Monday, 17 March 2014

Obiano as a Scout – Childhood friend tells


The journey to Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area, home town of the incoming governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, was almost aborted when the news of the sudden paralysis (stroke) of another childhood friend of the governor- elect reached this  reporter.
But, with the persistent pressure of my editor in having the insight into Obiano’s early life, this reporter decided to make the journey to Aguleri where he met another Childhood friend of the governor- elect, a sixty year old Chief Mike Idigo, a member of Idigo royal family of Aguleri who gave a graphic account of Chief Obiano as a member of the Boy’s scout and a troop leader which was headed by Obiano’s late father, Chief Awuja Obiano.
Chief Mike Idigo (Ezennia Aguleri) and cabinet secretary to Igwe Christopher Idigo’s Royal Palace who spoke to this reporter at Eziagulu- Aguleri disclosed  that he was a childhood friend of the governor – elect who would be sworn in on Monday, 17th March, 2014
According to Chief Idigo his first contact with Obiano was during the Nigeria /Biafra civil war from 1967-1970 when they were both members of the Boys’ Scout  headed by Obiano’s father, Chief Awuja Obiano who was then a missionary teacher.
He remarked  that because of the brilliance and leadership qualities exhibited in the governor- elect, the older Obiano was quick in recognizing the leadership qualities in his son which prompted him in appointing the younger Obiano the troop leader of the Boys’ Scout in Aguleri.
He hinted that the civil war brought him together with the governor – elect as both of them rarely met each other as Obiano whom he described as an age-mate  and also childhood friend had all along lived and studied in the township, Onitsha and Lagos were he finally secured a Job.
Chief Idigo who is a cousin to the traditional ruler of Aguleri, Igwe Christopher Idigo and a member of Igwe’s cabinet to which Chief Obiano also belong hinted that as a teacher the young Obiano was always on the move with his father in the township where he taught and rarely visited home in those days which prompted him to secure admission at New Bethel Primary School and Christ King College both in Onitsha.
The palace secretary emphasized that contrary to speculations that the governor – elect was not the smiling  type like his political mentor and god-father, Mr. Peter Obi, Chief Idigo quickly retorted, “you don’t tell about a man from his face, but from his actions”.
He disclosed that Chief Obiano was a man who makes friends easily without any possibility of currying  favour  and always helps people in need, but finds it difficult to trust people. He stressed that when once confidence is built it lasts for a lifetime.
Unlike his mates at Childhood, he swore that the governor-elect was never regarded as a womanizer, but quickly remarked that it was ages ago.
Obiano whom he said belongs to the same age grade with him, “Oganudo Age Grade” always contributes to the survival of the age grade as he was always handy in offering assistance to the palace and community in general.
With the position of Obiano in the banking sector, he posited that he was instrumental to the employment of many Aguleri indigenes working in various banks across the nation, many of them, according to him have attained managerial positions in the banking sector and had also attracted developmental project to the area.
One thing that baffles him about the governor – elect was his appointment with destiny. He went down memory lane stating  that as a child, Obiano lived above his peers.
He recalled that on several occasions, as children, the governor – elect would lie that his Aba made shoes were imported from abroad and so on without having the instinct that the boy had a date with destiny.
Chief Idigo also recalled how both of them alongside other scout members staged concerts at st. Raphael’s Primary School, Aguleri and Girl’s school, Eri which was a concert in praise of the gallantry of the Biafran Forces during the war.
He urged the governor-elect to be focused in the arduous assignment of governing a state and advised that he should always remember his roots as a disadvantaged people.



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