…It is payback time for his philanthropy, community devt initiatives, village authorities insist
By Ikechukwu Odu

The traditional ruler-elect of Edem Ani autonomous community, Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, Chief Ikechukwu Asadu, has said that most Nigerian youths are depressed due to the high index of unemployment in the country.

Asadu, who is a practising Nurse at Texas, in the United States of America, USA, said that the youths need supports from government and good spirited individuals to shake-off the devastating effects of COVID-19 which ravaged the economies of many nations of the world.

He spoke at his country home, Edem Ani, on Tuesday, after polling a total of 715 votes to emerge as an unopposed winner of the traditional ruler election conducted by the Enugu State Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs, Charles Egumgbe.

Asadu who equally donated a truck load of 100kg of rice to thank his people for reposing their trust in him, equally lauded Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for allowing the election to hold.

“I feel elated over this victory. I didn’t know that the people of my community love me this much. I started by asking the government to make us two autonomous communities, but because it is a divine mandate, God gave me 15 villages in Edem Ani to head. God has equipped me with the skills to lead my people. With God and my family members being on my side, I will not disappoint them.

“This is a litmus test for me. Though I worked in Anambra State for 10 years before going to the USA where I have worked as a Nurse for 26 years, because of this responsibility my people have given me today, I will come back to Nigeria and stay with them because of the security concerns we have.

“I also want to interface with the youths because they need some encouragement. If God could help me become somebody from this village, I want to assure them that He can do it to them. I was born, raised and schooled in this village, and if I could make, they will make it too so long as they are upright and honour their parents.

“The youths look frustrating and depressed due to unemployment occasioned by the COVID-19 and lack of basic amenities. I want to show them that they can rise from nothing to something. I am a child of destiny and they love me. I have my challenges but with the support of my people, I have the requisite experience to extend development to other parts of Edem Ani and Nsukka in general. I want to make an impression, that is why they call me ‘Okenwa Ogadagidi.’

“I built a free 20-bed hospital in my community and I pay up to a million naira every month for personnel cost. It is a free hospital with ultrasound x-ray and laboratory. I just replicated what we have at the USA here because I want my people to have the best Medicare, the only thing they buy is drug because I have equally taken care of the bills,” he explained.

While speaking after the election, a member of ‘Oha’ Edem Ani, which is the Governing Council of the community, Barr. Anthony Eze, said that Asadu has been assisting the community in its development programmes even before the death of their former monarch.

“He has given a lot of scholarship to our students, built roads and free hospital for us. He equally assisted indigent people to start up small scale businesses. There is nothing he has not done for us. His emergence as our monarch-elect is a way to pay him back for the good things he continues to do for us,” Barr. Eze said.

Also, the President General of the community, Christian Ugwu, said that the monarch-elect is reaping the benefits of his goodness and large-heartedness to the people of the community, adding that he is the best amongst others who indicated interest to occupy the vacant stool of the traditional ruler in his community.

A member of the Electoral Committee which produced Chief Asadu as the monarch-elect of the community, Barr. Innocent Asogwa, described the election as democratic and credible.

Vanguard gathered that a 12-man Committee headed by Barr. Ndubuisi Ajibo, selected Chief Asadu after he satisfied the requirements spelt out by the Edem Ani Community Constitution.


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