The oldest living monarch in Nigeria and traditional ruler of Aba in Abia State, His Royal Majesty, Eze Dr. I. A. Ikonne (Enyi 1 of Aba) has honoured the Governor of Imo State, Sen. Hope Uzodinma with a chieftaincy title of Onye ndu Ndigbo (leader of the Igbos).

Eze Ikonne extended the honour to Governor Uzodimma at the weekend in Aba in a landmark but colourful ceremony to mark his 93rd birthday that attracted the who is who within and outside Abia State.

Represented by the Imo State Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, Eze Ikonne said the honour bestowed on Governor Uzodimma was inevitable because of his visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to reposition the Igbo people in the socio-political and economic equation of Nigeria.

Eze Ikonne pointed out that Governor Uzodinma has fittingly earned himself a place in the heart of future generations of Ndigbo who will be the ultimate beneficiary from his today’s toil and sacrifice.

The Enyi 1 of Aba as Eze Ikonne is fondly called further praised the Governor for his persistent push to bring the Igbos into the central operating position for governance in Nigeria.

Hear Eze Ikonne: “While some people may not see or appreciate the enormity of work undertaken by the Governor on behalf of the Igbos, the guardians of the Igbo consciousness and strategic thinkers in Igboland know that in the reality of the Nigerian situation and global dispositions, the best option for Ndigbo at the moment is to build bridges and harness every possible political avenue to raise the already tall standing of Ndigbo in the Nigerian project.”

The revered monarch also thanked the Governor for his “history of love and utmost respect for traditional institutions in Igboland” and urged him to not relent in his efforts “until the Igbos become the centre of a progressive and industrialised nation.”

Receiving the plaque on behalf of Governor Uzodimma,  Prof. Njoku said he was at the Eze’s palace at the instance of his principal who would have loved to attend the ceremony in person, but was held back by pressing state matters.

The Deputy Governor thanked Eze Ikonne and indeed, all Abians for the special honour done to Governor Uzodinma and noted that it is the resolve of his boss to work to change the narrative of the Igbo man in Nigeria.

Prof. Njoku described his principal as a great and tireless visionary who sees beyond the present and has sworn to work for the ultimate good of not only the Ndigbo, but the entire Nigerians.

On behalf of Governor Uzodimma, the Deputy Governor prayed for long life for Eze Ikonne whom he said, God has been merciful to preserve in good health for the benefit of not only Abians and Ndigbo but for the entire people of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari was represented at the event by Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige.

Other political appointees of the federal government from the South East who graced the occasion included the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba and the Minister of States for Mines and Solid Minerals, Uche Oga.

The Senator representing Abia South, Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Senator representing Okigwe zone, Mr. Frank Ibezim, among other prominent guests were also in attendance.

Oguwike Nwachuku

Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to Governor

February 1, 2022

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