From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Members of Satellite City Landlords Association, Borromeo chapter, Onitsha Anambra State recently presented an award of excellence to Chinedu Romanus Eze, popularly known as Chyboy, leader of Onitsha North Legislative Council.
The award which also coincided with the town hall meeting convened by the leader was also an opportunity for him to give account of his stewardship, a feat many considered rare going by the seeming disconnect between most elected public officials and their constituents.
Chairman of the Satellite City Landlords Association, Christopher Okpala while bestowing the award on Chinedu disclosed that it was the first time in the history of the association that they were honouring an individual, but noted that the recipient deserves even greater honours.
According to Okpala, since the history of the Borromeo community, no leader or serving political office holder from the area had ever made giant strides like Chinedu had done and continues to do for the welfare of the people.
The town hall meeting attended by the Chairman of Local Government Service Commission in Anambra State, Dr Peter Egenti among other dignitaries also featured a public lecture by a renowned scholar, Prof Cliff Nwanna of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Chinedu in an address during the meeting said that any leader who has been bestowed with the honour to lead the people must always give account of his stewardship to the people.
He noted that power resides with the people while accountability is the hallmark of every leadership.
He opined that his own style of leadership was anchored on the philosophy of call to serve and not to be served just as Jesus Christ made it clear in the Book of Mathew 20:28.
He noted that since his election two years ago, he has tried his best to legislate for the common good of the people of Onitsha North in general and Ward 9 in particular.
While reeled out his achievements despite his meager salary to include construction of six culverts executed through the sacrifice of more than one year of his salary located at Anumba Street, Elochukwu Street, Aduma Street, Njubigbo, Nsugbe/Urum Streets and the attraction of six transformers through Cyril Egwuatu when he was in the House of Reps, among others.
He noted that people should also lay emphasis on the character of leaders and their integrity in building up the trust necessary for the leadership to be exercised over a period of time.
Oriental News gathered that Eze who hails from Orba in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State Is a graduate of the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) Portharcourt and presently pursuing a law degree programme at the National Open University Nigeria.
Chinedu has been a grassroots person in his residential area around Borromeo, Ilo Okoye avenue within Onitsha/Odume layout.
Therefore, it was not a surprise to those who knew him closely when he emerged the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the councillorship position during the Anambra State local government election in 2014.
To stamp his feet as the choice of the people, despite the fact that he is not from Anambra State by birth, Eze not only won his opponent from the People’s Democratic Party in the election but also went ahead after their swearing in as councilor to emerge the leader of the Onitsha North Legislative Council.
In a citation, the Secretary of the Satellite City Landlords Association noted that when the Greek historian, Dionysius of Halicar-Nassur made the immortal statement that “History is philosophy drawn from examples”, he probably had in mind the likes of Eze, because according to him, the young man has made history and his political philosophy would be drawn as an example even for centuries to come.
“The most interesting aspect of Chinedu’s political feat is the fact that Onitsha North Local Government is the homestead of the indigenous people of Onitsha and since the brief emergence of Evarist Ubah as the Chairman of the council during the late Abacha regime, no non-indigene has ever made it to the executive or legislative position in the council since the Onitsha people regard the council as their exclusive preserve and birthright,” the secretary said.
Kenneth Onyemaobi, a resident of Borromeo Layout in a chat with Daily Sun said that Eze was able to break the jinx and also scatter every barrier to not only emerge as a councilor but as the House Leader because of his extraordinary humility, sociable character and philanthropic spirit despite the fact that he is not a moneybag.
“He started with the Borromeo People’s Forum where residents were engaged in numerous life changing public lectures and symposiums while other challenges confronting the people of the area were also addressed in the forum. From his earnings , there was a time Chyboy became popularly known as the Kero Boy based on the numerous times he had assisted women in his area with free gallons of kerosene for cooking and other minor empowerment programmes.
“He also mingles with practically all the politicians in Onitsha that in most cases when you see him with Chugbo Enwezor, the incumbent legislator representing Onitsha 1 Constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly or Cyril Egwuatu, the immediate past member representing Onitsha North and South Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, one can easily take him to be in the midst of his brothers,” he said.
Onyemaobi also said that one of the reasons many people honoured the invitation was the fact that nobody among his fellow councilors or other representatives of the people in various higher positions had ever convened such meetings in the recent past.
The Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission, Dr Peter Egenti who stayed till the end of the meeting despite his busy engagements in a remark described Eze as a pace-setter.
He said that he never believed that with the crash in the value systems of the society today, that a councillor would even have a record of profiled achievements to showcase talk more of reaching out to the people to share the account of such stewardship.
He said that Eze’s footprints have restored hope in the system while others should emulate such bold steps.
The guest lecturer, Prof Cliff Nwanna in the lecture entitled: “Achieving greatness in a troubled nation,” urged the people not to depend on government in everything but to be creative as means of survival.