Isiaku Alayi autonomous community in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State was agog December 31, 2016 when the traditional ruler of the community, His Royal Majesty, Eze (Barr) Uche Orji Elekwa, Akukwu 1 of Isiaku Alayi celebrated his fifteen years on throne as he used the opportunity to recognize some illustrious sons and daughters of the area with chieftaincy titles including The Sun reporter, David Onwuchekwa for their various contributions towards community development.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion were the Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, members of the State Executive Council, members of the State and National Assemblies, Chairman, Bende Local Government Area and a sea of traditional rulers from many parts of Abia and beyond, although some of the invitees were represented on the ocassion because of so many activities during the Yuletide.
One of the beneficiaries of the chieftaincy titles, David Onwuchekwa was honoured with Onunaekwuru Oha I (his people’s mouthpiece, spokesman or the speaker) title. A few others not just from Isiaku but from neighbourhoods were also honoured with various titles in recognition of their various contributions to community development. Onwuchekwa hails from Ufuebi Elugwu Isiaku, Alayi in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State.
Reacting to the chieftaincy title given to him, Chief Onwuchekwa explained that he was surprised to hear that he was selected by a committee set up with the approval of His Royal Majesty.
He said: ” This means that one is being monitored in terms of little contributions made for the good of our society. Now that I am spotted, the tempo will increase. I will continue to contribute my own quota towards the development of our community, Isiaku Alayi, Bende council area, Abia and Nigeria, generally. I am highly elated for the honour done me. I thank His Royal Majesty, Eze (Barr) Uche Elekwa, Akukwu I of Isiaku Alayi and entire Isiaku community for this recognition, ” Chief Onwuchekwa said.
“In line with our custom and tradition, I honour some community leaders and eminent persons to spur them to do more for the community in humanity and to be good Ambassadors of Isiaku Alayi.
“The beneficiaries of chieftaincy titles and award today should cherish and guard them jealously because they have been carefully selected in recognition of their hard work, honesty, integrity, diligence, commitment to duty, altruistic and dedicated services to Alayi and or humanity in their chosen fields of endeavour,” HRM, Eze (Barr) Elekwa said.
He congratulated the recipients and reminded them that thenceforth they would be part and parcel of the leaders and elders of the community, saying that they should not hesitate to answer the community’s call whenever the need arose.
The traditional ruler who was given a staff of office in 2001 by the then Governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu used the occasion to appeal to the Abia State Government under Governor Ikpeazu to come to the rescue of Isiaku community which has been cut off from the rest of its neighbours because of bad road. He appealed to the Governor to call the contractor handling the Amankalu-Akoli Imenyi Road back to site to see that the construction work is completed to alleviate sufferings of the communities affected.
“Our road is inaccessible every year between the months of May and October. We have been loyal and committed to the cause of the government and no candidate from any political party has ever defeated a candidate of the government in power in the State in our community since 1999,” the Eze noted. He also appealed to the State Government to consider sons and daughters of Isiaku for appointments into government offices.
President General of Isiaku Alayi Development Union (IADU), Mazi Ndubisi Okereke in his remarks said that Isiaku, as an agrarian community, needed the access road to enable it increase its agricultural potentials “as we are already the food basket of Abia.”
“In May, 2008 the then Governor of the State, Senator T.A. Orji awarded the contract for the construction of the Amankalu-Akoli Imenyi road. The contractor did a bulldozer work from Amaokwelu Alayi to Akoli Imenyi, a distance of about ten kilometres. Unfortunately, only two to three kilometres were asphalted exposing the remaining seven kilometres that fall within Isiaku Alayi and our neighbouring Isiala Imenyi to dangers of erosion because of heavy equipment used on the road,” the PG cried.