Since the Isimkpu-born, 58-year old correspondent of Aro News, a prolific writer and publicist, public affairs commentator and stake-holder of the People’s Democratic Party in Arochukwu Ward Two was appointed the Senior Special Assistant to Gov Okezie Ikpeazu on Grassroots Mobilisation earlier this year, the appointment has continued to attract reactions by a cross-section of the people of Arochukwu in particular and outsiders in general who know the grassroots disposition of the appointee.
On reading the appointment story in the Easter edition of Aro News, a native of Amuvi (Arochukwu) and a retired civil servant, Mazi I Okoro, had phoned to congratulate Mazi Akoma on his ‘well-deserved’ appointment. He had noted that ‘For many decades now, you have been in the news in the local and national radio stations concerning the affairs of Arochukwu. It is either you write one news talk, discuss one topical issue or the other, or you speak on public health. Not only that, I had started reading your articles in the various newspapers as early as 1980, and you have continued to write till today. Even when you were appointed into the Publicity Committee of Okpamkpo, Arochukwu in 1996, you had taken time to publicise the activities that took place in Arochukwu – where you had proved your love for the people. I see your appointment as a round peg in a round hole, really.’
In his reaction through a phone call also, a retired teacher from Atani (Arochukwu) had described Mazi Akoma’s appointment as deserving. ‘You deserve the appointment because of how you have been consistent in writing scripts that have been used as news talks over the years in public health matters, other contemporary issues and holding radio discussions on BCA, Vision Africa Radio, Pacesetter FM and others,’ he pointed out. Continuing, he had also said that ‘Each time I tune to BCA radio I always hear one news item or the other concerning you. It is either you are advising your people on one public health issue or the other; or that you are commenting on one socio-political issue or the other. We are really proud of you. Congratulations.’
Similarly, a Bende-born, highly-ranked administrative officer who had served at Arochukwu local government headquarters, Chief Ugorji, had described Mazi Akoma as ‘Oke Nwa Ndi Aro,’ in a telephone discussion; he went ahead to tell Mazi Akoma that ‘There is hardly any week that BCA radio does not carry your news on one issue or the other concerning Arochukwu or other contemporary issues. Your appointment does not surprise anyone at all. You roundly deserve it as a grassroots man in Arochukwu.’
Then, on Tuesday, 08 August this year, an Umuahia-based, retired Director of Administration and Ikenga Isimkpu, Mazi Oti Otuije, had called to congratulate Mazi Akoma in-between the 06:30am news bulletin of the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State of that day. Mazi Otuije had commended Mazi Akoma ‘For taking time to publicise activities that take place in Arochukwu and other topical issues. You have been consistent, and I am really impressed, and proud of you. Thank you very much. Continue.’
Also, the director of News and Current Affairs Department of the BCA, Comr Hyacinth Okoli, had also described Mazi Ogbonnaya Akoma as ‘The most popular SSA in Abia state.’ The director made the observation when Mazi Akoma visited the BCA radio house in due course of discharging his official duties as the Senior Special Assistant to the Abia State Governor on Grassroots Mobilisation in Umuahia recently.
It will also be recalled that on 10 July 2010, the EzeAro of Arochukwu, Mazi Vincent Ogbonnaya Okoro (CFR) had written and observed (of Mazi Akoma) that ‘… between 1996 and 2009 when he served in the Publicity Committee of Okpamkpo, Arochukwu, he had displayed high-level hardwork, reliability, loyalty, discipline and patriotism to the extent that Arochukwu received high level of publicity throughout …’ in a letter the Eze had written to the then Abia state governor, Chief Theodore Orji, while recommending Mazi Akoma for appointment based on the qualities the EzeAro had listed in his letter about Mazi Ogbonnaya Akoma, a Justice of the Peace.