Against the recent statement credited to a former president general of Amechi Development Union, Hon John Egbo, where he accused Senator Jim Nwobodo of grabbing communal land of his Amechi people, and fomenting crisis in the community, the incumbent president general of the ADU, Chief Paul Agbo, has said Chief Egbo was simply fabricating rumours because of personal reasons. The excepts.
What is your take on the issues raised by Chief Egbo?
I will start by saying that Egbo’s vituperations against Senator Jim Nwobodo are a sign of ingratitude; they are lies from hell. Jim Nwobodo is an oracle in Amechi community, and by extension, the entire nation. He is a golden fish. Unfortunately, some people would want to tarnish his hard-earned reputation. The John Egbo saga is all about interest. One of them is the position of the chairman of Enugu South Local Government. During the build-up to the last council election, John Egbo made a case for all of us who were interested in contesting the chairmanship to close ranks and ensure our victory, no matter who got the ticket eventually. It showed political maturity.
Suddenly he changed like a chameleon when he lost the ticket, in a manner of ‘if he didn’t achieve his aim, let’s destroy it’. It became a cold war, and specifically he came after Chief Nwobodo. He began to gang the youths and some members of the community against Jim, and by extension, the progress of the community. Even the tradition ruler of the community, who Jim single-handedly made, joined the bandwagon. Many years ago, we nicknamed the traditional ruler in question ‘Igwe Jim Nwobodo’ because Jim stood by him when he contested the race against other heavyweights. Why he suddenly began to bite the hand that fed him has become something else to me.
On the land saga, Hon Egbo is simply not sincere. One of the things they did was to start contesting the ownership of a communal land that was given to Chief Nwobodo many years ago. The land in question was fenced by this same Igwe and his allies for Jim.
What informed your decision to vie for the president general’s position of your community?
I did not have interest before, but because of the orchestrated insults against Chief Nwobodo, I felt we need to change the paradigm. First, I want to toe the path of Nwobodo who has done much for our people over the ages. The youths need to know what this icon of Amechi has done for our people and uphold those legacies, otherwise history will be truncated. Jim made John Egbo what he became in life, and today, he wants to make Jim a laughingstock. Jim made him a member, Governing Council, ESUT; Enugu State director general of Gburugburu Campaign Organisation; state commissioner, to mention a few. Our traditional ruler, HRH Igwe Anthony Ogbodo Okoye, suddenly rose against Jim. This same Igwe gave me a chieftaincy title, but I want to stand on the truth. The Igwe should embrace peace and return the pre-existing ambience in our community. He is the custodian of our revered traditional institution.
Egbo also alleged that Jim Nwobodo dismembered the town union of his community. Is it true?
During the election that produced me, the past president general, in the person of the same Hon John Egbo, failed to come to the field. It was the state ministry of rural development that supervised the election that produced him in 2017, but after the expiration of his tenure, he refused to submit himself to the same democratic process, rather, he went and conducted his election at night at Igwe’s palace, instead of our civil centre. It was nullity. How did Jim dismember the town union then?
What do you want to achieve as the PG of your community?
Youth empowerment tops my priority. We have a development levy purposely for that. I also encourage our youths to go into agriculture and skills acquisition. Before now, I had assisted some to genuinely travel overseas, and supported others academically. Again, we are giving our civil centre a facelift to befit the Amechi status. I will continue to strive to restore peace in my community. I learn a lot from our governor, Rt Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. He has a style of leadership that thrives under any condition. That has been my template, and I urge any leader to borrow a leaf from him. Our governor performs without talking, especially in rural development.
I also commend our council chairman, Hon Monday Eneh, for being a peace ambassador. In fact, he is my role model. When I returned from overseas, and began to associate with Hon Eneh, I found in him a sincere person. Upon all the challenges of Covid-19 and #EndSARS, his performances have remained excellent. His initiatives have positive multiplier effects for our people, through job creation, empowerments, interventions and rural development. I advise our youths to be truthful. There is a level politics can take us. We are brothers and sisters. It won’t be good for us to destroy what we already built because of clandestine objectives.