Like the biblical 10 lepers Jesus Christ healed and only one returned to thank Him, traditional rulers from Oji River Local Government Area of Enugu State last Friday gathered at their local government headquarters to thank Governor Sullivan Chime and also to dedicate to God the Hyundai Elantra cars he gave to them.
Governor Chime had on May 27, two days to his inauguration for a second term, distributed 363 Hyundai Elantra cars to the traditional rulers from the 17 local government areas of the state.
The governor had told the royal father that the distribution of the cars was in fulfillment of the promise he made to them about a year ago towards enhancing their status.
“This is our government’s little contribution to assure you that you deserve to be treated like royal fathers,” Chime said, regretting that over the years some of the royal fathers have had to mount commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada to come to town and go back to their domains.
According to Chime, he had taken delivery of the cars during the election period, but decided not to share them as he did not want to play politics with them.
Daily Sun gathered that the state government gave out the cars secured under a loan facility to the traditional rulers at N2.5 million, which is repayable in 48 months.
So, when over 24 traditional rulers from Oji River gathered last Friday led by the Chairman of Oji River Traditional Rulers Council, HRH Eze Mike O.A. Mberedeogu, Eze Obibi 1 of Obibi Kingdom, they were overwhelmed with joy for what Governor Chime had done for them.
They praised God with Rev Fr Cyprian Chimezie of St Michael Catholic Parish, Ugwuoba, going hysteria in joy as he sprinkled holy water to bless the cars.
Later, the Chairman of the Oji River Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Mberedeogu and the Deputy Chairman of Oji River Local Government Area, Mr Ephraim Offia spoke with Daily Sun on why they decided to come together to appreciate the governor. Excerpt:
I saw this gesture from Governor Sullivan Chime as a true son of Igboland; he is indeed one whose father is a king because he has shown that he does not want the traditional institution to fall. He had by this gesture uplifted the traditional institution. He was not happy seeing some of the royal fathers in the state he is the governor mounting the commercial motorcycle popularly called Okada or entering public transports, so he gave out these cars to us to become first class and high rated traditional rulers, royal fathers he would be proud of. So, we thank him for this wonderful gesture.
Chime has done well
What the governor had done in the state are too numerous to mention, especially in the area of road infrastructure. He had in the last four years of his first term given us motorable roads. Our roads before his coming in 2007 were nothing to write home about, but when he came he rehabilitated our roads and constructed new ones; and you can see now that we have brand new cars we are sure to use them for several years as our roads network are fantastic. Besides, the governor had given us water, electricity, good healthcare delivery and he is building our schools where our children learn; so we thank him very much for all he had done, we know that God gave him to us true to his name, Iheanacho, meaning what we have been looking for. So, what we were looking for was what God gave to us. So, we are happy for all the good things he is doing in the state and we are hoping that his second term in office will be better that what he accomplished in the first term.
How I feel about our cars
I am very happy today and all traditional rulers from this local government area who have gathered here today are equally happy, including our wives and children, as well as all our subjects; everybody is happy and they are thanking Governor Chime for what he had done for us the royal fathers.
Our relationship with Chime government
We are working hand-in-hand with the government of Enugu State and this shows that when you have a good leader his followers will also be good; even when the followers are not good, if they have a good leader they will turn to become like the leader. We will be like Governor Sullivan Chime, he likes peace and has brought this peace to all of us in the state and we have this peace in Oji River local government, there is no problem here in this council.
My advice to our people
I do not need to advise our people again because we are in the fore-front of the local government areas supporting Sullivan in the state; from the beginning till today we are solidly behind him, we love the governor. The only thing I will tell our people is to continue to support him.
Deputy council Chairman, Offia
“It is an impromptu occasion to mark and rejoice over the good thing our amiable governor has done for the whole Igwes in Enugu State by giving all of them cars; so they are rejoicing today and have decided to invite the priest to come and bless the cars for them and also the press so that the good work of the governor will be heard everywhere.
“Our governor is proactive and we see him as God-sent and we pray that he continues to live long for us because we know as long as he lives, good things will continue to pour down in Enugu State; so, we are praying for his long live, God’s protection in everything he does.
“It is a serious relief to them because each time I see any of them on an Okada, commercial motorcycle, I don’t feel good. So, I know that with this kind gesture of our governor they will be seriously relieved. So, we thank the governor because we know that it will seriously help them because most of them come from interior areas that commercial vehicles do not really operate in; so, with these cars they will be able to get to their domains more conveniently.”