-By Agbo Sunday, Abakaliki
Over twenty years after the demise of Dr. Akanu Ibiam, first premier of Eastern region, Ebonyi State government said it would renovate the palace of Ibiam, who was the traditional ruler of Uwana.
Governor David Umahi, who made this known during a visit to Akanu Ibiam’s country home, said it was either he renovates the palace under one year or in the alternative build a new one in two years.
The Governor also promised immediate commencement of the rehabilitation of the bad portions of the Afikpo-Unwana Road within the next couple of weeks.
Umahi extolled the leadership qualities and pioneering role Dr. Ibiam played in the creation of Ebonyi State and said his administration would continue to accord him the highest honor. Until his death in July 1995, the late premier, who founded Ohanaeze Ndigbo, was the traditional ruler of Unwana.
Umahi was also in Ekoli Edda where he inaugurated the street light initiated by his administration through the Sustainable Development Goals. A statement on Friday by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Emma Anya, quoted Umahi as having told the mammoth crowd in Ekoli Edda he could not proceed to Edda withou visiting Akanu Ibam’s home.
“We went to Akanu Ibiam’s palace; we saw that the road which leads to his palace needed urgent attention. And at Akanu Ibam palace, we offered to renovate it (palace) within the period of one year or in the alternative, build a brand new palace within a period of two years. So, the Afikpo North Local Government Area Chairman and the Regent of Unwana, Alu Ibiam and others in the community will advise us on what to do.”
Umahi charged the caretaker chairmen of the 13 Local Government Areas to protect electric cables and street light installations in their areas against vandalism. He also called on the people of Edda to work together so as to attract more development, describing Edda people as one of the richest in terms of intellectual capacity and wealth in the state.
His words: “I want to challenge every local government; there should be no stealing of cables.
“If you show example with one person who steals cable, by taking such person to police, others will learn their lesson.
“I want our people here in Edda to work together. You are one of the richest local governments in terms of intellectual capacity and wealth. And so, you have to deploy these in a way of unity to work together and live together.”
The Chairman of Afikpo South Local Government Area, Chief Eni Uduma, had applauded Governor Umahi for his people- oriented programmes and assured that the people of Edda were solidly behind him.
Uduma said that three foreign based Edda sons : Johnson Oti,Udu Chima and Odogwu Agwu had promised to provide over 10,000 liters of gas to ensure that the street light did not go off for a second in the community .
Prior to the turning on of the street light by Governor Umahi, a 99-year-old community leader conferred on him the chieftaincy title ‘man of valor’. He prayed for divine guidance on the governor and good health.