Iba Ajie is a living monument to the work and lives of HE Dr, Ukpabi Asika, Cfr, Ajie Onitsha and Dibueze Chief Mrs Chinyere Asika, Ofr. Iba Ajie is dedicated to them and their lives. We have created an official archive for the east central state administration of over 10k official documents as a guide to an important period of Nigeria’s history and Iba Ajie is their final resting place and is also the custodian for their official work and documents. Iba ajie is focused on conflict resoluton, community development and driving conversations around our history, culture, creativity, innovation and technology, Iba Ajie will sit at the nexus of these conversations as it seeks to drive positive outcomes in the society and community and country. ba Ajie is a custodian of knowledge, a cultural and art center, which celebrates their legacy in the promotion of education, technology, innovation, a performance space for live music, comedy and poetry, an open mind to explore our indigenous cultural values but with a keen focus on the future, Iba Ajie is simultaneously ancient and modern as it celebrates all of our culture but is focused on our future. Iba Ajie takes a global view but is rooted in its community and is also the final resting place of these two remarkable Nigerians and hopes to grow to affect the community, the country and the world in the same areas that the inspiration impacted lives.
Ukpabi Asika, (1936-2004) Scholar, Statesman, Administrator was a public intellectual and economist, an academic prizewinner and Rockefeller Foundation Scholar, he was economics prizeman at University College, Ibadan before proceeding to UCLA for graduate studies. He was also a graduate lecturer at Ibadan and then was appointed Administrator of East Central State. A scholar among soldiers he led the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the east and the reintegration of igbos into Nigeria after the war. His legacy can be seen all over Nigeria as from the day the war ended he led the igbos forward with confidence into Nigeria and the archives at Iba Ajie tell the story. In his administration he applied innovation and a deep belief in technology to enable public governance by installing IBM processors to run the East Central State and automate processes, the first in black Africa. He created proda from the biafra war technical council and empanelled them to produce value, rebuilt UNN and created Imt in Enugu, from the ECS writers workshop the new masquerade was created and the Enugu Rangers was empowered, financed by the ECS and with all the staff and players on salaries. He was focused on rebuilding the psychology of his people post the war so embraced the soft power of arts, culture, sports, entertainment, music, dance and literature, with this the region saw a huge surge in creative output across a wide range of sectors. His primary purpose was to rebuild infrastructure and to insure senior igbos were reintegrated into the federal civil service and forces and judiciary, he had been part of insuring there was a general amnesty for all on the biafra side and no medals for anybody on the Nigeria side. In this regard Iba Ajie is a hub that is built to drive a community that can embrace his philosophy of open and balanced conversations to resolve conflicts and settle them with equity for all. His administration focused on education, technology, industrialisation, and applied innovation in governance and also enabled all the creative industries. He left public office in 1975 and by then had doubled all the destroyed infrastructure from the war driving one of the most productive periods in our history, his work and legacy are recorded at Iba Ajie and will contribute to the current conversations around the leadership and development of Nigeria.
Chinyere Asika (Nee Ejiogu) (1939-2015) was an academic scholar from birth, she attended CCC, Uyo, 6th Form at Queens College Lagos, Undergraduate as an ASPAU scholar in 1961 to Mills College, an ivy league College, in Oakland, California. She was one of the first black women to do a masters in computer science which she completed in 1965 as part of her major in Library Science, her life long study of anthropology can be seen in the Asika Family Archives and Art Collection, some of which is on view at The Obasanjo Presidential Library. Chinyere Ejiogu married Ukpabi Asika in 1965 and returned with him to ibadan in dec 1965. As things were to unfold Ukpabi became caught up as everyone did in the civil war. At the end of the war she was instrumental in the rebuilding of the East Central State, not just as the wife of the administrator and leading rehabilitation efforts but through also launching the first national mass women’s movement Otu Olu Obodo which was connected to the ECS innovative approach to Local Governance, D.A.D. Chinyere led those efforts throughout her years in govt house and later became a front line politician driving the womens campaign for Dr Alex Ekwueme, After that period in Oct 1982 Chief C C Onoh named her Special Adviser, Women Affairs, Anambra State, possibly the first time anybody would hold such a position in Nigeria. She later retired from public life into private life and business and looked after her husband when he was debilitated by a stroke. From 2002 she served the FGN as the Special Adviser to President Obasanjo for Nepad, she then established the Nepad Nigeria office, later she was on the national peer review committee and was Co chair of the Nepad AU Hugh level commission on Nepad/APRM when she passed in 2015.