It was sea of heads weekend in Onitsha, Anambra State at the commemoration of the 20th coronation anniversary of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe as well as the 2022 Ofala Festival. Special signatories were present to grace the occasion, while others sent their representatives.
Among them were Anambra Governor Chukwuma Soludo, and his wife, Nonye; Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) several national assembly and state assembly members, traditional and religious leaders.
Soludo congratulated Achebe for a successful celebration and his leadership roles in Anambra, South-East and Nigeria.
He described the monarch’s 20-year reign as a period of impactful leadership, stressing that he had made positive contributions to the development of Igbo land in his position as the Chairman of Southeast Council of Traditional Rulers, Anambra Council of Traditional rulers and as the Obi of Onitsha.
“I have come to appreciate your good deeds to Igboland. You have upheld the cultural identity of your people and an example to others in striking a good mix between the traditional institution and other community leaders for development,” he said.
Okowa, represented by a chieftain of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, described Onitsha and Asaba as good neighbours only divided by the River Niger.
e expressed satisfaction with the rich culture of Onitsha and called on Nigerians to help sustain their heritage.
Former Abia State Governor and Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Kalu, in his congratulatory message, described the monarch as a committed and patriotic statesman, who has passion for growth and development of the commercial city.
Extolling Achebe’s virtues, including his invaluable contributions to nation building through various platforms, Kalu called on leaders to emulate his outstanding leadership qualities.
He said, “The monarch has brought unprecedented development to his domain and environs. Ndigbo are proud of the landmark and giant strides of the paramount ruler.
“On behalf of the people of Abia North Senatorial district, I felicitate with the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, on the double celebration of his 20th coronation anniversary and the 2022 Ofala Festival.”
Immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, while felicitating with Igwe Achebe, said the monarch has reigned with relative peace and above all in good health.
He said, “He ensured innovative leadership of the Ancient Monarchy while not compromising its cultural values over the years.
“Igwe Achebe’s leadership, which extended beyond his immediate domain has brought a lot of respect to the position of Monarchy not only in Anambra State but the south East and indeed Eastern Nigeria.
“His commitment to the growth and development of political and cultural advancement has ensured the relevance of traditional institutions in the modern governance structure.
“Agbogidi has indeed developed a modern palace and ceremonial grounds with luxuriant green vegetation In line with Sustainable Development Goals.”
Meanwhile, the Obi of Onitsha, has lamented that except for the three years of the Civil War, Nigeria today appears to be in more dire strait than at any other time since Independence in 1960.
He said, “The biggest challenge of the nation today is insecurity, which has affected most parts of the country and disrupted every aspect of the nation’s public and private lives.
“The inability of farmers to harvest their crops due to the menace of terrorists as well as the conflicts between the farmers and herdsmen have been responsible for the food inflation being witnessed in the country.
“Nigeria’s external debts have grown by more than five folds since 2015 from $19.7 billion to $98.6 billion, while the scarcity of the United States dollars to meet private and corporate payment obligations has driven down the value of the Naira to about 30 per cent of its 2015 value, and some forecasters are predicting a rate of $1/N1000 by the end of the year.
“The current situation had created a huge sense of malaise in the ordinary citizen and provided the backdrop for the 2023 general elections.”
While praying for a peaceful, free and transparent election next year, he said the contest for the presidency would be between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the hitherto lesser-known Labour Party ( LP), whose candidature is now being backed by the emerging Third Force Movement comprising mainly of the youthful generation.
According to the Royal father, the emergence of the Third Force Movement as a political pressure group is very likely to redefine politics and governance in the country irrespective of who eventually emerges as the president, adding, “The stakes are very high for the political parties and the nation, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”
Culled from: https://thenationonlineng.net/soludo-kalu-okowa-obiano-others-hail-achebe-on-ofala/