Njoku Macdonald Obinna
Traditional rulers as custodians of the culture and tradition of the people , have continued to influence , direct the affairs and control a number of rural survival strategies : security of lives and property , approval or otherwise of communal land allocation , conflicts resolution, control of natural resources , while maintaining peace and order among members of their communities.
This situates them as critical stakeholders within the community , local government councils and the state ; whose opinions and decisions are always respected , sought after and followed depending on the charisma and personage of such traditional ruler.
However, since ensuring peaceful coexistence, orderliness and developments in rural communities have over the years, being hinged on involving various community stakeholders in the process of planning , implementation of development projects and interface with the government as the need arises , the youth body , many have argued , is also qualified to be classified among community based influencers that have the capacity to function as pivotal voices in the task of ensuring the actualization of development and adherence to law and order.
Having taken cognizance of the above, the traditional ruler of Abba Autonomous Community in Nwangele LGA, Imo State, His Royal Highness , Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu (Uburu 11 of Abba) , on Saturday , September 12 , 2020, converged a meeting at the Obi Eze (royal palace) to have an interface with Abba youths for the first time; since his emergence, coronation and subsequent induction into the respected league of Nwangele Council of Ndi Eze ; a few months ago.
Following a letter written by the Imo State Ministry of Lands, Survey & Physical Planning , which was addressed to His Royal Highness, Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu (Uburu 11 of Abba), with the caption:
NOTIFICATION OF ACQUISITION OF LAND FOR AGRICULTURAL PURPOSE ; a letter dated 28 August , 2020, and duly signed by Esv. U.C. Okoro Fnivs for the Honourable Commissioner , the need to debrief the community and youths of Abba formed part of the agenda of the meeting which was converged at the instance of Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu Bsc , Msc.
The traditional ruler while setting the agenda for the meeting , highlighted four cardinal points which included ;
• Government intention to take over the Ikpa land for agricultural purpose .•Aftermath the Ezeship tussle and the need to come together as a community.
•Abba |Ekitiafor boundary dispute
•Inauguration of a committee that shall have an interface with officials of the state government over the Ikpa land.
Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu , without mincing words , corrected certain misleading information on the social media that the Abba Ikpa land has been ceded or allocated to the government without diligent consultations with the real owners of the land, the community and critical stakeholders.
Addressing the youths at Obi Eze, Uburu 11 of Abba, noted with dismay the challenges in Abba occasioned by the protracted Ezeship tussle which set the community back in terms of progress and also affected her sense of unity of purpose thus , the need to call for this meeting since the youths as an integral part of traditional institution have a vital role to play in ensuring peace , unity and progress in every community: therefore , must close ranks and come together to move Abba forward.
He however , made case for genuine reconciliation among the various aggrieved members of the community from the different villages to sheathe their swords , keep behind their individual differences and interests to develop the community especially now , that the Ezeship tussle is over since the baton of the traditional leadership stool has been bestowed upon him by the people through a constituted authority.
For those who are either being hypnotized with fake news , or are still doubting the leadership direction of the community and its captain, the monarch advised the youth body to delegate two or three of its members to make thorough findings at the appropriate quarters in the state.
On the proposed visit of the state government for an interface with the community , Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu informed the youths that a committee of select proactive , outspoken and respected members of the community shall soon be inaugurated with additional two membership each from the youth and women bodies. ” He maintained very strongly that as a community , we must speak with one voice and take a position before stipulating the terms and conditions with the state government for a possible takeover of the Ikpa land for agricultural cluster .
The soft spoken but articulate monarch, Eze Maduabuchukwu , therefore , called on the youths and entire community to be practically involved in the decision -making process , planning and implementation of whatever position the state government is to take with deep consideration to the ancestral owners of the land and the Abba community since the decision is not completely his as a traditional ruler , but a continued dialogue between the government and the community.
Speaking after the monarch, the president of Abba Youth Organization , Comr. Ogude Onyekachi; who mobilized the youths to attend the meeting immediately after their clean -up exercise in the community maintained that Abba must move forward. In his own words, the vibrant youth leader opined: ” I have observed that this is a moving train as Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu is on the driver’s seat of the traditional leadership stool of the community. “
The youth leader , Ogude Onyeakachi , who appeared urbane and savvy with his remarks regretted that the community has been backward due to the Ezeship tussle between two blood brothers while passionately calling an end to the social rift and clash of interest.
In his own words: “I have deep respect for the two brothers and have not disrespected or insulted any of them since the onset of this traditional imbroglio.” He therefore , called on other respected leaders in the community to wade into this issue and reconcile the two brothers so that the community can move forward. He however, thanked Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu for hosting them and also appreciating their efforts during the clean -up exercise.
Nze Oliver Chukwukere (Ikpo) , another vibrant youth in the community and coordinator of Abba Security Network , expressively told the youths that government has not taken over the Ikpa land contrary to the information the naysayers are feeding some gullible members of the community with so as to continue to polarize its leadership.
A question by Chima Amajioyi Arihi, which sought for clarification over the ancestral ownership of the Ikpa land and real owners of the land occupied by Abba Community school situated at the common boundary between Abba Autonomous Community and Ekitiafor Abba Autonomous Community; which had a sign post claim by the latter , was practically addressed by the Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu. The monarch informed the youths that Abba Autonomous Community is the ancestral owner of both Ikpa land and the one at the boundary between between Abba Autonomous Community and Ekitiafor Abba. ” He made an analogy that a Lagos man who bought a piece of land from Ibadan wouldn’t claim that the land is situated in Lagos State because common boundary defines its location.” In his own words: “Yes, the land occupied by Abba Community School is originally owned by ndi Abba and bought from Ekitiafor , but that does not give them the right to make claims of the boundary. While the land at the Central School owned by Abba Autonomous Community which Ogwuaga Progressives Union is currently building its Country Club is still in court,the monarch is of the opinion that continued dialogue remains the best way for negotiations.
During his closing remarks ,the traditional ruler, Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu, thanked the youths for their collective drive and resolve for a more peaceful, united and progressive Abba. He also informed them about the forthcoming October 31, 2020 , general election for the positions of President -General (PG), secretary and other executive members of the town Union which the Imo state governor, His Excellency, Sen. Hope Ozudinma, had mandated all the traditional rulers across the various communities in the state to conduct and supervise; having dissolved the former PGs and town unions by the previous administration.
Mr. Charles Meboro, acting palace secretary of Abba Council -of -Chiefs , it was, who carefully coordinated and moderated with decorum the leadership interface between Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu and Abba youths which had attendance across the four villages of; Umulolo , Umuduruagawu , Umununa and Umu Osa na Ori villages .
+ Njoku Macdonald Obinna was around to give a detailed and succinctly captured report about the social parley.
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