From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Monday, April 4, 2021, will remain indelible in the mind of Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu. It was the day the people of Isuokoma in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State paid an elaborate ‘Thank-You visit’ to the former Governor of Old Abia State at his Uburu country home in Ohaozara LGA of the state.
By 10am, the minister’s country home was already bustling with activities, as a large number Isuokoma people was on ground to thank the APC chieftain for attracting the Federal College of Education (Technical), Federal Laboratory Institute and road reconstruction project to the community.
The crowd consisted of representatives of religious, political, academic and business classes as well as women and youth groups. They came with different types of musical and dancing groups as well as gifts comprising heaps of tubers of yam, bags of local rice, cows and drinks. The ‘Thank you visit’ was literally turned into a carnival of sorts as different musical and dancing troupes took turns to entertain the minister and his guests.
Traditional ruler of the community, Ezeogo Ambrose Ogbu and the President General of Isuokoma Town Union, Dr. Ifeanyi Orji, led the delegation.
Spokespersons of the youths and women as well as the political, business and religious classes including the Isuokma in Diaspora, took turn to appreciate the minister for remembering their community which they alleged had been forgotten by successive governments in terms of siting development projects.
One of the community leaders, Chief Sunny Bright, described Onu as the political messiah of Isu people; noting that the minister had done for them what no other political leader was able to do for the community. He assured the minister that they will continue to pray for him and support him in all his political endeavours.
President-General, Isuokoma Town Union, Orji, who read the community’s speech, noted that Onu has through his numerous good deeds to the people of Isuokoma proven that he is a true lover of the community.
He urged the minister not to relent but ensure that he followed up until the entire projects were delivered.
He said: “We the good people of Isuokoma came to your abode in numbers to appreciate you, the latest Onyiba, the able, performing and dynamic Minister of Science and Technology. You have demonstrated the meaning of blood ties between Isu and Uburu. We appreciate the good work you are doing in Nigeria and for being a true ambassador of Ndigbo, the silent achiever and above all, the worthy Ohaozara son and brother to Isuokoma.
“You have proved your love to Ndi Isu by attracting and siting for the Federal College of Education (Technical ) Isu, Federal Laboratory Institute, Isu and the rehabilitation of the Okposi-Onicha-Isu-Nara road popularly known as F113; attracting the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Amagunze-Ojiegbe-Isu road, facilitation and giving jobs to Umu Isu even as Governor of Old Abia State.
“Your Excellency, we cannot thank you enough but like the Oliver Twist of the old, we are not tired of asking. We are appealing that you use your good office to urge the Federal Ministry of Education and National Council for Colleges of Education to please move to sight. Ndi Isu are eagerly waiting for that project to commence. We also appeal that work will commence soonest sir on the Isu-Amagunze road.”
In his remarks, Onu extolled the community for coming in their numbers to thank him for the projects he attracted for them.
He, however, said the thanks and appreciation should go to President Muhammadu Buhari whom he stated was committed to the development of the South East and all parts of the country.
“My late father, when he was alive, had always told me to always remember that Uburu and Isuokoma are siblings, and that the two communities don’t shed blood. It was for this reason that in all the positions I have held; I have always remembered the people of Isuokoma. And I will continue to remember them. There was a time I was asked to make nomination for a deputy governor, I did not look at my community, I nominated someone from Isu, and that person is still alive. Although it later did not work out but some of you here know about the story.
“Before I conclude, I want to in a special way thank Ezeogo Ambrose Ogbu. He was of special help to me during my campaign for Governor in Old Imo State and later Old Abia State. Many of you know that how Ohaozara is seen today was not how it was seen 30 or 32 years ago. That time, nobody believed that someone from Old Ohaozara could become governor. Ambrose helped me a lot during that election. So, I want you people to join me to thank him.
“I want to assure you that I have heard what you people said, and the gifts you have given me. You people don’t even need to give me anything because whatever I did for Isu, I did them for myself. I want to tell you people that the relationship between Isu and Uburu is for eternity.
“Finally, I would like to say clearly that, while I accept all the thanks and all the show of affection which you have shown today, I believe strongly that all these should go to President Buhari. Without President Buhari, it wouldn’t have been possible. And I am assuring you that any federal project once it is approved and announced must be implemented. And I would like to use this opportunity to appeal to our people of the South East to continue to support President Muhammadu Buhari. All the promises he made to the South East, he has fulfilled them”, Onu said.