It was another succesful outing for the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly and the PDP standard-bearer for Ikwuano-Umuahia Federal Constituency at the February 25th general elections, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji FNSE, as he traversed Ibere Clan with his campaign team, that of the PDP standard-bearer for Abia Central Senatorial District, Col Austin Akobundu (rtd), and the Member and PDP standard-bearer for Ikwuano State Constituency, Hon Stanley Nwabuisi, yesterday.
Before heading to the Palace of the traditional ruler of the clan to pay homage, Rt Hon Chinedum Orji visited two erosion sites ravaging parts of the community and made firm commitment to help them get help to address the natural occurrence before it escalates to a disaster status just the same way he already intervened in another erosion challenge at Ariam.
At the palace of HRM Eze Prof Sir Sam Ifenwanta, Ugwu 1 of Ugwu-Ibere Autonomous Community, Ibere Clan, who also doubles as both the Chairman of Ibere Clan Council of Traditional Rulers and Grand Patron of Ibere Clan Development Union, Federated alongside HRH Eze Dr Stanley Ijenwa, the Oro II of Oro-Ibere Autonomous Community, Ibere Clan, and HRH Eze Monday Okoro, the Akoo II of Umuakoo Autonomous Community, Ibere Clan, all in Ikwuano LGA, the Speaker told the traditional rulers that he would intervene in the erosion challenges facing the people, through the state government, just as he already did with one, saying the people of Ikwuano are very dear to his heart.
He urged everyone to rise above their differences, sheathe their swords and place Ibere and Ikwuano first before any other consideration by putting their hands on deck and vote for PDP for all positions at the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
He further implored the Royal Fathers and the people to formally itemise projects they would want him, Akobundu and Nwabuisi, respectively, to execute in their community as their next representatives both at the National and State Assemblies, so that they could have documents serving as a memorandum of understanding with the people, with which to work for them and held accountable.
Rt Hon Orji thereafter enjoined the clan to also support and vote for Col Austin Akobundu for Abia Central Senatorial District and Hon Stanley Nwabuisi for Abia State House of Assembly. He decried the situation where Ikwuano State Constituency always voted fresh men to the State Assembly, informing that such a practice puts the constituency at a disadvantage as it will not have ranking members with the needed experience to legislate and attract projects for them as others with ranking members do. He urged them to change the practice by re-electing Hon Stanley Nwabuisi for another term.
The Speaker said he has divided all the clans in Ikwuano-Umuahia Federal Constituency into development areas for the purpose of effective planning and seamless project execution for him, and thanked the royal fathers and the people for their warm reception.
In his speech, Eze Prof Sam Ifenwanta thanked the Speaker and his entourage for the visit which he described as momentous. He urged the people to vote for candidates who have demonstrated capcity and competence, and conduct themselves peacefully at all times before, during and even after the elections.
He led the people in prayer for the success of the political ambitions of the entourage: Col Austin Akobundu (rtd), Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji FNSE and Hon Stanley Nwabuisi, all of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Thereafter, the entourage was received at another venue by all the Presidents-General and Village Heads of Ibere Clan.
In his address, President-General of Ibere Clan Development Union, Federated, Chief Pharm. M.C. Uzuegbe welcomed the Speaker and his team, itemized and reeled out the immediate needs of Ndibere to them in a document which he later handed to the Speaker, Col Akobundu and Hon Stanley Nwabuisi, respectively. He assured the trio that the clan would vote for Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, Col Austin Akobundu and Hon Stanley Nwabuisi because they have the best combined capacity to meet the people’s needs as reeled out.
While responding, Col Austin Akobundu and Hon Stanley Nwabuisi, thanked the PGs and Village Heads for welcoming them and promised to work in synergy with the Speaker to meet their needs. They therefore appealed to the people to support and vote for them in the coming elections.
On his part, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji said he was glad to be hosted by the prestigious body of PGs and Village Heads of Ibere Clan at such a significant moment in the political trajectory of the nation. He reiterated how he had intervened in the erosion challenge at Ugwuegbu Ariam Usaka by interfacing with the Governor, and that work would soon commence at the site, stating that the same way, he would help in bringing succour to those affected by the natural disaster in Ibere clan.
He also pledged to not only hold himself accountable to the people, but that he would also help hold elected officials in the constituency accountable to the electorate.
Furthermore, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji committed to helping the people establish a cottage industry for the processing of cocoa, cassava and other farm produce which are the major crops of the people. This, according to him, was to help them maximise the value chains of the crops through processing even up to exporting the finished products.
Lastly, the PDP Federal House of Representatives hopeful announced that the team accepted the people’s challenge and requests, and that they would work towards achieving them as a matter of priority.
From there, the team proceeded to be received by leaders of women and youth groups in the clan who rendered melodious songs accompanied with energetic dance while extolling the virtues of the Speaker and the team, at yet another venue.
After speeches by Col Austin Akobundu and Hon Stanley Nwabuisi, the Speaker informed the people that issues pertaining to youth and women are very dear to him and that he would continue to do everything within his capacity to ensure a better life for them.
At the event proper which held at the clan’s Ahia Orie Secondary School expansive field, the people gave Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji a rousing welcome.
In their respective addresses, a former Chairman of Ikwuano LGA, Deacon Stanley Ojigbo, the youth leader, Prince Joshua Abba, the women leader, Mrs Eunice Nkemdi, all spoke highly of the Speaker, Akobundu and Nwabuisi and urged them to keep working for the people.
They reeled out several challenges including roads, schools, youth and women empowerment among others, facing them, and that they trust the Speaker and the team to help them tackle the challenges decisively and actualise their dreams of a progressive and prosperous Ikwuano.
Deacon Stanley Ojigbo thereafter announced that at a meeting of the clan’s leaders, youths, women, businessmen/women, traders, tricycles operators, PLWDs, opinion moulders etc, they agreed as a clan to adopt Col Akobundu, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji and Hon Stanley Nwabuisi for the respective positions they are vying for at the forthcoming polls, declaring that their victory in Ibere land was non-negotiable, therefore, a foregone conclusion.
Responding, a visibly elated Speaker, who at some points joined the people in dancing to the music and songs flowing freely and intermittently from all corners of the field, thanked them for their effusive show of love towards him and the team, and for the kind words generously volunteered towards him.
He told them that he would also have built a mini-stadium in Ibere land but considered attracting a cottage industry for the farming and processing of farm produce as being of greater benefit and priority since the people are mostly farmers who are into cassava, cocoa and other food and cash crops. He said Ibere as an agrarian community deserve a cassava processing mill, and that he will establish a standard mill for them so that the women do not have to travel long distances to process their cassava, or keep using archaic and tedious means to do so.
He closed his remarks by assuring the people that he will never disappoint them.
Those who were on the Speaker’s team to the clan alongside Col Austin Akobundu (rtd) and Hon Stanley Nwabuisi, are the DG of the Speaker’s campaign council, Pastor Emeka Inyama, Rt Hon Max Ndukwe Adindu, Hon Lady Ngozi Oji , Hon Engr Emmanuel Nwabuko, the current TC Chairman of Ikwuano LGA, Hon Williams Ukatu Chimechefulam, the immediate past executive Deputy Chairman of Ikwuano LGA, Hon Cokey Nwachukwu among others.