1975-1977), where he was engaged in the Design of Lagos State Secretariat Complex.

Engr. Ekesi went into private business, and established Better Living Limited and New Design Furniture Limited. These companies pioneered the production of high quality furniture in Nigeria, and positively changed the sector. He has diversified into Real Estate and was an equally successful Hotelier.

Chief Ekesi, a philanthropist of note, has contributed in no small measure, to the development of people within and outside his hometown, Abatete, and to the development of Anambra State and Nigeria. He has sponsored several self- development  pursuits by many, and donated generously to numerous projects in Abatete and in Anambra State, as well as other programmes with clear roadmap to enhanced welfare of the less-privileged.  He has been very instrumental to the collective peace and progress in his town, and since 1981, has played key roles in dialogue and resolution of matters. In November, 1987, he was elected the first President of Abatete Development Organization *(ADO),* a new organization that emerged from peaceful resolution of internal conflicts in the Town, which he facilitated. He served exceptionally as President of ADO, from 1987-1990, fostering the resurgence of Traditional institutions and the actualization of the Town’s rural electrification project, among many other achievements.

In recognition of his immense contributions to the development of Abatete, His Royal Highness, Igwe P. U Nkpume, Eze Edeoga 1 of Abatete(now late), in consultation with his Council of Ichies, conferred on him, the Title of *”OMELORA ABATETE”* on December, 28, 1991. He was the Chairman, Board of Directors, Abatete Community Bank Limited and facilitated development in the wider setting through active membership of associations like Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos, League of Anambra Professionals, and others. He was a prominent member of Government College, Umuahia Old Boys’ Association.

He was very dedicated to religious activities and freely deployed his God-given resources to the service of the Church. Along with his wife, Katia, they fostered a process that led to the establishment of the first Nigerian convent and co-educational secondary school of Dominican Sisters; known as The Dominican Sisters College, Abatete. This institution educates many underprivileged children, funded by voluntary contribution.

Chief Dominic Ekesi inspired Ndi Anambra and others, with his great achievements, philanthropy, warm personality and uncompromising integrity.

As we mourn this Iconic Community Leader, successful Engineer and notable Philanthropist, let us be mindful of his enduring legacies, exemplary leadership and commendable role in Community service and philanthropic causes which had shaped a journey of many accomplishments and significantly impacted society.

May God grant his soul peaceful repose, and comfort the bereaved family. We all grieve the loss, very much so.

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