From Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
For the First Lady of Ebonyi State, Mrs Rachael Umahi, and, indeed, the entire members of her family, August 10, would forever be evergreen in their memories.
It was the day the entire women of Uburu Community in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state, during their summit, initiated and honoured her with the highest title for women folk in the community, Ogoo Nwanyi.
On that day, people from all walks of life, including top government functionaries, chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, friends and well-wishers trooped out into the Central School field, venue of the ceremony to felicitate with her.
The once sleepy Uburu Community came alive given the unusual human and vehicular traffic as all roads on that day led to Uburu.
At about 1:00p.m, just an hour before the commencement of the event, many guests from far and near were already seated, waiting for the arrival of the special guest.
And as soon as the long convoy of the chief celebrant, Mrs Umahi, accompanied by her husband arrived at the venue, shouts of joy rent the air.
The various musical groups which included Akubaraoha Youths Marching Band, traditional musical groups, gospel band and others all competed for recognition by the state’s helmsman and his wife.
Shortly after the couple and other top dignitaries were seated, entertainers rolled out their drums.
This was followed by a march past by the various groups of women in the area. It was a kind of roll call for the women groups from the 14 villages that make up Uburu from their various branches in various states and cities across the country.
It was indeed an exceptional day for Rachael as she was visibly elated, nodding her head in affirmation from her executive couche.
From one speaker to another, the eulogies seemed endless. They narrated how the woman has turned the fortunes of Uburu women and by extension, many women in Ebonyi for good.
They revealed that the governor’s wife went about building houses for widows and other indigent women in the state, using her pet project, Family Succour and Upliftment Foundation.
One of such testimonies came from the former Vice-Chairman, Ikwo Local Government Area, Mrs Nwogbaga Chinyere Vivian, who is currently the Woman Coordinator, Ebonyi Youth Council.
“We are here today to share in the joy of our dear mummy, Mrs Rachael Umahi, Nne di oha re of Ebonyi State, for the honour bestowed on her this day by Uburu women. She has, since they came on board, shown kindness to our women.
“The widows, the downtrodden, and many women who fall into that category have benefited immensely from her kind-heartedness. Also, we’re here to rejoice with her husband for his good works in Ebonyi State,” Mrs Nwogbaga said.
Also speaking, the Chairperson of the Organizing Committee for the event, Dr (Mrs) Tina Nweze, described Mrs Umahi as a woman of virtue whose kindness has saved many women from the grips of hardship.
Mrs Umahi thanked the Uburu women for finding her worthy for the honour.
She said that she did not know that the little things she did where being taken note of by her people even as she described women as the pillar that holds the society.
“Virtually in all facets of our lives, women play important roles. So, I am pleased and highly elated that you honoured me today,” she said.
While also thanking the people for honouring his wife, Governor Umahi said that he was particularly happy that the people of Uburu where he hails from are living peacefully together.
“Today, our people travelled home from far and near to seat together and felicitate with each other.
“I thank my wife who takes pleasure in communing with her people. I thank the monarchs for honouring her as the Ogoo Nwanyi of Uburu. I thank the Uburu people and the entire Ohaozara council area for your supports,” he said.
But as Umahi progressed in his speech he went emotional as he lamented on how some political heavy weights in the state who are opposed to his policies and style of leadership had always tackled him from all angles.
Umahi told his audience that he has honest intentions to develop Ebonyi and place it on the world map; hence his embarking on developmental projects.
Though he failed to name the said political enemies, he maintained that opposition parties have continued to tackle hi,; firing from all cylinders.
At the moment, according to Umahi, his opponents are kicking against his proposal to obtain a loan in order to finance some projects some of which included the Abakaliki Ring Road.
“We are working assiduously to obtain loan to build the Abakaliki Ring Road. When I was discussing that with Sam Egwu, he told me that the moment I start its construction, I should also flag off another one in Ebonyi South that will traverse through Afikpo, Edda, Akaeze, Isiagu, Uburu, Isu, Abaomege and reach Ezza South and Ikwo.
“However, our people wrote petitions, seeking the stoppage of that loan. It is better for them to steer clear now otherwise they will never step into the land of Ebonyi State healthy. The evil they wish this place will afflict them. Nothing will stop me from embarking on that project,” he declared.
But Oriental News gathered from the opposition political parties that their fears stemmed from alleged “rising debt profile of the state.”