Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaThursday, March 27, 2014
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he cock is a male fowl with a red sensitive crown on its head. This red crown was offered to it at graduation from the College of Animals. The cock is known for its punctuality, availability and devotion to duty. It is the first animal to wake up always in the morning, praising God in these words: "Kokorokoo!!!" That means "Thank you my God!!!" The cock crows three times at intervals to announce the break of a new day and to wake up humanity from slumber. When Peter denied his Master Jesus Christ, the cock condemned Peter's infidelity by crowing. Jesus turned and looked pitifully at Peter. Peter went out and wept. The cock stood with Jesus at his passion while his followers all ran away.

However, the cock made an indelible mistake by being absent during a crucial meeting of the animals which took place in the animal world. But its absence was not out of bad will. It wanted to stay at home to keep watch over the homes of his fellow animals as they went for the meeting. It was because of this humanitarian ("animalitarian") duty that it excused itself. It assured its animal colleagues that it would abide by whatever decisions were arrived at the crucial meeting. The enemies of the cock poisoned the minds of the other animals to take a drastic decision that put the cock in a perpetual jeopardy. The animals then unanimously decided that the cock has been offered to mankind as a victim for sacrifice. It was the kite who chaired the meeting. The meeting rose after the sole and hidden agendum. The outcome of the meeting was relayed to the cock but it was too late to reverse. Since then till date, mankind uses the cock as a sacrificial victim at shrines and even in the church.

The cock has vowed to attend all meetings in the animal and human world henceforth. It is because of this commitment, punctuality and availability that the All Grand Progressive Alliance (APGA) chose the cock as her Party Emblem. That is why the cock as early as possible on 17 March 2014 stood on top of the roof at Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka crowing till daybreak, inviting all Anambrarians to come en mass to witness Chief Peter Obi's smooth handover to his successor Chief Willie Maduabuchi Obiano.

Obi had the titled 'Mr" all through his eight years exemplary administration. But at the close of his worthy service to God and humanity in Anambra State, the Traditional rulers of Anambra State unanimously crowned him 'Chief." This is a food for thought. All those who are answering chiefs in towns and villages, what have they done for humanity that crowned them chiefs? Some are mischievous in character. Some of them are chiefs in evils and trouble-making. Some are chiefs in wife snatching or amassing the lands of widows. But Peter Obi is chief in good leadership. He deserves the Chieftaincy title. The APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, deserves also his Chieftaincy. I am looking for a longer red cap to give him.

Thank God that our new Governor, Dr Willie Maduabuchi Obiano, is also a chief. He has been sworn into office by the Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Peter Umeadi, who stood in his full judicial regalia, looking like Archangel Michael. The Deputy Governor, Dr NKem Okeke was sworn in first. They swore to abide by the provisions of the Nigeria Constitution on governance and loyalty and to render selfless service to the people of Anambra State. Their beautiful wives stood by them as they took the oath, because behind every successful man lies a woman. Can we also say that behind every failed man is a woman?

The cock was also at the venue of the political transition from APGA to APGA crowing at the background, but the jubilation from the mammoth crowd that gathered at the square overshadowed its voice. I was standing beside the cock. As I was watching the historic event, I was also interpreting the human speeches being made at the square in the language the cock understands. Providentially, Governor Willie Obiano at the end of his Acceptance Speech crew three times like the cock: "Kokorokoo!!!" Anambrarians chorused "Chi efola!" That is, "It is dawn!" The cock, standing beside me, crew and crew with Governor Obiano as I clapped for both. Before I left, the cock made a request to me. Do you know the request? The cock asked me not to consume it again whenever it is used as thanksgiving gift in the church. I promised it that I would warn my cooks, because I only eat what comes to table, since our Lord commanded us his ministers to eat whatever is set before us. I embraced the cock before going to congratulate my new Governor and his deputy.

Yes, another era has dawned in Anambra State. Chief Peter Obi (Okwute) has raised Anambra State to an enviable height. His deputy Mr Emeka Sibeudu stood behind him. Other states in the Federation are jealous of us. If there is incarnation, I shall be an Anambrarian again. Our new governor has vowed that it is forward ever and backward never. He has promised continuity from where Obi stopped. He would add 'ano' (four) on top of Obi's enviable projects to become Obiano. Governor Obiano in his acceptance speech promised continuity, completion and commissioning of the projects ex-Governor Peter Obi initiated. There shall be no neglect or abandonment of those projects. I warn contractors handling the projects not to run away with money already paid to them because of the change in leadership. The cock is up there to trace your whereabouts by crowing against you.

Governor Obiano says that Agriculture will be his priority. Let Anambrarians shout alleluia after this Lent because hunger will be set packing from this state. All jobless graduates should hurry to the markets to purchase knives and hoes as the rains come down. Those already farming will smile to the banks soonest. Priests have also started farming, because St Paul says, "If you do not work, do not eat" (2 Thess. 3:10). Very Rev. Fr. Sebastian Anokwulu of Awka Diocese is busy in his MASDEVAN Farms at Urum town in Awka North L.G.A. I shall join him when my hoes are ready. Governor Obiano is our chief farmer.

The new Governor emphasizes also that he would develop the Oil and Gas already found in Anambra State. Within one year of his administration, a refinery will be set up in the state to refine at least 55 barons of crude oil daily. In this oil field many of our jobless youths shall be employed. I suggest that His Excellency sets up also human refinery to refine all enemies of this state, including dangerous political opponents, kidnappers, armed robbers, pen robbers and those who embezzle public fund in their ministries and institutions.

His Excellency Governor Obiano says he will build modern markets and parks. The already existing markets shall be modernized and equipped. Industries will be numerous, thereby creating more employment opportunities. Housing and Urban development will be enhanced in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi. Did I hear the Governor also mention my town Aguluezechukwu? If not, why not? Do not envy me. Other towns will also be developed. Obiano will pacify all Anambrarians. All those who are homeless will be housed.

Obiano has promised constant power supply within the first four years of his administration. That time we shall say goodbye to power epilepsy. Industrialists will laugh loudly as they dispose their generators into erosion pits. There will be no more any difference between day and night in Anambra State, the Light of the Nation.

Chief Obiano has vowed to build the remaining roads in the state, both in rural and urban areas. The next governor to succeed him after eight years will not border in road construction.

Ndi Anambra Kweenu!! Our Promised Land is not far. By God's grace, we shall all be there very soon. As we enter that Land, let us not forget to carry Dim Ikemba Ojukwu's bones.