By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—For five consecutive years now, the traditional ruler of Obosi Kingdom in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, His Majesty, Igwe Chidubem Iweka III, has celebrated the Obiora/Iwa-ji Obosi annual cultural festival since he ascended the royal throne in 2011.
Although the age-long festival had been celebrated by successive monarchs in the community, up to the immediate past Igwe Obosi, the late Josiah Nwakoby, the festival appeared to have been modernized in such a way that it has started attracting dignitaries from all walks of life, including top politicians and governorship candidates.
As part of activities marking this year’s two-day events, Igwe Iweka himself distributed roasted yams with palm oil garnished with oil bean and fresh pepper to children who were assembled in line for consumption on the main Obiora (Ofala) day which took place at the Township Stadium, Afor-Adike Square, Obosi, while the event was rounded off the next day with the monarch attending a thanksgiving church service at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Obosi.
Among the dignitaries that attended the occasion were an illustrious son of Obosi and former Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Chief Osita Chidoka (Ike Obosi) who is also the governorship candidate of United Progressives Party, UPP, and a member of Igwe Obosi cabinet; Chief Tony Nwoye, the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC; Chairman of South-East Women of Substance Organisation, Mr. Umejidike, among others.
The monarch, sitting on his throne, was surrounded by the President-General of Obosi Development Union, ODU, Deacon Ikenna Madubosah and his Ichies (cabinet members) in order of seniority, including the Odu Obosi, the Ede Obosi, the Ike Obosi, the Onowu Obosi, Akamkposi Obosi, among others.
Earlier in an address, the Obosi monarch read riot acts to those he identified as criminals operating in Obosi kingdom, adding that since it is no longer business as usual, they must either desist from their criminal ways or relocate from the kingdom or face the full wrath of the law.
Stating that the Police and the vigilante can no longer cover all the areas, the monarch called on the councils of age grades and the youths to join forces with the town union to strengthen neighborhood watches and assist the Police and vigilante in anti-crime activities, in order to prevent the situation in the area from becoming an epidemic.
He lamented that masquerading in Obosi which signified a jubilant community, has in the recent times, been used for crimes of all sorts, causing harm on those meant to be entertained.
He disclosed that two popular masquerades, Mmuo Agwu and Odogwu Anyammee had been banned from making public appearances for being indicted for robbery, rape, assault and wanton destruction.
The monarch commended the Divisional Police Officer, DPO at Obosi, Patrick Odemene; Omezie Onyire, an illustrious son of the area; the President-General of ODU, Ikenna Madubosah; Akamkposi Obosi, Chief Hyman Udemba among others, for their contributions so far in the development of the area and urged them not to relent.
In their separate speeches, Udemba, Chidoka, Dr. Mrs. Vivian Onwuekwe and Dr. Ndudi Monago, commended the monarch for his relentless efforts so far since he ascended the throne and prayed for his long life and reign on the throne.
Specifically, Chidoka promised that if he becomes the Governor, he would open a contact center where all births and deaths would be registered, adding that all schools in the state would be connected to the internet to make the state a home for the residents not just for the citizens alone.
Chidoka who highlighted the importance of internet connection in the modern day world, pleaded with INEC to go by electronic voting “to enable our votes count.”
He argued that there is no iota of truth in the terrorism allegation being levied on Ndigbo or even members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and charged the military to release the report of their investigations on all the Biafra agitators who were massacred in Igboland on account of their agitation.