Days Ibeku Egwuasa Ancient Kingdom Danced For Joy | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Metro, Ndigbo

Days Ibeku Egwuasa Ancient Kingdom Danced For Joy

Posted: Jun 15, 2015 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ben Duru , Umuahia

In Igboland, when warriors successfully prosecute a war and return gallantly, the entire community throws a big party for them. They are received with lavish ceremony and the weeklong programme oftentimes end with one of the rarest traditional titles bestowed on the gallant soldiers by the custodians of the customs and traditions of the land such as the Eze-In-Council.

Senator T.A. Orji (2nd right), his wife, Mercy (1st right) and others during a reception at Egwuasa

Senator T.A. Orji (2nd right), his wife, Mercy (1st right) and others during a reception at Egwuasa

This was exactly what the people of Ibeku Egwuasa Ancient Kingdom re-enacted on May 29, when the entire community from all walks of life gathered at the Government House, Umuahia, to take home their son and immediate-past governor of Abia State, His Excellency, Chief Theodore Ahamefule Orji, CON, who had before then completed his eight years as Governor of Abia State, dubbed ‘God’s Own State’.

The long trek home by the Amaokwe Ugba in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State born retired Permanent Secretary, Administrative Secretary to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and former Chief of Staff (CoS), to where it all began saw the crowd of the young and the old, the big and the small and the learned and the unlearned surrounding Governor Orji walking through Government House, down through the crowded streets of Umuwaya to Ishigate and then all the way down to Bende Road terminating near the Ugba Primary School where the people spoke glowingly of him and the powerful incursions he had made while he superintended as Governor of Abia State, was similar to the walk down the aisle by a lady going to meet her husband for the vows of marriage.

This movement, the first of its kind in the history of the Ibeku community, according to Chief Charles Ogbonna, immediate past Deputy Chief of Staff to the Deputy Governor and former Chairman, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State and Chief Bawas Akwukwuegbu, Traditional Prime Minister of Ibeku Ancient Kingdom is symptomatic of the excellent performance of the governor, his spirited efforts in bringing the seat of power, Umuahia, to be comparable to other state capitals in the country, his humane and philanthropic activities which saw hundreds of thousands of youths and people across ages, beaming with smiles, his doggedness in the face of several skirmishes to hold on to his political belief which saw power effortlessly move to another senatorial zone, his liberation struggle which brought Abia out of the shackles of domination by a few, his peculiar style of leadership that brought hitherto estranged stakeholders together under one roof throughout his tenure and his ability to maneuver tradition and politics without incurring the wrath of the custodians of the peoples’ belief.

Ogbonna said “this is a historic event in the annals of Ibeku and Abia State. We have set the stage for every community and every individual, whether in politics or outside politics to know that if they do well, they too can be celebrated by all the people. I want to tell you that it all started here, where we are now standing in 2007, before the governor moved to Government House, Umuahia. It was at this same place that the  entire people of Ibeku Ancient Kingdom gathered in 2007, after the governor had been sworn in to bestow on him the traditional title of ‘Ochendo’ (umbrella) and told him that if he goes to Government House and performs according to the wishes of the people, if he will eschew self and work for the common good, if he will not rule with fear, but confront fear itself and do the things that are right, if he will do good to all manner of people irrespective of tribe, state or colour, if he will use his position to bring the name of the kingdom to be known across climes, then at the end of his tenure, we all will gather again at Government House, and bring him back to his roots. This is simply what we have done. He fulfilled his own part of the bargain and we have today come to fulfill our own side of the bargain.”

He continued “the question is no longer whether Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji performed, no, that is no longer the question. His people are celebrating him because he did beyond the imagination of even his most ardent critics. Take for instance the relocation of the market from the centre of the road to Ubani Ibeku. For over 35 years no government had dared it including the military, the least attempt was to dislocate some of the traders which eventually failed. But within four years, he commenced the construction of an ultra modern market at Ubani and successfully relocated the traders there. Today, you can drive through Umuahia without hassles. You can see that life has returned to the capital city because with the collaboration of security agencies, armed robbery, kidnapping and the likes have become history. Take a look at the Workers Secretariat, the International Conference Centre, the New Government House, the High Courts in Umuahia and Aba, the road network in Umuahia. These are actions taken within eight years for which we are very appreciative and not just us as his kinsmen, but the entire Abians. But the most significant is that today we have a governor of Ukwa/Ngwa extraction and the only man who had the capacity to see it through is him. The history of politics in Abia will never be complete without the mention of Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji, and once his name is mentioned, automatically Ibeku Ancient Kingdom will come to mind. So we have a lot to say to him, we have a lot of appreciation to bestow on him. We are very proud of him and today, he knows that if he performs the same feat in the Senate, we will perform the same feat as we have done today.”

The Traditional Prime Minister, Chief Akwukwuegbu insisted that the governor upheld the tenets of the Ibeku Ancient Kingdom tradition by not victimizing anybody throughout his tenure, but acted for the common good of the people. “He never carried out any activity without consulting the traditional institution. He was always at peace with the traditional rulers, not only within Ibeku Ancient Kingdom, but throughout the length and breadth of Abia. You can hardly find any traditional ruler at war with him. Even those who disagreed with him have begun to find their way back to seek his forgiveness. This is what we envisaged for him and he did not fail. So we are doing what we promised. He did not only bring relief to the people of Ibeku and Umuahia, he took succor to the door steps of hundreds of thousands of Abians and even in the diaspora. So we are happy with him and we are saying welcome back home to him and his wife. We are very proud of them.”