Abia State practically stood still on Wednesday 12 May when former chairperson House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Relations, Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, was hosted to a grand civic reception by youths in her Bende Federal Constituency.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu led a long list of dignitaries to the colourful event held at the Bende stadium. Ikpeazu hailed Elendu-Ukeje as an invaluable asset to Abia people, saying, she is the “jewel of Abia politics”.
The governor further stated that Abia needs individuals like her to get involved in contributing their own quota to the development of the state. The governor noted that Elendu-Ukeje’s presence which made Abia visible in the National Assembly was being greatly missed. He emphasised that the greatest resource of Abia is the people and outstanding individuals like the former lawmaker.
The State Chief Executive who commended the people of Bende for arranging a civic reception in honour of their daughter, the former federal lawmaker, appreciated the Chairman of Bende Local Government Area, Chief Emmanuel Onwuchekwa and other leaders and stakeholders from Bende for the initiative and urged them to continue to rally round Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje.
The former lawmaker who has been basking in the level of success of the ceremony organised by Bende Youths Forum and Abia Democratic Initiative, described the love shown her as unquantifiable.
She said: “I am very grateful to my people. My homecoming was such an elaborate event. We had the people coming out in their numbers. The people arranged such a successful event on their own. They taxed themselves, such expression of love doesn’t happen in the political space. It was a huge event with my people inviting the governor, the Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, the Deputy Speaker and the PDP state chairman and they all spoke glowingly of me. It was such a wonderful experience.
“I was humbled by the experience. Most people serve and ultimately, they are not recognised by those they served. Walking through the lines of the people, dancing with them, I saw happiness and hope. I believe the duty of a public officer is to sell hope. For a long time I felt these commodities had flown off the shelf.
“But looking at the eyes of the people during my home coming, I could see what I meant to them. For me, it was a eureka moment, I was extremely elated and thankful to God for my people honouring me. It was almost like the biblical moment..the stone which the builders rejected had become the chief cornerstone”.