By Ikechukwu Odu
The Chairman of Enugu State Internal Revenue Service, Emeka Odo, Friday, said that he learnt the virtues of integrity, hard work and humility from his 100-year-old father, HRH, Igwe Frederick Odo.
Odo, explained that his father who is a retired school teacher and the traditional ruler of Eha-Etiti, in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State equally instilled the virtues of contentment and prayerfulness in all his children.
He spoke shortly after the Ofala/100th birthday celebration of his father at his country home, Eha-Etiti, during which 22 deserving personalities were also honoured with chieftaincy titles.
“Most of the virtues I have today were gotten from my my father. Virtues of hard work, contentment, humility and making due with what God has provided for me. My dad has a lot of respect for everyone.
“It is from him that I learnt that hard work pays. He was a school teacher before he was promoted to the rank of a headmaster. He never had any other job, he was fully committed to the work of imparting knowledge to others. His hard work has paid off through us his children. He also brought us up in sound moral background.
“He made me to understand that if one works hard over the years, he would see the benefits, dividends and positive results accruing from working hard. He is also a man of integrity. If my Dad tells you yes, you can take it to the bank. As a traditional ruler, his judgement on issues are always impeccable. That was why when the people of Eha-Etiti wanted to become an autonomous community, they came together and asked him to become their traditional ruler because they know that he is an honest man. He objected to it but our people insisted that he must become their monarch. He was chosen as the traditional ruler before our autonomous community was created.
“He refused to answer the Igwe of the community because it was not an autonomous community as at then. However, when I joined the government of His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, his Chief of Staff asked me if I am aware of Eha-Etiti community which has been proposed to become autonomous, I answered in the affirmative. The Chief of Staff told me that he has a security report which states that the community is viable and that the Igwe was selected by consensus. Other processes leading to the autonomous status of my community was legalized by Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration and my Dad was formerly presented to the state government as the Igwe-elect of the community.
“The governor came to give him the staff of office and unveiled him as the Igwe of the community to the delight of everyone. It is that virtue of integrity that made the community members to believe that he is the one to lead them.
“He is equally prayerful. He is a stunch Catholic faithful and he believes so much in serving God. For him, Catholic church is a way of life and that explains why he is so active in the church activities. Most of us his children have emulated him on that too,” he explained.
Speaking on his father’s 100th birthday, he also said ” I and the entire household are excited. We can’t thank God enough. We see long life as a gift from God. It is not attained by working hard, it only the grace of God that enables one to attain it. We are very grateful to God about that,” he said.
The event was attended by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Enugu State chapter; Augustine Nnamani; former Commissioner Environment, Enugu State, Chijioke Edoga; Chairman of Nsukka Local Government Area, Walter Ozioko; Chairman, Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board, Chief Ikeje Asogwa; amongst other dignitaries.