By Jude Chijioke Ndukwe
The residence of the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly and the PDP flagbearer for Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency at the 2023 general elections, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji MNSE was Mecca of some sort as Abians from across the state stormed his residence unannounced yesterday to join him in marking his birthday.
The people started arriving the Speaker’s residence in Umuahia with various kinds of gifts as early as 6:30am in order to secure vantage positions before the anticipated crowd started arriving.
Aoart from their gifts, different groups, communities, political structures, sociocultural organisations, students etc arrived in different styles with some coming with a retinue of drummers and singers, others with trumpeters while others lifted their banners extolling the virtues of the Speaker high up.
When the Speaker finally came out to receive his guests, he was welcomed to an atmosphere of wild jubilation as the crowd went into a frenzy, trying to outdo one another in dance, drumming and clapping even as he watched on with measured excitement.
While addressing them, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji thanked the people for coming out so early in their large numbers despite the day being Christmas to celebrate his birthday with him. He said the effusive show of love by the people has further strengthened his resolve to continue to live his life in dedication to their socioeconomic advancement. He used the opportunity to remind them of his strides in pursuing a better life for the people through the passage of people-oriented laws and execution of community-impacting projects. He promised to do even much more for them.
He urged them to imbibe the spirit of brotherhood, humility, love and unity which are some of the virtues of Christmas, saying that citizens can join hands to help build a better society by living out the lessons of Christmas.
Responding, a representative of one of the groups described the Speaker as a man genuinely loved by the people as he towers far and above others in the delivery of verifiable dividends of democracy to the people, saying the crowd that turned out to celebrate his birthday with him today was a testimony to his goodness and bond with the ordinary citizens.
He further thanked the Speaker for the power transformers he has been donating and installing, and the grading of some rural roads he has embarked upon for some communities to make their roads more motorable this festive season, assuring that the people are committed to his success at the 2023 polls.
Highlight of the gathering was presentation of gifts and prayers for the Speaker.