…Presidential spokesman takes ‘Nwanne di na mba’ title
From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu
january 2 was a day of glory for President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, as he was conferred with the chieftaincy title of “Nwanne di na mba” by the traditional ruler of Agunese Afam Mmaku Autonomous Community in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu, Igwe Cyprian Maduabuchi Nevobasi (Ogilishi Igbo).
The conferment of the title on Adesina, former managing director of The Sun Publishing Limited, was done at the first grand Ofala and 14 years on the throne celebration of Igwe Nevobasi.
As noon approached on the day of the Ofala festival, the sleepy town of Agunese Afam Mmaku came alive as the community was filled with people from all walks of life.
Besides Adesina, the traditional ruler had also invited President Muhammadu Buhari; the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu and the Enugu State governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who he also conferred with various chieftaincy titles.
He equally gave titles to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; the member representing Awgu/Aninri/Oji River federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Toby Okechukwu; the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Valentine Ntomchukwu; among others.
The traditional ruler said he had carefully selected the personalities to be conferred with the titles to represent the three major tribes of Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba.
He said he believed the action would help foster unity and support one Nigeria, as he called on the recipients to use their various positions in the country to ensure the unity of the country.
The president’s spokesman, Adesina, who Igwe Nevobasi had personally visited at the Aso Rock to deliver his invitation letter for the conferment of the title on him came to Mmaku with his amiable wife, Lolo Adenike, and his friends from all over the country, including his state, Osun.
Adesina arrived Enugu State on January 1, as special guest of Governor Ugwuanyi.
Ugwuanyi organized a special dinner for Adesina in the Government House with the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu, his wife; USA Igwesi and a host of other government functionaries joining the governor to welcome the presidential spokesman.
On January 2, before going to Mmaku for the conferment of the chieftaincy title, Adesina had paid a courtesy visit to the traditional ruler of Omuoha Obuoffia Awkunanaw, the Chinawaeze 111 of Obuoffia, Eze Igwesi Obi Igwesi, where he assured Nigerians and the people of Enugu State of Federal Government’s determination to stamp out corruption in all sectors of the country’s economy while promising equitable distribution of resources to all the geo-political zones.
He equally told Eze Igwesi and his cabinet members that the South-East geo-political zone is paramount to President Buhari, disclosing that the Federal Government was poised to addressing the challenges in the region with a view to calming down strained nerves of the agitators from the area.
Eze Igwesi thanked Chief Adesina for the visit and urged him to continue his good works as presidential spokesman.
He noted that President Buhari did not make a mistake in choosing him as his spokesman, saying that Adesina is endowed with humility and have great passion for his job.
The traditional ruler, however, advised the president not to ignore the issues being raised by agitators in various parts of the country, especially that of the people of the South-East geo-political zone, advising that the zone be carried along in the allocation of resources in the country.
Eze Igwesi condemned the condition of roads in the South-East and urged the president to move urgently to fix the roads in this dry season.
At 11a.m Adesina rose from the palace of Eze Igwesi in Obuoffia to return to the Enugu Government House to ride in the convoy of Governor Ugwuanyi to Mmaku in company of Oba Rufus Ogunwole, the Alaagba of Agba, Osun State, where he hails from.
When the convoy arrived at Mmaku, they went straight to the arena for the Ofala, where Igwe Nevobasi and his cabinet members received them.
The arena was charged as different dance groups were busy entertaining the guests.
After Adesina was conferred with the title of “Nwanne di na mba”, he left with Governor Ugwuanyi to the palace of the traditional ruler for light refreshment.
Speaking in the palace, Adesina who represented President Buhari said that there was need for Nigerians to build cultural bridges of unity across the country.
He said the fact that he was conferred with a traditional chieftaincy title by a tribe outside his ethnic group showed that Nigeria would remain an indivisible entity no matter any situation.
After the Ofala, Adesina and his guests returned to Enugu town where Governor Ugwuanyi treated him again to a dinner at Adig Hotel.
Apparently overwhelmed by the governor’s hospitality, Chief Adesina described Ugwuanyi as “Ekwueme,” one who does what he says, thanking him immensely for the warm reception.
Hear him: “When our flight to Enugu after about two hours delay was cancelled due to bad weather, we flew into Port Harcourt and the governor sent his convoy which received us in Port Harcourt and within three hours we are here in Enugu. I didn’t know that the governor will go that far to make it comfortable and ensured we were brought safely to his domain.
“Last night, he was with us and he hosted us to a dinner and today, we have virtually commandeered him, from the 1:00p.m that we took off from the Government House this is now 8:00p.m and he has been with us.
Which governor will devote seven hours of his time like this?
“We appreciate him for this. I will tell you something again, I know the meaning of ‘Ekwueme,’ Governor Ugwuanyi is ‘Ekwueme,’ when he has promised you, it may be late, but he will keep to his promise. There is a mutual friend that we have that I have been talking to him since 2015, each time I see him in the Villa, I will say please remember my friend, I will send him a text and he will reply and today my friend is happy. Your Excellency, we are very pleased, we are leaving Enugu with a pleasant memory and here you have people who will be salesmen and women in Enugu, we will continue to talk about the title we have received and continue to recommend the state highly.”
Responding, Governor Ugwuanyi said Enugu State is in the hands of God, saying that “we can’t thank God enough for this wonderful occasion.”
The governor also thanked Adesina and his wife for coming to Enugu to take a chieftaincy title.