Monday, January 18, 2021, would remain indelible in the minds of the people of Umuisu Ugbawka, in Nkanu East local government area of Enugu state. That was the day they gathered and elected their first Igwe. It would be recalled that recently, the state governor, Rt. Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, granted their long awaited prayer, by creating Umuisu Ugbawka autonomous Community, through the effort of their son, High Chief Sunday Nwobodo.
Some of the dignitaries that graced the event were, Doctor Charles O.C. Egumgbe, Honourable Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters, representing the state governor, Mr. Sylvester Ugwuagbo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Chieftaincy Matters, Honourable Barrister Chinemelun Onuoha, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Chieftaincy Matters, Mrs. Nwobodo Pethrolina, Deputy Director, Chieftaincy Matters, Mrs. Okonkwo, Director of Finance and Accounts, Ministry of Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Emeka Nebeife, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Chieftaincy Matters, Chief Charles Chukwu, Chief Samuel Aniwobodo, Chief Steven Okeke, Mr. Charles Adeogwo and many others.
The event started with an opening prayer, said by Reverend Oyera J. P. of Assemblies of God Church.
In his opening speech, Honourable Egumgbe said that they were on ground on the directive of the state governor, to ensure that the people chose their preferred candidate and voted their conscience. He went further to state that the governor has granted their first request, but one thing left was for them to choose their leader. He said: “We are here from the state governor, to ensure that this election is free and fair. The governor has granted your first desire by approving Umuisu autonomous Community. But one thing is remaining. You should choose who will represent you people, so that the community can be represented in a meeting in the state. All those who wish to contest should indicate interest. Even if you are deciding now there is no problems: we will still accommodate you”.
Before the election, Honourable Egumgbe called on all the concerned Communities, comprising of Amaezeaka, Amauno, Enyimoke, Ndibinagu, and Umukwesiri, to ensure that they were all represented.
The electoral committee drawn from all the Communities were called out to ensure transparency. Those that made up the committee were, Mr. John Okafor, Bath Nwobodo, Nwigwe Onyekachi, John Nwodo, Pastor Patrick Edoji, Honourable Christian Chuwku, Christopher Ede, and Okeke Eze.
Honourable Egumgbe once more delayed the voting by thirty minutes. This he said was to ensure that no candidate was left out, and people allowed to make their final decision. He called on all the contestants to come forward, but the only person who came out was High Chief Sunday Nwobodo. Honourable Egumgbe again extended the election by another Ten minutes. When the time elapsed, Chief Nwobodo was still standing unopposed, as the whole Community kept cheering him up by shouting Igwe.
In ensuring the atmosphere of transparency, he instructed that voters should stand behind their choice candidate, all those present stood behind Chief Nwobodo. After the counting, a total of 525 votes were recorded for him, the electoral committee announced him as the winner of the election. He was elected Igwe Sunday Nwobodo, Isu of Umuisu.
Honourable Christian Chuwku posited that the Igwe elect is the only person trusted and loved by the community. He said that their Community have witnessed many development and transformation solely accomplished by their Igwe. He maintained that they have chosen a man of peace, a visionary leader and a true Pathfinder.
In his vote of thanks, Igwe Nwobodo, Isu of Umuisu, thanked the state governor, all the officials, and all the sons and daughters of Umuisu, for choosing him to represent them. He said that he is glad because they chose a poor man like him. He promised that he will never change, saying that this is the time to witness double progress, unity and peace in Umuisu.