Tuesday, 12 July 2016

New Monarch in Anambra Community Moves to Fast-track Peace, Development

By Okechukwu Onuegbu

Charles Agbala, a surveyor and retired director in the Anambra state Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning/Development was recently elected in a popular democratic and transparent election by the Uke Community in Idemili North LGA of Anambra state as their new traditional ruler (Igwe Oranyelu III of Uke kingdom).

That was even as Uke traditional and administrative leadership presented Agbala to the Local Government chairman, Obi Idemobi, who subsequently led him to Gov Willie Obiano for recognition and certification, depicting that he had finally succeeded the Uke former monarch, late Igwe Nwabufo Ezeude who joined his ancestors since 2011.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with our reporter, Igwe Oranyelu III of Uke kingdom described his emergence and installation into the exulted throne of his fore fathers as act of God and the will of his people, because according to him, they clamoured for and voted him after his retirement in 2011from the Anambra state Ministry of Housing and Urban Development where he had worked for thirty-five years (which was same year, Dec 2011 their erstwhile monarch transited).

On how he was selected as Igwe, the father of four children and member of the Nigerian Institute of Construction; Industry Arbitrator of Nig; Former Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (Anambra), and the principal partner of Awka-based Procost Consultants averred that “After the last ofala of our former Igwe on Nov 14, 2015, the seat was officially declared vacant. And in accordance with Constitution of Uke, the next village to produce Igwe is Uruabor, my village.

“My village was expected to produce and present three (3) candidates to the leadership of the Uke community for their screening and consideration.
I am from Uruezeani quarters of Uruabor village and was among the three candidates who emerged and were presented to the Uke Town Union leadership. After due diligence, election was held on Dec 19, 2015 during which I emerged victorious”.

Agbala, who added that his hobbies are jogging, exercises, music and watching documentaries, vowed to take Uke community to an appreciable level “where all her citizens will be happy and proud to say they are indigenes of Uke, and eagerly looking forward to coming home annually at least, to meet and interact with their kith and kin in a happy, peaceful, secure and friendly environment”.

His words: “I see my ascension to the throne as a challenge to tackle various problems that have been facing the community. Most important of our challenges include peace, unity and reconciliation. Their absence over a long period of time has been weighing the community down. The crises are multi-faceted but we shall overcome. I wish to galvanize the rich, the learned, the experienced and hardworking indigenes to fashion out ways to progress. We will revitalize our decayed infrastructure, comatose health facilities, and education policy of the community. Our youths would get back to school (education). Our cultural and social life will also be rejuvenated to ensure positive annual positive interaction.

“Our local Eke market, the most popular community market in Idemili North council area and beyond before and after the Nigerian civil war has remained a shadow of itself due to lack of care and development. It's a known fact that our water, roads, electricity and other utility services are non- existent. I will find ways of bringing them back to life through partnership with the government and other relevant agencies. Each community needs to maintain a very good rapport with the governments and their officials at all levels in order to benefit from democracy dividends. They are all capital intensive. I commend the state government for its immense help in terms of our roads so far although more needed to be done.
Having been in government over the years from where I retired as a Director, I hope to use my experience, contacts and goodwill to partner the government in that direction to the benefit of my community and her citizens”, he insisted.

While celebrating the new monarch, the immediate past President General, Uke Development Union (UDU), Chief Chukwemeka Donatus Enendu expressed optimism that the royal father would make them proud judging from his records of accomplishment in Survey industry.

“I want to remind Igwe Charles, though he is a development minded person, that government presence is highly needed in this community because there is no roads, and above all, erosion has served a quit notice to the entire community”, he added even as he appealed to him to formulate strategies that would engage their teaming unemployed youth which was modality to divert their minds from criminalities.
Thanking the people for their patience and peaceful conduct during the Igweship election, the Secretary General of UDU, Bon Onwubualili enjoined the aggrieved parties in the court to accept defeat in good fate and contribute their quota towards development of Uke, because according to him, there would be nothing any other person can do to thwart the outcome.

Contributing, one of the stakeholders in Uke community, Hon. Jude Obiekunie posited that the election of Surveyor Charles Agbala of Uruabo village as the traditional ruler of Uke, followed due process and satisfied all the laid down rules set by the 20-man committee inaugurated to that effect.



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