His Royal Highness, Eval Kpogor of Ekureku land, also known as the Eval Kpogor, is the highest chief in Ekureku and also the traditional ruler of the whole Ekureku land and the Clan Head of Akarefor clan in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State. He also doubles as the spiritual leader of Agbo nation comprising Itigidi, Adadama and Ekureku.
In this interview, the traditional ruler told TNN of how his people will vote during next year’s general elections. He also gave kudos to the member representing his clan in the House of Representatives.
Let’s talk about your traditional roles in a bit
Anything we intend to do in Ekureku by custom, all of us in Ekureku come to my palace in Akarefo here. For instance, in two days’ time, the whole chiefs in Ekureku will gather here because I am the chairman of the traditional rulers council in Ekureku. As a result, they don’t in Ekureku do anything outside my knowledge, in terms of tradition. I have seven clans in Ekureku. And all the traditional clan heads come to me every eight days to confide with me, put heads together, rub our minds before we take any decisions.
So far, my clan, Akarefo, is also the first clan in Ekureku. So anything we want to do, all of them gather here just like the Agi festival which I earlier pointed out. For now, we are moving towards elections, right?
Yes, the next election is by the corner
This election is our priority in Abi/Yakurr constituency. Our son in the name of Honourable Alex Egbona has done creditably well; he has satisfied both the entire Abi and the Yakurr people. We are serious about the elections; we are not taking it for fun. We are gradually preparing for it. Anytime the federal government ring or blow the last whistle, Ekureku will come out to support our son in the proper way it’s supposed to be.
Alex has done very many things which we think there is no way of failing his ambition of going back to the House. If he says he will not go back to the House, we will query him. There is numerous empowerments going on; the whole land in Ekureku is agrarian; I mean this rice season, he has been able to make every other Ekureku man to have his own plot of farm of rice. It is rice that is our government work. But there is nobody that did not plant rice this year, because of Honourable Alex’s empowerment.
Our children go to school, he gives us helping hands. If you get into the schools, you will see seats; our primary schools are loaded with seats, this is not the time we sit on the floor, he has provided us with benches and desks, all the primary schools with blown off roofs have been repaired. In fact, we’re not wanting because of Honourable Alex. He has done very well.
He has supplied us with potable drinking water. Water is now flowing everywhere in Ekureku. More and more are coming. So, we are not lacking at least in terms of drinking water.
Electricity is everywhere now because of the solar system which we are using this time around. I mean hospital bills are paid by this gentleman (Alex Egbona). We are not lacking again, Ekureku has changed.
In Yakurr there, it’s wonderful, he does even more things in Yakurr than Ekureku, and we enjoy it because he is our own child, he will continue to do more and more as he continue going. So with him, we are satisfied. It’s just like what I told you before, in Ekureku here, we call him our Azikiwe. What Azikiwe was to the Igbo man, is what Honourable Alex is to us. He has done marvellously well, there is no area of human life that we are lacking. We heave a sigh of relief because of his presence in the House of Representatives and we wish God being on our side, he will go back to the House.
I am hopeful that he will go back to the house because at least, when it was the turn of Yakurr, Yakurr people spent 20 years, starting from Obeten Okorn’s eight years, Bassey Ewa 12 years. So, 12 plus 8 is 20. But Alex has not done even full four years. He has not complete four years. We are still struggling the four years, so, let nobody come out from any other place that he is going to see if he will snatch it from us because if you let Alex not to take that seat back, it is the challenge of Ekureku and we have known how to support him. We will vote him en-masse, he is our son and we will never hesitate to tell any good brother from the Yakurr, we will tell him, let him hold on, when we finish our own turn, any other, we will just get the seat in a platter of gold and push it back to them, but for now, it is our turn, it is our turn.
Alright, when we were talking off-camera, one thing you said was that you people will mobilize, you will adopt every means to make sure that Abi retains the seat. So I will like you to talk about that one on camera also.
Yes, we know that we have registered enough, the population of Ekureku has gotten the voting card, the PVC, every Tom, Dick and Harry of age, from the age of 18 and above, no one is left out and we have done it before. During the rerun in Ekureku, APC gave PDP a very large margin, and we are going to repeat it. Because it is the same challenge we faced too that time that is trying to raise its head. Therefore, we will not hesitate to do what we did the other time, it is simple mathematics; all of us will come out and defend our vote.
How would you bring the people out of their houses?
We are all aware that this election is crucial, there is no other way, we are all waiting, we don’t have any other, it’s a question of using our town crier, our town crier go round. In fact the moment, if you had told me that you are coming here, I will just send for the town crier, run round, before a twinkle of an eye they are all here, therefore, we would do that very same magic of coming out en masse to defend our vote.
We don’t look at it as a difficult thing, we are emancipated in voting, we know how to vote in election, we come out, queue the proper way and what we ensure is that our vote will count. There is nothing that will make the election to be rigged, we always beat anything rigging, we don’t need it, because our vote will always count.