Felix Ikem, Nsukka
The people of Imilike Enu community in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State have elected a traditional ruler to oversee the affairs of the community, 10 years after the demise of their former traditional ruler, late Igwe Onuorah.
The community, which had been in crisis since the demise of the late traditional ruler, however, elected Chief Felix Mba to champion the course of the people and ensure the restoration of lasting peace and development to the community.
The result as announced by the election’s Returning Officer, Prof. Uche Nnadozie of the Department of Public Relations University of Nigeria Nsukka (NUNN), indicated that Chief Mba polled a total of 1, 278 voted to defeat his opponent, Chief Innocent Ugwuodo, who polled a total of 415 votes.
The election which was held in a peaceful atmosphere was witnessed by representatives of the Enugu State Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs and officials of the Udenu Local Government and notable traditional rulers in the area.
In an interview, the highly elated Chief Mba said his joy knew no bounds for his election to lead his people, stating that he never envisioned such great responsibility in his life.
“I feel highly delighted because I never thought I would be in this position since I was born. My mind was scattered because I didn’t know what to do but I picked up courage and started fighting for the position.
“As Igwe, one thing I will do is to ensure that there is unity because there are so many cases in this community that made this matter of getting a traditional ruler linger for so long. I will make sure that the misunderstanding is finished finally.
“There is also a challenge of security in this community and I’ve come to ensure that security is beefed up. My opponent is my brother from the same kindred.
“He was asked to step down for me but he said he preferred to lose gallantly. Today he has lost gallantly,” he said.
Speaking at the event, the deputy chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Enugu State, Chief Innocent Ezeoha, stated that the election of the traditional ruler would bring about lasting development to the community stating that Chief Mba was the right person to lead the community.
“I feel delighted. Today is the happiest day for me. After 10 years and three months we have a traditional ruler in Imilike Enu. To God be the glory. This means a lot to our community because we have been losing out both in the state and the Federal Government.
” All the development projects will now get to us because we now have a leader, so I feel delighted. I attached myself to this candidate because he is the person who will bring a lot of developmental projects to the community. He has capacity to deliver when you trust him with a lot of things.
“The peaceful elections you are seeing today is the blueprint of the PDP. That’s what the PDP stands for. My message to my people is that they should come out en masse in other elections just as they did today. I also urge the new traditional ruler to work together with his opponent to promote the interest of the community,” he said.
Also reacting to the outcome of the election, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Enugu State and President, Orba Town Union, Chief Charles Nwodo said that: “It is my pleasure to witness this kind of grand election that is a lesson for every other community around.
“You know, the traditional ruler is the chief security officer of the community, so I expect that with the coming of this monarch, there will be peace. He can package the vigilante. He can now take care of his community without qualms,” he said.