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Editor's note: In this piece, Anyanwu Princewill, a social commentator, writes about a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia state, Hon. Obinna Oriaku.
Before the balkanization of Igbo traditional titles, it used to be prestigious to be conferred with a traditional title in Igbo land, more so when it is not bought or lobbied for, but occasioned by one's selfless services to her people.
That was why recently when His Eminence Eze Eberechi Dic.k gathered who is who in Abia state to confer the Ekwedike Ekwuola of Ngwa land title to Hon. Obinna Oriaku and the event was heralded with unprecedented encomium and awe. Awesome because the title, in itself, speaks volumes of the potentials the Obinna Oriaku's brand exudes.
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Obinna came into the limelight when Governor Okezie Ikpeazu appointed him in 2015, first his adviser on economic matters and later the honorable commissioner in charge of finance. Considered then as one of the powerful commissioners in Ikpeazu's cabinet, Obinna brought so many innovations to bear in the government that those who benefitted from the existing malady became uncomfortable with him and consequently conspired to his removal. The rest is history
Oriaku has moved on as a key member of the opposition party but his in-depth financial knowledge and analytic astuteness have become a nightmare to the ruling party. In fact, three years after leaving the government, Obinna has remained in the news for the right reasons. It is widely speculated that he is a key think tank of the ruling APC and it is understandable because of his sagacious display of intelligence and professionalism especially with his firm grip on the problems and solutions of Abia state.
Coming back to the title Ekwedike Ekwuola of Ngwa land. Ekwe Dike is only beaten to announce unique and important events and it's only the High and mighty men answer in the traditional society. It sounds prophetic and more like a foreshadowing of what the revered traditional ruler has seen that the ordinary eyes cannot see. The name literally means that the gong has announced the appearance of a great man. What that means is left for the future.
But it is instructive that Obinna didn't lobby nor bribe for the title as he does not have a close relationship with His Eminence, more so when he is no longer in government. In fact, he has rejected many offers to be conferred with chieftaincy titles in the past but because of the peculiar nature of the title and the pedigree of the traditional ruler who was once the chairman of Abia state council of traditional rulers, chancellor of a federal university and currently chairman of the southeast council of traditional rulers, the offer became irresistible as he is not among those traditional rulers that reel in the dark.
Given the growing image and mass appeal of Honorable Obinna Oriaku especially since the Paris refund saga and some political permutations making the rounds, serious-minded political players and pundits should be restless until they uncover the ominous implications of this mysterious gong (Ekwe Dike Ekwuola la Ala Ngwa) that has announced the appearance of a certain big masquerade. While we all await what this great masquerade depicts let's keep encouraging the brevity of Hon. Obinna Oriaku and his tenacity and doggedness to ensure that good governance prevails in Abia state.