Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 30 August 2016 | 2,566 times
All the traditional rulers from the 739 autonomous communities in Abia State Monday conferred on Governor Okezie Ikpeazu the chieftaincy title of Onwa Abia (which literally means the moon that shines for Abians).
The monarchs who converged on Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia, the state capital, to perform the ceremony with almost all the traditional rulers in attendance, said that that the even represents a public demonstration of their unflinching support for Ikpeazu, adding that anyone fighting to u seat him as the Abia governor does not have their blessing, and would certainly fail.
An elated Ikpeazu who basked in the glitz of the moment, told the audience that the plot to unseat him was a coup made abroad as it was a conspiracy of people from other states who found willing allies in some Abians ostensibly to set the state backwards.
Chairman of Abia state Council of Traditional Rulers, His Eminence, Eze Eberechi Dick, warned those fighting the governor should henceforth sheath their swords and withdraw all matters pending in the courts, stressing that they would incur the wrath of the gods should they disobey the royal fathers.
Eze Dick explained that they were throwing their weight behind Ikpeazu because they supported the Abia Charter of Equity which enshrined justice and equity in the Abia political system.
He noted that Abia North and Central senatorial districts have had their turns and it was now the turn of Abia South and nothing should be done to disrupt the power rotation.
“We are here today to declare to the general public that there is no vacancy in Abia Government House for the next eight years. Abia rotates its governorship position and now it is the turn of Abia South and Ikpeazu is in the saddle.
“Those fanning the embers of political discord in Abia are on their own. We, the Abia royal fathers have resolved that since Abians freely gave their mandate to Ikpeazu, he should be allowed to do his eight years tenure.
“Today, we have come to put the crown of victory on your head and no one can wrestle power from you in Abia. Anyone interested in becoming the governor of Abia State should offer himself to the electorate and not to come through the back door to buy the position with money,” the royal father said
The monarch, who is also the Chairman of South East Traditional Rulers Council, enjoined those trying to unseat Ikpeazu to back down in their own interest and allow for development to take root in the state.
Two monarchs – Eze Ngozi Mathias Nwogu, who rules in Mgboko Umuoriaefula Autonomus Community where BarristerFriday Nwosu hails from, and Eze Silas Chukwu of Uturu where Dr Uche Ogah comes from – both denied that the duo who want unseat Ogah through the courts have their support. They said they were not privy to their subjects’ plans.
Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Charles Ogbonnaya, described the grand royal reception for Ikpeazu by the royal fathers as unprecedented, saying that it would motivate the governor to work harder.
He also warned those in court to retrace their steps as “violence begets violence.”
The Chairman of the occasion and elder statesman, Elder Emma Adaelu, and the co-chairman, Chief Anthony Enukeme (Tonimas), described the reception as noble and commended the traditional rulers for their initiative. They expressed hope that the gesture would put a stop to the current political battle for the governorship seat “so that Abia would move forward.”
Immediate past governor of Abia and Senator representing Abia Central, Chief Theodore Orji, represented by Prince Longman Nwachukwu, pointed out that he supported power shift to Abia South in order to lay the foundation for equity to prevail in Abia politics.
Responding after being conferred with the chieftaincy title, Ikpeazu expressed his deep appreciation to the Abia royal fathers for their demonstration of great love for him.
He recalled that since the 2015 elections, the Abia monarchs have firmly stood by him in all the legal battles he has waded through and thanked them for their support. “Today’s event, for me, is a confirmation of the fact that my mandate is, indeed, divine,” he said.
“At a time like this, if you have as a friend, in-law, partner or brother who is consistently locked in a protracted battle, it will be easy for you to abandon that person and say let me take my valuable time to pursue other more important and personal businesses. But the traditional rulers of Abia State have remarkably stood by me since the past 14 months.
“I have also enjoyed similar support and solidarity from the Elders Council and the Elders of Abia State, irrespective of where they come from,” Ikpeazu said.
He recalled the distractions he has suffered since the he was proclaimed winner of the 2015 Abia governorship elections and commended the wisdom of the founding fathers of the state for evolving the Abia Charter of Equity.
“The Abia founding fathers in their wisdom, at the creation of the state, they brought out a document and called it Abia Charter of Equity. They knew that a day like this will come when some people will be emboldened and encouraged by their strength and the numbers in their bank account to continue to attempt to uproot the pillar of unity upon which this state was built,” he added.
He said the litigations against him have served to slow down the development of the state but he expressed optimism that those after him “would not succeed so long as the God of equity and justice was on His throne.”
•Photo shows Ikpeazu acknowledging cheers from the crowd after being conferred with the chieftaincy title of Onwa Abia by the royal fathers.
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