GOD IS HERE WITH US
The Inaugural Speech to the Izu-Ani Ukala by the
Igwekani HRM, (Capt.) Ifeanyi Clement Ejiofor (Rtd.), KSC, JP, The Obi of Ukala Kingdom, held on the 6th day of April, 2019.
It is with great pleasure and thanks to God for this remarkable day, that I welcome you all to this Izu-Ani Ukala, the first since my ascension to the throne as your Obi. My wife and I are thankful to you for your payers and indeed the support you gave me and my kinsmen throughout the process of my emergence onto my installation. May the Almighty God bless and reward you all.
This gathering today presents to us an opportunity for outcomes that would guide us in our pursuits for the Ukala of our Dream. May I without any equivocations state that this assemblage represents the spectrum of the Ukala strata and I urge you therefore not be cowed by the objections of those who do not share in our vision, because today we are laying the foundation for the good of our children unborn and I can tell you that God is here with us.
Let me make it clear that my reign shall not only encourage but shall thrive on the Word of God. I believe that the Almighty God, in His infinite wisdom has called me forth to lead His people out of “Egypt”. – To set us free from captivity. We shall therefore walk and work in righteousness as only that can exalt us as a people.
This Izu-Ani is convened specifically to acquaint ourselves with the vision and direction Ukala will tow during my reign. It will also afford us the opportunity of first-hand interaction as we begin to set the agenda, policies and programmes that will help us forge-ahead as a united Ukala. As your king, I commit today to a social contract between all Ukalans and I and I humbly make the following proclamations:
My reign shall hinge on three (3) pillars namely:
- Peace, Unity and Security;
- Cultural Regeneration; and
- Sustainable Economic Development
1. Peace, Unity And Security
It is common knowledge that Ukala has in over the last twenty years been enmeshed in several conflicts with far reaching effects. Prosperity can only be achieved in a peaceful environment, thus we shall as a matter of urgency begin to visit every known issue in our polity, with a view to addressing the root causes of the various agitations from all the sections of our communities. The objective is to propel growth through truth and reconciliation; ensure inclusiveness in all our endeavours and allow equity in the distribution of our commonwealth. This approach in the long run will encourage integration, synergy and cooperation across board, for peaceful coexistence and communal prosperity.
I am aware of the level of insecurity in our communities and environs. You all know that a few months ago, I was a victim of an attempted kidnap and one or two of us here fell victims too. We will together crush any attempt to make us slaves in our own home. We will resist any form of intimidation and fight to protect the territories that make up Ukala Kingdom. I also warn against any form of oppression and gangsterism within this kingdom. I declare today that CULTISM of any form and for any purpose is prohibited in Ukala Kingdom and our youths are hereby advised to be law abiding. We will not hesitate to expose all criminal tendencies or acts that will undermine the peace and safety of life and property.
For a more effective policing of our communities, we will review the operations of our existing Vigilantee Group with a view of strengthening it. We will reward hardwork and gallantry to discourage criminality.
2. Cultural Regeneration
The efforts of our forebears and the institutions they formulated, including our dances, festivals, and indeed all cultural expressions cannot be wished away and I intend to uphold them. However, the various traditional institutions and our established social structures are being challenged today due to modernization. In the face of these challenges, it is only right to think through these customs and traditions and recultivate them to be more germane with the time.
We therefore will embark on a comprehensive reform to strenghten our traditional institutions and existing customs, to make them attractive to a larger audience. The outcome of this exercise will achieve for us a cultural rennaisance and help Ukala become a desirable destination.
3. Sustainable Economic Development
Economic power remains one way of ensuring sustainability and we all know that poverty subjugates. One key to ending poverty is education, as educated people are most likely to get employment and have the chance to improve their living standards. Also, global trends have shown that people without skills live at the mercy of the skilled and remain at the lower rung of the ladder. We will develop approaches that will help build the needed human capital that can compete effectively, aspire to greater heights and create wealth for our people.
My reign shall therefore find a balance between political action and service delivery to ensure practical application of empowerment for our women and youths. We will support indigent students and brilliant pupils through scholarships and grants to enable them actualize their dreams. We will support training in various skills for those that are technically inclined and make them useful to themselves and families.
I have visited our Secondary School and I am saddened by the state of infrastructure and indeed the attitude of both staff and students of the school. I have also observed that most of our children go to neighbouring schools rather than enrol in our local school here in Ukala. I therefore decree that with effect from September (2019/2020 session) 2019, all children of secondary school level resident in Ukala, including strangers living among us, must enrol in the Ukala Mixed Secondary School. The details and dynamics of the implementation and enforcement of this decree shall be worked out and fine-tune by the Education Committee with the supervision of the Ukala Communities Development Union (UCDU).
In the area of community development, our goal is to find approaches that will ensure the effectiveness of community development as a powerful tool for social change. We are hoping that once we are able to resolve the issues of our social structures; poverty as it relates to skill acquisition or lack of it, the very important matter of funding the Ukala of our dream will be less difficult.
In the light of the above assertions, I want to reassure you that with God, we will make Ukala a better place for you and I. I call on the elite of our communities and indeed I charge all and sundry, to join us in this onerous task at this very propitious time. One thing is sure, the job to be done is huge and would require people with varied competences. A number of Committees will be set-up to address the challenges mentioned above to help determine the best approaches to resolving them. I will be calling on individuals and groups for specific purposes and I hope that we will all make our services available for our common good.
May I at this juncture thank the out-gone Regent, Ogbuenyi Eboka Isitor and indeed the traditional leadership of Ukala for keeping the ship on sail, I appreciate the good work that the leadership of Ukala Communities Development Union (UCDU) has being doing – holding forth on the development front; and indeed the entire Ukala people for remaining resolute even in the face of uncertainties. I assure you that Jehovah, our God is here with us in Ukala, even more at this time and only the best is to come.
I love you all! I love Ukala!! God bless you all!!!
Igwekani HRM, Sir, Evang. IfeanyiOsaji Ejiofor, KSC, JP. The Obi of Ukala Kingdom