By: Sam Obinna Ibe
His Royal Majesty, HRM Eze Godfrey Chikwendu Ibeakanma is one of the foremost respected Traditional rulers in Abia.
He earned this pedigree not on gold platter but through his personal accomplishments and the ratings of people who came across him in one way or the other while promoting and projecting the traditional institution of Igbo land on what it should be,how it should be and how the royal stool should be respected.
Besides,Eze GC Ibeakanma is also known for his fearless disposition,an outspoken monarch who is noted for calling a spade a spade no matter whose ox is gored.
Eze GC Ibeakanma who is the traditional ruler of Ezeleke Autonomous community, Ezeleke, Umuopara in Umuahia South LGA of Abia state has spent 23 years on the throne,and within these years, he had served in various leadership capacities in the clan,State and South East as far as matters concerning traditional institution is concerned.
For instance,Eze Ibeakanma had served Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers for 17 years, he had also served as Chairman, Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers, Discipline and Welfare Committee,
The revered Royal father who is culture personified had also served as Chairman,South East Council of Traditional Rulers Committee on Igbo tradition and Culture.
As if these leadership positions were not enough,the colorful well dressed Traditional ruler,Eze Ibeakanma also served as Vice Chairman, Umuahia South Council of Traditional Rulers,he also served for two term as Chairman , Umuopara Council of Traditional Rulers among others due to his pedigree as a first class traditional ruler in Abia State.
In this exclusive interview with senior journalist, Sam Obinna Ibe in his Umuojameze Ezeleke Palace, Friday, Eze GC Ibeakanma who is the Ezeukwu 1 of Ezeleke Autonomous community, Ezeleke, Umuopara,speaks on number of topical issues bordering on the recent increase to statutory stipends due the traditional rulers in the state having been increased from 3% to 5% by Dr Alex Chioma Otti’s LP led government against non implementation by past governments.
He also spoke on the proposed Expansion of Ossah Express Tower road to six lane road saying that it is a welcome development which he said will open the state up to the rest of the world.
But he however appealed to the Governor to ensure commensurate compensation to the land owners and those that owns properties.
Eze GC Ibeakanma however commended Governor Alex Chioma Otti for graciously approving the appointments of Umuopara sons to work in his Government while describing the banker turned governor as a politician with human face,etc
During the inauguration ceremony, you advised the newly sworn in Governor,Dr Alex Chioma Otti to looked into the welfare of the Traditional Rulers in the State by increasing their stipends granted what that they are passing through, expectedly,Governor few days ago, announced an incremental rate from hitherto 3 percent to 5 percent regime, how does it feels for your Royal prophecy that has come to pass ?
Thank you very much.
It feels good that my royal prophecy has come to pass. If you are visionary,you will be able to predict accurately what will happen in near future..
Again, following the antecedents of the Governor,Dr Alex Chioma Otti, people like us cannot doubt his capabilities and sincerity to politics and delivery of good governance to Abians.
As a matter of fact,he made promises to deliver good governance to Abia people during his electioneering campaigns ,he made specific reference to look into the welfare of the traditional rulers,he is a politician with human face,like his Igbo name” Chioma” depicts,Good name comes from God, Chioma.
Today,as the fifth Executive Governor of Abia state,Dr Alex Chioma Otti,the people’s goodluck is here as his name implies.
On the issue of the welfare of the traditional rulers,the law establishing 5 percent statutory stipends to the traditional rulers in Abia State has been there not less than eight to nine years ago, officially gazetted after passing through Abia House of Assembly and endorsed by the then former governor,Chief Dr T A Orji, the immediate past Senator that represented Abia Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, the problem then was implementation,i am happy that the Governor that can implement what is a law,a statue is here with us.
And I am also happy that Gov Otti has promised to do the needful by enforcing the 5 percent increment as embedded in the law book.
This 5 percent increment will no doubt help to cushion the effects of hardship the traditional rulers in the state are passing through. I therefore salute Dr Alex Chioma Otti for achieving this milestone.
What is your take on the proposed six lane expansion of Ossah Express Tower Okpara Square road as approved by the State Executive Council headed by Gov Alex Otti Labour led Administration ?
The six lane expansion of Ossah Express Tower Okpara Square road approved by Dr Alex Chioma Otti Labour led Administration in Abia is a welcome development. The transformation agenda is okay,you can see me beaming with smiles already.Umuahia the State capital has assumed the sobriety of a ” Glorified village”. When you talk about development, buildings industries,Estate, you must talk about accessibility to roads, accessibility opens the horizon for development . The roads the governor is planning to construct and develop in Umuahia will help to ease traffic congestion,will help in the security of both the Express road and adjoining access roads, transportation and movement of the people will be with ease . I therefore welcome this idea and prays that he accomplishes this lofty dream in no distant time.
But i must also appeal to His Excellency,Dr Alex Chioma Otti to pay compensation.
We know that it is a task that would not come that easy,we know that there are some involvement including payment of compensation to already residents of the affected areas,those who developed their properties,cash crop and economic trees which makes this kind of project very expensive,but I know that through his resilient,he will accomplish it.
* very much should be considered in compensating the land and property owners and the compensation should be very adequate to cushion effects of demolition and possibly relocation.
How does it feel on the appointment of Umuopara sons such as Hon Iheanacho Obioma,Rev Father Christian Uche Anokwuru,Hon Uche Mark Nwosu, Chief Orisa Iwundu,Mrs Uzoma Ogbuehi etc in Dr Alex Chioma Otti led government including the election of Hon Emeka Jacob Obioma into Abia House of Assembly and subsequent election as the Chief Whip of the House ?
It gladdens my heart each day in this dispensation,we are taken great leaps moving forward.
I am also happy that His Excellency,Chief Dr Alex Chioma Otti recognizes our potentials,the potentials of the great Umuopara people. I want promise him that our sons and daughter serving in his administration will help him to deliver dividends of democracy.
Coming to my brothers,my subjects,my friends from Umuopara who are members of this great team into Dr Alex Chioma Otti in leadership,I want to admonish them all to strive to give good account of themselves while congratulating them for being found feat, worthy and proper that they should serve the great people of Abia state with all their hearts and resources, properly identify with the popular Government.
This is the only way they can leave legacies which they can only be remembered for good.
I don’t have doubt on the capabilities of Hon Chief Iheanacho Obioma,the Director General of Dr Alex Chioma Otti Campaign Council that delivered this 2023 mandate . As a Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Affairs,Hon Acho Obioma must surely deliver along side his younger brother,Hon Emeka Jacob Obioma,who is the Chief Whip of Abia House and member representing Umuahia South state constituency will also deliver because their late father,High Chief Jacob Obioma, a notable politician served Umuopara people and Eastern region diligently.
And for my other brothers serving in Dr Alex Chioma Otti’s Government,i also charge you to give out your very best in order to reposed in the confidence in you,and great potentials that abound in Umuopara land.
This is only way to write your name in book of records as one who came, served and delivered.