Abiriba Ancient Town was agog on Saturday, December 11, 2021 for two major reasons: first, the 21th Anniversary of the enthronement of HRM Eze Kalu Kalu Ogbu, as the Enachoken of Abiriba Ancient Kingdom and second, the recognition of three prominent Abia Nigerians: Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, Deputy Governor of Abia State, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senate Minority Leader as well as the Senator representing Abia State South and Chief John Okiyi Kalu, Abia State Commissioner for Trade and Investment and many others in a colourful ceremony.
Besides the many feats of His Majesty, the Enachoken of Abiriba in many fields particularly in academics, the one on Law where he got a First Class from the Law School is outstanding. He was one of those that graduated from the Law School this year and made it big despite his busy schedules in the Royal Realm.
It was merriment galore in the Ancient City as gaily dressed men and women paraded the landscape with kaleidoscopic attires, with Igbo costumes scaling skywards, painting the town in green with some beautiful apparel. The conferees, their relations and well wishers were conspicuous in every space.
Abiriba, which has the appellation of “Small London” in the 70s, 80s, 90s because of the architectural masterpieces that dote the city’s landscape, is becoming rustic yearly. The city, whose scenery was built on marbles by its people scattered all over the world, is having its magnum opus wear away daily because of poor maintenance, apparently because of the worsening economy climate as a result of poor management of the nation’s economy by the government in power at the federal level.
Abiribarians are merchants. They wade through the turbulent seas and cloudy air to get their wares into the cities of Nigeria and the West African Coast. Today, the businesses are no longer booming. Abiriba businessmen and women, like other Nigerians in various forms of businesses, are walloping in disrepair.
Abiribarians are engaged in exportation and importation of goods and services, but the visionless banning of most of the items they deal on as well as the closure of Semi and Idiroko borders recently, including the high import duties at the sea and airport etc by the federal government, make the people’s sources of revenue to snow dive.
Nonetheless, despite the economic ruination, the Enachoken of Abiriba rolled out the cultural Drums and Red Carpets to honour some eminent Nigerians during his 21th anniversary of his being the King of Enuda, i.e. Enachoken Abiriba on Saturday. At the occasion, the monarch gleefully conferred Ude Oko Chukwu the title Ikiri Oku of Abiriba, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Eturu Nmanwu of Abiriba and John Okiyi Kalu as the Nwadugbom of Abiriba.
However, after the conferment at the Royal Agbeze Palace, the Deputy said: “I thank you for giving me this huge recognition and honour and also for giving me support since my legislative days. The Senator in turn added: this title is very significant because it shows that our modest contributions as politicians are being noted and recognised. My advice to other politicians is; the golden fish has no hiding place”.
The Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chindum Orji, who was one of the special guests, posited: “I thank the Abiriba Community for honouring these illustrious Nigerians and I task them to continuo their good works to the people. Good work attracts recognition”.
Okiyi Kalu added: “I appreciate the Enachoken of Abiriba for this honour and I hereby assure him and the Abiriba Community of the determination of Ikpeazu-led government to change the development narrative of Abiriba Ancient Kingdom”.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.