Kelechi Ejeagwu, Mbata Etuom 1 of Igboland, is the current President General of Osina Town in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State. In this interview which he granted CYRIACUS NNAJI at his Idumota Lagos office, he spoke on his massive road rehabilitation project at Osina Town; he also asked Nigerians to avoid the county’s politics if they want to make heaven. Excerpts:
Let’s meet you
My name is Chief Kelechi Ejeagwu, a native of Osina in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State.
You are now the President General of Osina Town Union (OTU) general, how do you feel being the new PG?
I thank God, it is not by my power, I will say it is a divine connection as it pleased God. I looked at the whole thing and asked God, why me? Later I realised that I was one of the outspoken members of the town who criticized how things are done in the community, I said okay. After the voting and I emerged winner, I still asked God some questions, what and how will I carry my people along, what will I do for my people and not what my people will do for me? I don’t dwell in the name PG, because I don’t introduce myself as PG, I introduce myself as my own name. It is only what I do for my people that will bring glory to God. Yes as you asked, I am the current PG of Osina Town Union, I am happy.
It is in public domain that you have embarked on massive road rehabilitation in your town, what was the driving force behind the initiative?
Thank for that question. When I emerged as a winner, after consulting and doing my prayers, I came out with seven point agenda, the things I believed I will do for my people, so that they will benefit from it. Then in my seven point agenda, the one I picked out among them is the issue of road. Coming to my town Osina, there is no road, all the roads in the whole villages are condemned by erosion, some members of the town cannot visit one another, they cannot even go to neighboring villages, and government are not concerned about us. We are our own government. I therefore decided that the best thing is to embark on road rehabilitations so that our people can move freely. For now people from Umuduru cannot go to the major market in Osina due to erosion, Umuotuasi the same, Uhualla the same, if you travel home with your car, you have to park it in somebody’s compound, then trek home, at the end you go and take your vehicle back while you have your own compound. There is no joy in that. Based on that I called my executive and contracted the job, and by the grace of God there is progress, the job is going well.
It will interest you to know that it is our people who have passion for the development of the town that said PG we are behind you, this light which you lit is worthy of emulation, it will not die, they began to pump in money so that the work would go on. To tell you how passionate our people are about it, I didn’t even call Dr Ohia, but he personally sent N200,000, a lot of them. It is true that because of existing problems, some are telling me that they had paid money before for development but nothing to show for it, but I told them that I wasn’t the person the money was given to, now that I am in charge, you can see what I am doing with it. I am not using it for my personal gains. I told them, don’t pay into my personal account, because of that I opened an account in the name of OTU solely for these projects, because it is not only road project that I am going to tackle. By the power of God after this December, January, February when we balance from the one we have done, wei are going to work on the light issue, because Osina has been in total darkness for the past eight to nine years if I am not mistaking. Based on all that I want every Osina man, woman to embrace these development initiatives, and God will bless them all.
What have you done to bring peace to Osina? We learnt issue of Autonomous was problem, do you see it as a problem to your administration?
Well, when I was handed over, all the documents handed to me, over 90% of them were cases, but I don’t want to dwell on them, because I am not a trouble maker. I believe in what God can do for Osina. Coming to the autonomous you made mention of, autonomous is not bad, but how we go about it most of the time is what is causing problem, to the best of my own knowledge. But as I am now, the government of Imo State doesn’t tolerate that, so there is no way we can dwell on issue of autonomous.
The past government did a lot of fraud on autonomous issue. So I am talking as a person. When you come to my office as the PG, and talk of autonomous, I have my own modalities. What I will tell you, you have to follow due process, when it gets to my table to sign, when others have signed, and you have done what you supposed to do, I will put my own signature. You get your autonomous, but you must do the needful.
The country is going through numerous challenges, what is your advice to Nigerian political leaders?
The leadership of today frightens me, the truth must be told. Our votes don’t count any more. They deceive us a lot. All politicians are the same whether APC or PDP. Because of maybe selfish interest, maybe because of 2023, now APC has turned against some of their own members either by jailing them or by prosecuting them, they know what they are doing. All the whole people that surround Buhari, they are all criminals. We are talking of people that looted in previous years, but these people keep on looting. State government keep on borrowing money, federal government keep borrowing money; that is why I don’t want to go deep in politics because it is a very dirty game. If you really want to make heaven, Nigerian politics must be avoided.
Being in Lagos how are you able to coordinate the work to ensure effectiveness
It is the work of God. Whatever sacrifice I make to put Osina together, to move Osina forward, I will do it. Coming to what you ask, it is not an easy task, always on the road, and all these things nobody pays you. You transport yourself, when you use your car you fuel it, you use flight, you pay for your flight, so based on that it is not an easy thing, but someone must do it, so based on someone must do it, I have decided to carry the cross for the next three years.
Your relationship with Eze Osina of Osina
O very wonderful. Actually, Eze has been my Eze even before I became the PG. And I know quite well a lot of people have been giving me advice one way or the other, I should be careful with Eze, this that, but I think I have to be careful with everybody not only Eze. Eze is an individual just like every other person. Nobody is good 100%.
You are a youth and you are leading the good people of Osina, what advice do you have for other Osina youths?
The only thing I have to say is this; in this life madness is better at a youthful age. I have seen one of the reasons why when one was elected PG at age 60 and above, before you know it, join with physical challenges, health and every other thing, he develops BP. It is better to do all these at youthful age, when your brain can carry everything, your family, your business and the entire work you have as a PG.
You will soon dedicate your mansion. Can you throw more light on that?
It is a thing of joy, there is no place like home. The joy I had when I built my house in Lagos is just 10% of the joy I have now. I have more than 100% joy. If I travel to my town in Osina, I don’t feel like going back to Lagos, but because of the nature of things I have to. So I finished my house this year, I am dedicating it to God almighty this year, 30th of December, 2019, I will dedicate it fully and pack in with my family. And I will join it with the celebration of my parents. God has given them life. So we are celebrating their 58 years of marriage, because they are wonderful people.