• 45 Anambra communities plot against Governor Obiano
From Obinna Odogwu, Ekwulobia
From all walks of life, the natives, friends and well-wishers of the 45 communities in Aguata, Orumba North and Orumba South local government areas of Anambra State converged on Neros Stadium, Nanka in Orumba North. The communities were formerly under one council, Aguata, in the old Eastern Region.
Given their having a common dialect, culture, and general worldview, the people grew strong bonds that undoubtedly became the envy of many. They were said to have taken after the descendants of Eri Dynasty which comprises Aguleri, Igbariam, Amanuke, Nri, Enugwu-Ukwu and others in terms of unity and love.
Despite the splitting of Aguata into two, the love and unity of purpose binding them together never ceased. It was, however, their resolution to strengthen the tie binding them together that saw them establishing the Old Aguata Union (OAU).
The event was an interdenominational thanksgiving service organized by the OAU to thank God for His blessings and mercies over the years. It was chaired by the President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Anambra, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene.
The people from their various communities came with baskets of thanksgivings. They sang various songs of praise and danced joyously to their rhythm.
In his homily, Rev. Fr. Anthony Ezeoke of the Pope JohnPaul De II Major Seminary, Okpuno, Awka South, said that the assembly was a solemn one, saying that they had gathered to worship God for His goodness on the people.
He, however, warned the people to turn from their unrighteous ways: “What we need is righteousness, the country is corrupt. The commandments of God have been flouted with impunity. The average person is running around in pursuit of money. Falsehood is on the increase. It is important we return to God. It is only in righteousness that we shall be established. No nation can thrive on iniquity.”
Chairman of Orient Group, Mr Godwin Ezeemo, disclosed that the people received innumerable blessings from God, hence their resolve to gather together and praise God. He said in their times of trouble, God had shown Himself mighty in their lives:
“What more can we say or do than to appreciate the most Supreme Being, the most high God for His love and kindness upon the people of Old Aguata?”
Former SSG in Chief Peter Obi administration, Mr Henry Oseloka Obaze, said that he attended the event because of his age-long affinity with the people of old Aguata.
“I grew up in this part of the former Eastern Region. My father was in charge of Aguata County Council in the early ’60s. I went to school in Aguluezechukwu, and I have a lot of eminent friends from here.”
Prominent sons and daughters of the area, including the traditional rulers, presidents-general, and many others, in their separate speeches, glorified God for His kindness.
From prayer to politics
The people shortly after the prayers and thanksgiving, mounted the microphone to voice out their frustrations concerning what they tagged the decrepit and utter neglect of their communities.
One after the other, they lamented that despite their innumerable contributions to the growth of the state, the Governor Willie Obiano-led administration has kicked them away from the corridors of power.
Their lamentations began at the middle of the event when the chairman of the Planning Committee, Prince Joe Emenike, mounted the podium to deliver the welcome address of Odinma OAU Forum signed by its secretary, Dan-Chibo Umeh.
The group lamented: “It seems we are plunged into slavery from which we are yet to regain freedom.
“Why are we in the habit of holding the ladder for other zones to climb to power only to turn around and grumble that we are kicked out and side-lined?”
The expressed emotion stirred the people to demand for a governor of OAU extraction, which they intermittently roared in agreement that it was their time to occupy the Anambra Government House.
Ezeemo decried that although the Old Aguata was a bloc which has over the years been part of raising the leadership in the old and current Anambra, has not tasted the state’s seat of power: “Because we have been marginalized so far in our dear state, our people are no longer happy that things are going this way.”
Chairman, Movement for Greater Anambra State (MOFGAS), Aguata zone, Mr. Clement Onyemaobi from Igboukwu moved a motion for the adoption of Ezeemo as OAU sole governorship candidate in the upcoming governorship election.
The motion was seconded by Mr. Vincent Umendu, who is the chairman of MOFGAS in Orumba South. Ezeemo said that the era of power rotation was over: “Every zone has taken a turn. Therefore, there is vacancy at Agu-Awka and somebody has got to fill it up. And that person, God’s grace, will come from Old Aguata. Right now, the people of OAU have made a choice.
“We, a couple of us that are doing this are from Old Aguata. And they have made a choice and decided it is me. And if they have decided that it is me, who am I to say no to their call?
“I will voluntarily give myself to serve the people the very best nobody has ever served this state. We will give Anambra the place it deserves in the comity of states within Nigeria as the light of the nation.
“Right now, the local governments are not functioning in Anambra. The constitution says we must have local government election. If we don’t have an election, we must have appointed transitional council. We have neither.
“In Peter Obi’s government we had LG election. I learnt their tenure expired last year. I see no reason we shouldn’t have election. The grassroots development in every state must start with the local government.
“We need to elect people who have the vision, capacity, credibility, and who will deliver in a transparent government.
“When we were in government under Peter Obi we had to develop 177 communities simultaneously. We have to go back to that system where what you find in Ufuma is what you find in Ajalli, Ogboji, and so on. Health centres, schools that are functioning and roads that are motorable, that are what we need to get back to.”
The chairman on the occasion, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, who was represented by the former SSA on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Sir Godfrey Muotolu, pointed out that OAU was formed to be their brother’s keeper at all times.
Another chieftain, Sir Alex Obi Okoli, said: “We all want Godwin Ezeemo to lead us to the Anambra Government House. It is our responsibility as the people of Old Aguata Union to work towards the realization of this project.”
In a vote of thanks, the traditional ruler of Ikenga community, Igwe Alfred Onwuneme (Alupuo Aku) said: “We have presented our need to God, and we trust that He will grant us this request in Jesus name.”