• Friday, May 24, 2024
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For equity, next chairman of Umuahia South LG in Abia should come from Nsirimo – Lekwuwa

For equity, next chairman of Umuahia South LG in Abia should come from Nsirimo – Lekwuwa

By Udoka Agwu

Ifeanyi Lekwuwa is the president general of Nsirimo Amaise Development Union (NAIDU), in Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State. In this interview with Udoka Agwu, he spoke on the governance in Abia, Governor Alex Otti’s exploits so far, the need for the next LG chairman to come to Nsirimo clan, grassroots politics, among other issues. Excerpts:

So far, how has it been since you assumed office as the president general of Nsirimo Amaise Development Union?

It is barely a year that I was elected as the president general of Nsirimo Amaise Development union, and I will confess that the Lord has been with us and it has not been an easy journey per se. But I think that my people have given us hundred percent support, and that is why we have been able to record some of the success we have achieved so far. And we are looking forward towards doing more for the development of our community because that is our target. And by the special grace of God our primary objective is to make sure that Nsirimo becomes more united, live more in peace and become the more secured in such a way that our sons that are in Nigeria and in the diaspora bring in their investments and they will come home and feel very secured; we are not there yet. But I think that our target right now is to get there, and by the grace of God we will get there.

Aside the achievements and success so far recorded, what is your vision for the community?

My vision is to have every son of Nsirimo play an active role in the developmental projects of our community, and as a matter of fact, I can assure you that we are not limiting it to our sons alone and it is also inclusive of our daughters. We are making plans to inaugurate Umuokpu wing of NAIDU, so that our daughters both those who are not married and the married ones will also be fully involved in the developmental projects of the community. So, I will also say that my mission is to ensure that we attract and get whatever developmental projects that is supposed to come to our community be it individual efforts, local government, state government and then from the federal government. We will do everything to ensure that such projects do not elude us.

So, what is the relationship between the association and Abia State government?

You see, as a matter of fact, we work in synergy with the state government because the state thinks about development and development, and the union is also of development in knowledge of the facts that Nsirimo Amaise is part of Abia State and NAIDU is working hand in hand with the government. We are trying to bring our sons and daughters who have the capacity both financially and others to ensure that we develop our area and by extension assist the state government in bringing about their mission statement to bring development to the state. Now, it is worthy to note that in Umuahia of Abia State where we come from there are five clans that make up Umuahia, namely Umuokpara, Olokoro, Ohuhu, Ibeku and Ubakala, and by the grace of God we come from Ubakala clan and because we are building a relationship with Ubakala improvement union; we are also working hand in hand with the state government. That is our relationship.

Recently, somebody from one of the autonomous communities you preside over as the president general declared himself as the Eze elect. What is the situation now?

It is unfortunate that it happened; in fact, as a matter of fact, not only that I preside in the communities but that particular community is where I come from. So, the Eze that comes from that community will be obliviously my Eze and Nsirimo Amaise Development Union has three autonomous communities and this autonomous community that this issue came up is my own autonomous community. It is desperation and that is what I will call it and somebody who does not want to follow due process. And remember that our royal father, His Royal Majesty, Moses Iromaka Akpaka died sometime in 2016 and as a community we agreed that we are going to mourn him for one year; so by December 2017; we are qualified to have an Eze but unfortunately we have had one or two differences which has made it impossible, but at this point we have resolved that whatever that is needed to be done in order for us to get our Eze we will do it. And this young man in question, I think probably because he was desperate and he does not want to follow due process, he probably felt he has contact both at the local government and state government levels which I am yet to establish and he now felt, against the wish of the community, that he can come and impose himself as our father. And it will interest you to know that one week after he did that the community unanimously went to that same local government, as a matter of fact when he went there he didn’t meet with the Mayor of the local government, but when we went there we had the privilege of meeting with the Mayor and we submitted our protest letter and debunked whatever claims he had made and I can assure you that we are in the process of getting our Eze which will be done in consonance with the wish of the people.

Which area will produce the next chairman of Umuahia South Local Government Council, because it is being rumoured that it is the turn of Nsirimo?

I think that the rumour is okay because I am a true son of Nsirimo and it will be a joyful thing for me to have one of my brothers who is credible, competent and capable to become the council chairman of our local government. The rumour going round is a fact and as a matter of fact, it will interest you to know that one of the things that made me to shed tears everyday about it, is the fact that since the creation of Abia State, Nsirimo has not produced a commissioner and each time I think about it I shed tears. And as a matter of fact, the highest elected position we have occupied in Abia State is a member of the state House of Assembly which one of our sons Honourable Leonard Onyekwere was so many years ago during the time of Orji Uzor Kalu in 1999. And ever since then, the only appointment we got again was about seven to eight years ago when one of our sons was appointed TC Chairman of Umuahia South and from the feelers we have gathered from the stakeholders of Labour Party in Umuahia South, the chairman should come from Ubakala clan and in Ubakala clan there are three wards, i.e Ubakala A, B and Nsirimo and we are only appealing to our brothers from ward A and B because of the positions they have produced in the past like SSG, commissioners and currently they have a commissioner and SA to the governor on security matters. We are only appealing to them for the interest of equity, fair play and justice they should allow Nsirimo to produce the next chairman of the council. And we have assured them that we have competent, credible and capable hands that will not disappoint Ubakala if that privilege is granted. And I think I have a very cordial relationship with the president general (PG) of Ubakala because he is a man who believes in fairness, equity and who believes in the unity of Ubakala and based on that if we are able to present a credible and competent hand, we will be able to get our dream actualised.

What is your assessment of the Governor of Abia State Alex Otti, as he draws closer to one year in office?

Is there any need to assess somebody who has performed beyond expectation? He has done massively well in the areas of infrastructural development of the state, especially road constriction. And I believe he will do more and he deserves to be celebrated on May 29th, 2024.

Finally, the performing governor of Abia State will be celebrating his one year in office by May 29th. What are the plans of NAIDU to participate in the celebration?

Let me tell you this, His Excellency Alex Otti knows Nsirimo very well and has a good number of friends from Nsirimo. And the governor from the records which I know he has will tell you that he got ninety percent votes from Nsirimo ward during the last election and having done that we are also proud to say that our mandate to him he has not toyed with it and he is representing and making us proud. He is doing tremendously well in Abia State and so, if he is celebrating, we must celebrate with him. If we don’t do that that means that we don’t know our left from our right. So, we are going to be involved in that occasion by the special grace of God because of what he is doing. In fact, I told somebody if there is something like third term, we should give it to him without asking.