Entertainment icon, Fidel Onwodi, speaks on his interest in hospitality industry as he adds another year

It was a unique night, over the weekend, Saturday 12th May 2018 at Didoz Lounge, 285 Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, where friends, business associates and well wishers gathered for the singular motive of celebrating and honouring a renowned entertainment and hospitality Don, Engr. Fidel Onwodi, who added another year on Saturday.

The event, which was an all night affair was unique and grand with the whole of Ajose Adeogun street in high brow Victoria Island coming alive as the creme-de-la-creme of Nigeria’s high society, especially those from the hospitality industry in Lagos and beyond graced the landmark celebration in the company of other friends of Fidel Onwodi at the Lounge.

Didoz Lounge, owned by Fidel Onwodi with two branches in Lagos and a branch in Asaba, the capital city of Delta state, maintained and showcased the high standard that it is known for in the entertainment and hospitality industry in Nigeria.

The music was absolutely exceptional, with the high expertise and professional touch of the three Disc Jockeys who took the distinguished guests through a long stimulating and galvanizing musical extravaganza, purring forth from the Didoz state of the art musicals with its earth quaking woofers, expertly linked to every lounge in the night club.

The celebrant, Engr. Fidel Onwodi, also known as the DON, was indeed at his best element throughout the duration of the fun filled event.

Highpoint at the classical event was the cutting of the birthday cakes, beautifully designed by one of the best in Victoria Island.

Out of the Five Cakes presented for the Event, One was flown down to Nigeria from Don Fidel Onwodi’s Beautiful wife and children who resides in Germany. It was love all around the highly and tactfully furnished Night Club when it was time for the Second cutting of this particular Birthday cake from the wife and children.

Despite the love charged atmosphere within Didoz lounge, our reporter who was in Lagos for the event, was able to secure an audience with the chairman and owner of Didoz, Engr. Fidel Onwodi where he had a chat with him.

He appreciated God for sustaining and keeping him to see another year, and added that he will remain eternally grateful to Him.

Don. Fidel, also spoke on why he ventured into entertainment and hospitality business despite his training as a project engineer with profound experience in project management, even as he revealed his short sabbatical from active politics. He added that his ambition of adding value to the people of Aniocha/Oshimili remains intact.

He commended the efforts of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in the overall development of the state through his SMART agenda and said that the people of the state love him because of his good works.

The entertainment Don, also appreciated the member representing Aniocha North state constituency in the State House of Assembly Hon. Engr. Emeka Nwaobi  and said that Hon. Nwaobi has done well for the people of the Aniocha North, adding that  he remains a the delight of the people any day any time.

Below is the excerpt from the chat with him:

How do you feel celebrating you birthday today with lots of friends celebrating with you?

Priceless! The privilege of celebrating with friends and family from all parts of the country is truly gracious and I’m eternally grateful to God.

There is no doubt, the Lord has been so kind and merciful to you, but what  is that particular thing you should be grateful to God for within this period?

I’m particularly grateful to God for the gift of life and a sound health. I’m a living testimony that God exists and he is always with us.

We are amazed at your exploits and giant strides in the hospitality and entertainment industry in Nigeria, with about three renowned branches of Didoz Night Club, all doing very well. How did you venture into hospitality and entertainment business, knowing you as a trained project engineer with high experience in project management?

Going by my flair and affinity to be around people, I developed a habit of hanging out after work with a few professional friends, where we typically discussed issues and current affairs around sports, politics, career, and even social life.This gradually metamorphosed into a lounge, with a slogan, “the professional’s chill-out place.” Then the name Didoz Lounge, carved out of my nick name ‘Dido’. Then utilizing my training in engineering and project management methodologies, skills acquired from people, trainings and working with multinational oil companies, we are able to grow the business into what we have today through progressive elaboration.

That is very interesting. Ok, away from entertainment and hospitality, in Delta state, you are known to be a great hospitality Don with pronounced visibility in politics, having added value to the politics of the state. We are aware of your attempt to go to the Federal House of Representative in 2015, and we are also aware of your movers towards sustaining the ambition. But for a long time now, you disappeared from political activities. People in your state, especially, your numerous fans and supporters are asking question, what is happening to Fidel, maybe you will use this opportunity to clear the air what is happening to you or have you abandon politics and your ambition of going to the House of Representatives?

Let me start by saying that the dream to vie for a political position in order to add value to the lives of the people of Aniocha/Oshimili in form of rendering qualitative and best in class service is not dead, just that the fire is no longer burning as it was, owing to some shortcomings I experienced especially in our local government, Aniocha North LGA.

For clarity, I did not lose my election; I was just a victim of the same decayed system. If I had clearly lost, I would have easily contested again, but in a situation where those issues are still present, then the decision to contest becomes difficult, especially when you know you are contesting with individuals who by one means or the other have benefited financially from the system and can spend funds as they wish as against your prudent business and salary savings.

Some of the fundamental issues include lack of political awareness of the power of the voter by the people, godfatherism and abuse of power, imposition of candidates, lack of true internal democracy, power tussle, intimidation and victimization, to mention a few.

However, I’m still very much on ground and my political structure is still in place and waxing stronger with new members joining by the day. My foundation is engaging the people, educating them on the power they have as voters. Yes, it will not be easy changing them from what they used to, but we will surely get there.

It is my belief that with new young players in the political arena with the support of the old players and the increasing political awareness, Aniocha North will soon be a force to reckon with.

Your state Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, how would you like to assess his performance so far in the state and maybe, we will also like you to give your assessment of the Hon. member representing your Aniocha North state constituency in the Delta state House of Assembly, Engr. Emeka Nwaobi, having been in office for just two and half years?

In my opinion, His Excellency, the governor, has performed above average going by the provision of basic amenities and infrastructural development in the state. Even though in some advanced countries, these developments are supposed to be basic, when you look at where the governor is coming from, what he met on ground, you certainly will not have any option than to commend the dogged and determined efforts of the present administration of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. He has done well and our people generally are happy so far with his performance.

However, I would like to see improvement in the area of political appointees. There are persons who actually did the work in the respective local government areas, who probably the governor does not know because report on them did not get to him due basically to selfish interest of people who are suppose to give him such information.

The strength a state government or the Governor can have is its people and the weakest strength is also its people. If the governor can have the right set of people in his team that are selected purely on merit and to some extent bases on political contribution to the system, not reward based on quota system or rotation, then the job will be done and the governor will have more spare time to focus on his avid determination of repositioning the state in its rightful place amongst other states in the Country.

One additional recognition and respect I have for the governor, is his methodological and professional approach in carrying out his job through his well articulated SMART Agenda. By this well mapped out programs, it means His Excellency the Governor, sets some specific targets for himself and he wants to be measured through those targets. And to be very sincere in my assessment, he has followed them squarely with every amount of transparency and sincerity. It takes only a transparent, focus, determined and God fearing Governor to do so.

Same commendation goes to the Honourable member representing my state constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Engr. Emeka Nwaobi. What am giving to the governor is what am giving to the House of Assembly member, it’s a bit like father and son. Special recognition to the member for his relentless approach in attracting over all development to the local government area, especially for the massive re-construction of the Issele-Uku/Issele-Mkpitime, where I hail from,  Onicha-Olone road.  This road had been abandoned for a very long time and within two years of inaugurating the member, he has been able to secure the approval of this project and actual implementation. Honestly my brother I just want to appreciate and commend him.

We know you to be a committed member of PDP. How is your party doing and do you think PDP will be able to return to power in 2019 at the centre and maybe you will like to comment on what is happening among the leaders of the party in your Aniocha North Local Government Area?

Well I’m very positive my party, the PDP, will return to power in 2019 at every level. However, just like the dinosaur ceased to exist due to its refusal to change, when its environment was changing, anything can happen if the PDP does not quickly apply clever flexibility to engage and win back the trust of its people.

The happenings within the leadership of the LGA is a regrettable one and if not quickly resolved will lead to splitting of votes, thereby eluding us, the block PDP all the way votes, we used to enjoy and this can lead to unforeseen disappointments.

Finally, what is your message to the people of Aniocha North, your local government area?

My message is, keep up the good work. Rome was not built in a day. Let us all get involved in the political arena and not assume a non-challant attitude. Also we the youths should endeavor to develop ourselves in entrepreneurship, so that we can also be employers of labour. Government cannot give all of us jobs, instead it can provide enabling environment, like they are doing in our state right now for the SMEs who in turn goes a long way in providing jobs for others.

 

 

 

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