…says Ogbunike tradition will be fully respected
Transition Committee Chairman, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State, Mr. Emmanuel Nweke has assured a rancor-free transition process for replacement of the successor of Traditional Ruler of Ogbunike, Igwe John Umenyiora, Ezedioramma 1 of Ogbunike.
Nweke who gave the assurance at the celebration of last Ofala of the monarch at the Igwe Umenyiora Ofala arena, said as an enlightened community with high respect for tradition, he has no doubt that the exercise would be peaceful and devoid of bitterness.
He said, “I know Ogbunike as a very enlightened community. They always believe in superior ideas and arguments when such matters arise.
“I know that transition of new king of Ogbunike kingdom will be peaceful and orderly. Tradition will be fully respected. That I can assure you. There’s no cause for alarm.”
Describing the departed royal father as a quintessential, first class traditional ruler who touched several lives of people of his community and beyond, Nweke expressed joy that the ceremony held during his reign.
“I’m happy that the people of Oyi, Anambra and Nigeria in general are here today to pay last respect to the last Ofala of a quintessential, first class traditional ruler who has touched several lives in several ways.
“I’m also happy the ceremony is happening in my time,” he added.
Corroborating the Council chairman on a peaceful transition, Legal adviser to Igwe’s cabinet, Chief Barr. Ogochukwu Onyekwuluje said the monarch’s replacement would be guided by the constitution of the community.
“When the throne will be declared vacant by both the Ogbunike Progressive Union (OPU) and Ogbuefi Council of Ogbunike, interested candidates will come out and all necessary screening will follow,” he said.
Asked what the departed monarch would be remembered for, Onyekwuluje said, “In 1976 he became the monarch, he gave the community its first town hall which he single handedly built and furnished. He also built the Oye-Olisa market single handedly.
“The Boys High School is one of his contributions to the development of the community. He offered several scholarships to people of the community. He also trained several Ogbunike indigenes.
“With him, the name Ogbunike came to limelight. He gave us light, pride and position in the government and politics of the state.”
On his part, President General of Ogbunike Progressive Union (OPU), Comrade Chigozie Ikegulu appreciated God for giving the community a selfless monarch, praying that his successor would surpass his achievements.
“Igwe Umenyiora brought the community to limelight and world map. We pray we have a successor that will surpass his achievements.
“But I tell you, it will be difficult to get because Igwe not only have the wherewithal, but has the interest of the community at heart, unlike the kind of leaders we have today with selfish interests.
He added, “As the custom and tradition of the community demands, we’re here to perform basic traditional rites to ascertain that the monarch has really done his last Ofala as Igbo land demands.”
Wife of immediate past Governor of the State, Chief Ebelechukwu Obiano, former Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Wealth Creation, Uche Okafor (Wipper), State PDP Presidential Campaign DG, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, popular Nolywood actor, Chinwetara Agu and other dignitaries graced the occasion.