Adding salt to injury: Our people are still mourning Supreme Court magic

By Ignatius Chukwu

The Mbutu Nweorie Autonomous Community buried their first monarch, Eze Ubaoha 1, Eze/Sir Michael Nwabueze Opara, on February 26, 2021. The Eze was one of the close pillars of Chief Emeka Ihedioha and the former governor participated very much in the burial processes. His close interaction with the Mbutu people especially the Mbutu Nweorie people seemed to provoke the sense of kinship and oneness that bind people together in the communities. The pains of the death of the Eze and the loss at the Supreme Court looked like adding salt to injury to Mbutu Nweorie community.

It seemed to remind the people of the loss they suffered when the Supreme Court dethroned their son from governorship seat in January 2020.

One son of the soil and political figure, Hon Tony Emeh, was on hand to capture this mood in this exclusive interview with Silver News Online.

Tony Emeh


How did the burial of the Eze Ubaoha 1 of Mbutu Nweorie go, we hear you were the Central Planning Committee secretary?


Yes, our dear journalist. The burial went well. People were served well and people remained true to instructions. There was no single crisis or incident. All dignitaries came and went home safely. People from all walks of live came including my boss, Chief Emeka Ihedioha.

The Mayor of Mbutu, Evang Leo Nwaigwe, Ndi-Eze Mbaise and Ndi-Eze Mbutu, the political echelon, leaders, men of timber and caliber, all came to support us in that big event. They all helped us exceedingly.

My boss Emeka Ihedioha was something else. He paid huge attention to the burial. He had paid visits; he then came on the day of the Lap of Honour, being February 25, 2021. He also came to the church service at St Theresa’s Catholic Church, then proceeded to the Palace of Eze Ubaoha 1. It was wonderful.


The burial and the participation of Chief Emeka Ihedioha seemed to bring out tears from the masses who seemed to remember the loss of his governorship stool at a seemingly strange judgment of the Supreme Court. Did you notice that the people seemed to start mourning afresh; and would you know why?


Our people lost too much in what happened. Since I was born, I have not seen that type of injustice as was meted to Chief Ihedioha by Nigeria’s Supreme Court. Our people are still mourning. They used to get dividends of democracy from him in one position he occupied or the other. They most importantly remember the Airport – Uvuru Road which was rebuilt by him. It was dilapidated and had collapsed but Chief Ihedioha rescued it.

The road from Nkwo Mbutu to Ngor-Okpala was done by him; the Arts and Culture complex built in Ubahi was attracted by him; all the rural electrification projects were from him. That was the first project he gave to Mbutu. He brought in 18 transformers to Nde-Mbutu. He brought in a power station. People saw all those things and rejoiced then. Now, its like a mirage to them. Their hearts seem to swell every moment they see him. Its not just because he is from our place because some politicians do not command this level of loyalty and dedicated following even from their home town.

Then, he became a governor. In just seven months, he brought in 33kva line in Mbutu. That is why Mbutu town is having light today. He renovated many schools including Group School Mbutu Nweorie, Mbutu Secondary School hall, the Mbutu Stadium, etc. He rebuilt many schools and did many other things. He built the Technology Incubation Centre near the secondary school. Our people have reason to mourn.

That is why we are praying to God to give us another chance and elevate him again to relevance. It’s been a huge loss.