Igwe Samuel Kanayochukwu Obika, Ezeoha II of Ezinifite, is the traditional ruler of Ezinifite Nnewi (Obodo-Oma Kingdom) in Nnewi south local government area of Anambra state. The king recently had a chat with Orient Daily’s Sharon Agbasimelo.
Ezinifite at its present stage isn’t really developed; would you agree with this assertion, your majesty?
The Ezinifite community is still developing; because development has to do with everyone, we have certain things, as achievements, to boast about but we still hope the state government comes in to help touch certain places that still need development. These include roads, hospital and pipe-borne water.
Do you think the state government should be blamed?
Certain things draw development to a community. These include higher institutions and large markets but none of these are available in our community. The state government is not to be blamed but we urge them to pay more attention to our community.
As the Igwe of the community what have you done to ensure that development comes to Ezinifite?
I visit the house of representatives and also state government. The senators representing this great community are not excluded. The needs of the community are presented to them on daily basis and some have been solved. Health, they say, is wealth; that is why I do visit agents who are connected to health issues to see if they could improve facilities in most hospitals in Ezinifite.
What are the challenges you face as the Igwe?
Everything one engages in has its challenges, especially when one is the Igwe of a community. The human being, as it was written in the Bible, is the greatest thing created by God. One of the major challenges is when people are called together to help see to the development of the community. They, at times, commit themselves to the project but later backslide and that can really affect the community as a whole.
The state government gave every community the sum of N20 million; was Ezinifite included?
Yes, Ezinifite was included, the money wasn’t given to any community in cash, rather project worth 20 million naira would be invested in the community. The state government also made a law that the contractor must be a member of that particular community for easy access if that project wasn’t completed. The state government also made a law that the contractor must be an indigene of the community for easy access.
What improvement has the money brought to Ezinifite?
The money was invested in a hospital project and if you go there you would see a block of double flat, a ward and rooms for nursing staff. Indeed, the 20-million-naira project would go a long way in the development of the community.
Ezinifite people are known for palm oil production; what are the challenges in oil production?
Palm oil production in Ezinifite is quite low, because it really isn’t our main product, rather it’s also one of the things produced in Ezinifite. Normally the oil production is distributed within Ezinifite. It doesn’t get to other communities. We don’t really have much land in our community but if the state government can invest in palm kernel production and make it their major project, I think oil production in Ezinifite would grow and would also boost development.
You must have heard of the Ozubulu incident; what’s your take on that?
Nobody can really point out the exact thing that caused the incident. I am the Igwe of a community and it isn’t right to engage myself in gossip and rumour. I personally called the Igwe of Ozubulu and asked him if those things said were true and he said they weren’t true. The main cause of slaughter in Ozubulu has not been identified. Nevertheless, it is wrong in the sight of man and that of God. Gunning people down especially in the house of God is wrong and should be condemned.
Do you support Biafra agitation?
Yes, I support Biafra and also the Biafra agitators but I am totally against the strategy used to achieve that goal. I am always available if need be for me to support in anyway, but I haven’t seen anything that shows we need Biafra. Stopping the Anambra gubernatorial election isn’t the right move, because without election Anambra would become a lawless state and if things come to the worst, may be governed by federal government-appointed non-indigenes. If we really want Biafra to work it should be doing federal election, all those coming out for house of representatives and ministerial seats should all agree on Biafra. The issue of ‘no gubernatorial election in Anambra’, I totally disagree on that.
Would you say you have a great relationship with the people you rule?
Yes, my relationship with the people I rule is really solid. I am happy to be their ruler likewise them. I don’t think I can point out one issue that would become a problem between my people and I.
What legacy would you love to leave behind?
What I would love to leave behind as my legacy is quite big, but one major legacy I would love to leave is PEACE, because without peace, there would be no development.
“without election Anambra would become a lawless state and if things come to the worst, the state may be governed by federal government-appointed non-indigenes”
“it is wrong in the sight of man and that of God. Gunning people down especially in the house of God is wrong and should be condemned.”