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People Of Umuorie-Asa Isimanu Autonomous Community In Ukwa-West Are Among The Most Responsible, Decent And Law-abiding In Abia State: By Sir Don Ubani; KSC, JP Okwubunka of Asa.

People Of Umuorie-Asa Isimanu Autonomous Community In Ukwa-West Are Among The Most Responsible, Decent And Law-abiding In Abia State:
By Sir Don Ubani; KSC, JP
Okwubunka of Asa.
26th April, 2020.

By the special grace of God, I am not only an indigene of Asa but also a blue-blooded son of Asa land.

Owing to many years of socio-cultural integration within the entity called Asa, I have the privilege of knowing my people. I know the component communities and villages of Asa.

The average Asa man is neither known for lawlessness nor obduracy. Yes, some critics might like to counter this claim using the ‘notoriety’ of such characters as Osisikankwu, Stone and Shalaga. Their case, I strongly believe, was a development that was both politically and economically ignited. I would espouse more on this at a later date.

The outbreak of Corona Virus, with its baptismal name as COVID-19, took the world unawares. The myth surrounding the Pandemic is yet to be unveiled, even though many accusing fingers point at China.

In Abia State, the Governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D, being an erudite Scientist, was upbeat doing everything that a Governor should do in order to avert the disease penetrating the State.

Painfully, the virus, through the prediction of the Director-General of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, COVID-19 found its way into Abia State.

To the shock of all Asa people, a prominent son, in fact  an Elder in Asa land, who had been down with diabetes, leading to partial stroke and was in his country-home at Umuorie-Asa with his ailment for more than two months, without any exposure to outsiders until his eldest son, who is a Canada-based Consultant Physician, directed that he should be taken to Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia where he has a friend who is also a Medical Doctor. That was almost a month ago.

From available reports, the Man, after more than two weeks of being hospitalized at the FMC, developed symptoms that made the hospital authority demand that his blood sample be taken for test.

Poohim, the result came out and was positive for COVID-19! In line with established protocol on COVID-19, the Government swiftly commenced contact tracing. That meant that all those that had contact with him before and after he developed symptoms of COVID-19 should be subjected to test.

A relevant Team was despatched to Umuorie-Asa by the State Government. Unfortunately and unpardonably grievously, the Team failed to apply Native Intelligence and Administrative Diplomacy. It did not consider it necessary and reasonable to inform any Principal Government Officials from Ukwa-West. Completely ignorant of the peculiarities of Asa people, the Team most unguidedly strayed into Umuorie-Asa, where naturally they were reasonably and justifiably perceived and adjudged foreigners and strangers. How on Earth could Umuorie-Asa people be expected to submit their blood samples to people who are completely alien to them? Of course, there was bound to be natural resistance. They boldly said no to strangers!

Following Governor Ikpeazu’s public expression of displeasure with reported case of lack of Cooperation by contact persons from Umuorie-Asa yesterday, I wrote a text message to the Transition Committee Chairman of Ukwa-West, Chief Uzoma Nwaji and copied same to Principal Political Office Holders in the Government of Okezie Ikpeazu from Ukwa-West. I requested that we move into Umuorie-Asa by 10 O’clock this morning in order to assist the State’s Medical Team collect blood samples from our people there. I also put a call across to the Traditional Ruler of Isimanu Autonomous Community, which is Umuorie-Asa, HRH Eze Innocent Nkwocha, informing him we would be in his Community by the stated time.

The Transition Committee Chairman quickly mobilized Personnel from both World Health Organization, State Ministry of Health, Health Department of Ukwa-West Local Government Council, the Divisional Police Officer at Obehie-Asa and Heads of other Security Agencies in Ukwa-West. As planned, at 10 am, we were in the Palace of Eze Nkwocha.

Even though he had earlier felt slighted and disrespected that a Team on a very sensitive mission, such as COVID-19, came into his domain without the courtesy of informing him of their presence and mission, he quickly led us to the homes of the required contacts.

As would be expected, the Youths of Umuorie-Asa were evidently unhappy that their Community has unnecessarily been stigmatized by the news of poorly coordinated and unsuccessful visit of the Team to their Community. They expressed strong belief that their brother contacted the Virus at FMC, Umuahia.

One of the contact persons wanted assurance that the result of his blood test will not be rewritten. Consequently, we called on God Almighty to visit whoever that will change the result of the test of any person’s blood with devastating consequences. We called on God not to allow anything good in the person’s family. We prayed that disaster upon disaster will always be the person’s portion, including his or her children. Every body said Amen!

Native Intelligence and Administrative Sagacity displayed by the Traditional Ruler, Transition Committee Chairman, Member Representing the Good People of Ukwa-West in the State House of Assembly, Mr Goddy Adiele, a Commissioner in ASOPADEC, Barr Henry Chilaka, Coordinator of ASEPA for UKwa, Comrade John Ajuziogu, Mr Ben Wogbe, Mrs Rhoda Emeka and my humble self eventually gave way to mutual understanding, confidence and eventual cooperation.

All those whose blood samples were required dutifully and happily allowed their blood samples to be collected.

Before now, either out of ignorance or mischief or even both, some unscrupulous elements had peddled a blatant lie that the wife of the index patient had a private clinic and was treating persons with all manner of ailment, even from other states. However, our visit brought this baseless fallacious propaganda to rest, as it was clear that the woman is a State Government employed Community Nurse and is in charge  of the Primary Health Centre in Umuorie.

The Transition Committee Chairman was so elated that he requested that we got to his country-home at Umuelechi Obuzor-Asa for light refreshment.

There, I put a call to the Governor to brief him on the success of our mission. Governor was evidently elated and thanked us immensely. He was so happy that he personally and patiently spoke with me, the T C Chairman, Hon Member in the State
House of Assembly, the ASOPADEC Commissioner and the ASEPA Coordinator.

Ukwa-West is a core support base of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. No sabotage, be it internally woven or externally initiated can mar our support for the Governor. It also has to be warned that we are capable of containing and even bringing to nought any clandestine act of mischief, treachery or deceit muted against the collective interest of Asa land. No individual can tarnish our image.

This piece will not be concluded without emphatically stating that the People of Umuorie-Asa in Isimanu Autonomous Community in Ukwa-West, a Community that produces highly-prized Aviation Oil for Nigeria and, to a reasonable extent, hosts Chinese Inner Galaxy Industrial Hub, are not only law-abiding, decent and peaceful but are equally a People that cherish their Pride in their hard-earned Honour. No doubt, they feel their Pride has been dented but I assured them that the State Government has deep regard for them and will never deliberately set out to embarrass them.

Okwubunka of Asa.

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