HRM, Agbogidi Emmanuel Mohanyem 1, Obi of Ezi Kingdom.
The people of Ezi Kingdom in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State have expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for approving a 33KV power line that has brought joy to the community where the people now enjoy constant electricity supply since the project was commissioned on Sunday, August 11, 2019.
The monarch, His Royal Majesty, Agbogidi Emmanuel Mohanyem, Obi of Ezi Kingdom, while acknowledging Mr. President for the gesture, also thanked him for ensuring that the community was connected straight to the national grid.
Obi Mohanyem shares the joy with his wife on her investiture as the Nnediohnma of Ezi Kingdom.
The monarch who spoke to cshowcasenews.com and banneronlinenews.com/bannermedianetwork.blogspot.com Editors enthused: “Ezi now has constant power supply.” He was however, quick to plead that something urgent be done to get the individual homes metered quickly to mitigate the billing that is on the high side.
Obi Mohanyem said: “What we are appealing for is, when it comes to billing, it is always on the high side. In 33kv line, billing is x 33 of 11kv, whatever your unit is; you have to multiply it by 33.
“So we are appealing to government to try and meter every home instead of what we have now, where transformers are being metered to give you collective billing. It is not a good one for our people. It will be better they meter every home so that you pay for what you consume.”
He continued: “For us in Ezi, we are very happy with president Buhari’s administration for approving this for us. We also appreciate the leadership of NYSC for making it possible. You know we have NYSC skill acquisition proposed for Ezi and it was because of that purpose this 33kv line was brought to Ezi. We thank them for all the efforts they put in place into ensuring that we were connected into the national grid.
“We are also very appreciative of our beloved son, Barr. Chiedu Ugbo of Niger Delta Power holdings. He has been very very exceptional and co-operative.
“It will also delight you to know that other towns have been approved to be connected through the 33kv line; like Issele-uku, Issele-Mkpitime. They are going to upgrade it down to Ugboba. It has been approved according to what Bar. Ugbo told us at the last programme we had.
“They have also approved from Ezi to Ebu in Oshimili North and the next one will be Akwukwu-Igbo and Atuma axis. So our Son is doing very well for our people and his main aim is that he will like to see a transformed Anioma region, where we have industries coming in, because if you look at our area here, we don’t have industries. The main reason is because there is no power. If you have good power supply, industries will come up. So our son, Barr Ugbo, wants to make sure that this whole area is fully powered effectively and efficiently, with a view to industrializing the region.”
Mohanyem 1, Obi of Ebu Kingdom.
On the NYSC skill acquisition centre in Ezi, Obi Mohanyem disclosed that the centre has not commenced operation because of some teething problems, but said he would be meeting with the officials in the next few days.
“The NYSC skill acquisition centre has not started yet. Initially, they had some problems, but it has been resolved now and I think somewhere around November this year they should start. I will be meeting with the Delta State NYSC coordinator by next week,” he said.
On the security situation around the kingdom, Obi Mohanyem was greatly down cast because of the ordeal and sad experiences that his subjects and visitors to the kingdom have had in the hands of criminal elements that have evaded the community carrying out kidnap of persons to the point of killing victims.
It is against this background that the Obi is pleading with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to come to the rescue of the kingdom by completing the Issele-Uku-Issele-Mkpitime-Onicha-Olona-Ezi road which the traditional ruler noted terminated at Onicha-Olona leaving the Ezi end crying for urgent attention.
Obi Mohanyem said: “Well you know security is in the hands of the government and I must thank the Delta State commissioner of police for deploying police officers into that very point. We have had about or more than seven kidnap cases along that particular road.
“That road, I must tell you is a red zone, our people are living in fear. Nobody wants to ply that road, because you don’t know who is who. The Bad thing about the kidnappers is that they don’t have a particular target. They just come into the road, as long as you are in a vehicle, they attack you. They kidnapped a taxi driver, they kidnapped so many people and we lost one of them, who happen to be my in-law.
“They came here when my uncle was celebrating his 90th birthday. He came to be part of the celebration and he was kidnapped. He was taken to the bush and we later found his dead body in the bush.
“Why I said that I must commend the Delta State commissioner of police is that he has taken it upon himself to ensure that security return to that spot. Men of the Nigerian Police Force are there 24 hours with the vigilante group of the community. We have equipped our vigilante, so they are working hand in hand with the police and other security agencies to ensure safety at that very spot.
“Since December last year, 2018, we have not heard any kidnap case here. The last one was in December 2018, what the criminals did was to move towards Ebu area, where they kidnapped one of my sons too, he was their working on a building, they kidnapped him and after paying ransom, they released him. But now, we have also fortified that place as well. Our vigilante men are there 24 hours, because we really equipped them, so they are there 24 hours keeping watch on that place.
“One appeal I have to make to our Governor, I know he has been working very well and we are very loyal to him and his government, he has done the road from Issele-uku to Onicha-Olona and they termed that first phase. They said the second phase will be from Olona to Ezi, Ukala up to Ebu down to Illah and we don’t know when that will start. So we are appealing to His Excellency the Governor, to please urgently come to our aid. We know that the state resources are limited, but that road is very important to us.
“That road has been abandoned because of this kidnap issues and if that road is done, life will come back in full force. For you to kidnap somebody on a top speed, it is not easy, but it is easier when the person that is driving slows down because of series of bad spots along the road. So it is a sincere and gentle appeal to His Excellency the Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa to please help us to start the second phase of the road in earnest, it is our appeal.”
Our Investigation revealed that the following record of kidnap cases occurred along onicha-olona Ezi road:
• Obi of Ogodor was kidnapped on June 3rd, 2018.
• Bobo Uzor Ezeagwu was kidnapped on July 2nd, 2018.
• AmaforOdiliosua was kidnapped on October 17th, 2018.
• Sunday Nwaugo from Ishekpe, Onicha-Olona and Ebue from Ukala-Okwute was kidnapped on Nkwo market day on November 5th, 2018.
• Four persons were kidnapped by some Fulanis along Onicha-Olona- Issele-Mkpitime Road, namely: Sunday Adeh, Obiajulu Okwuagwu, Clement Ejiofor from Ukala and one other person.
• On December 23rd, 2018, two Ezi people were kidnapped along Ezi-Olona Road, Okonji Onyejiose children.
• On May 4th, 2018, one Mr. Osca Isiakpama was kidnapped on the same spot on the Onicha-Olona-Ezi Road.
On the activities of herdsmen that are said to cause security menace through kidnapping in the Ezi axis, Obi Mohanyem said: “To be honest with you, the herdsmen, they are in categories. There are the ones that are really herdsmen, these ones are very law abiding, but at the same time, there are some criminal elements among them, they are not herdsmen but criminals.
“You have some of them that came; they will tell you that they are here in the community. They register their presence legally and plead to work for the peace and security of the community, but the criminal elements, will just come and occupy. They don’t come to anybody, they don’t come to register their presence; it is as if that place belongs to them. They don’t care; they don’t care to tell you.
“The good ones will come and tell you that look, ‘we are here, after sometime we will go’. So, some of them come and they do go. We have the peaceful ones who are even afraid of these criminal elements among them,” the highly respected obi affirmed and restated the resolve of the Police, the vigilante and other security agencies to curtail the activities of criminal elements posing as herdsmen to disrupt peace in the community.
Speaking also on the tradition and culture of the people, Obi Mohanyem was cheery about the upcoming traditional festivities in the kingdom especially the new yam festival (Iwaji Ezechime).
“We have started the processes leading to the Iwaji festivities. We have indeed started our traditional year and every year, we improved on what we did the previous year. This year 2019 is going to be a big one, bigger than the one you attended. So there is pressure on me now from our sons and daughters that they want to come home and celebrate the new yam festival this year,” he said and announced the programme of activities for the Iwaje Ezechime festival as follows:
• Itobaji: July 31, 2019.
• Ilochi: August 16, 2019.
• Ilo Ifejioku : August 21, 2019.
• Ani Ukwu : September 1st, 2019.
• Ilo Ndichie : September 9th, 2019, and
• Ilonna September, 17, 2019.
The obi confirmed that the Iwaji Ezechime is a tourist attraction, even as he called on the general public and friends of the community to come and savour the pleasure of this festival that comes up in the first week of October 2019.
“It is going to be a very big one and we are using this avenue to invite our friends and well wishers to come and join us and celebrate,” Obi Mohanyem said.
Asked how he celebrated his birthday on August 11th, 2019, the Monarch was full of thanks to God Almighty, and acknowledged the love showered on him by the people of Ezi, friends and well wishers.
“Firstly I must thank God that gives life, for without him I don’t think I would live to had a successful birthday. I remain grateful to Him; People actually came, they offered prayers and gifts and other items. Indeed, everything went well, we had fun with the people that came I entertained a good lot of them. They came with different gifts and it was a good one and I thank God for that. It is my prayer that I will celebrate many more years to come.”
On what his experience has been like since ascending the throne of his fore-fathers, especially as it relates to human beings, the handsome, eloquent and lively monarch said: “I have been on the throne since 1990.
“My reign as the king of Ezi kingdom has been with ups and downs; there have been low moments and high moments, it has been very fruitful and challenging. Challenging, in the sense that it is not easy to lead man. “It’s much easier when you lead animals, for the fact that when animals are directed to take a certain path, they just maintain that directive, but human beings are not like that. Some will come to you and tell you a different thing from what they actually meant.
“So it has not been easy. But over the years, I have had good relationship with my people and they have been very law abiding and respectful. I thank God for the unity that we are building in the kingdom as at now, which is much stronger than what we had in the past years. So if I want to give our performance a score, I think I will score us 80 percent.
“My people have been very, very supportive and I really want to use this opportunity to appreciate them for their co-operation, show of love for the king and our community.
“Like the Hall down there, it was put together by five illustrious sons of Ezi kingdom. They came together and said that there is the need for a befitting reception hall for the palace and they came up and built it. It cost millions of naira as you can see, so they have been very co-operative.”
Answering another question, Obi Mohanyem with hindsight said: “You mentioned some names, but there is something I will like to let you know. There is what we call enablers; community is not developed by big names, our development has been more of collectiness, because if you hope on those that you think have money, they will disappoint you; yes the big names in the society.
“What we have in our kingdom, is the average people coming together to say no, we want a change. Some of the big names you mentioned, we don’t even get anything from them; nothing comes from them, but from the average ones, those that have the love of the kingdom.
“You must have that love for you to think of the development of you community. Community development is not all about money. It requires zeal, commitment and love for your community. It is what moves community forward, not necessarily money.
Meanwhile, it was a moment of felicitations for the Monarch of Ezi Kingdom as his wife, Obogwu Eze, a medical practitioner was honoured by the Ezi Women Development Association on August 10th, 2019 and decorated as the Nnediohanma of Ezi Kingdom.
It all happened at an impressive and colourful occasion in which Prince Ned Nwoko was the chairman and the Honourable member representing Aniocha North in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Engr. Emeka Nwaobi, as the special guest of honour.
Also at the event were Chief Jude Baadi and some other renowned persons who donated handsomely towards the construction of a multi-purpose hall for the women of Ezi.
Overwhelmed by the surprise and joy, Obi Mohanyem said: “It is a great honour done to my wife by the women of Ezi, recognizing her as Nnediohanma; it is a great honour and privilege. You know what it means for the women to recognize you, which means you must have been doing a lot of good works for them. My wife who is a medical practitioner, every year she brings medical persons to lecture on health, different health issues and they carry out various tests and provide drugs for the people.
“By next week Saturday, she will be bringing doctors for yet another free medical programme and lecture between 23 and 24 August, 2019 for the women of Ezi.
“I personally thank Ezi women for whole heartedly accepting my wife, and the love they have shown to her over these years is really amazing, and I pray that the relationship between her and the women will continue,” the obi said.
Ezi indeed is a kingdom that has produced notable icons, including the first indigenous Catholic priest in West Africa, late Rev. Fr. Paul Emechete. He was born in 1888, ordained Catholic priest on January 6, 1920 and he died on May 10, 1948. He was 60 years old.
The resience of late Rev. Fr. Paul Emechete,
Rev. Fr. Emechete’s tomb at Ezi.
His residence and tomb which are supposed to be national monuments, still lie there in Ezi town.