By Dirisu Chester Yakubu
It was a beehive of celebrations for sons and daughters of Itsukwi Community, Edo State, earlier in the week following the successful installation and coronation of the village head, Chief Suleiman Abhimhisa Usman as Oghieochi III.
Chief Usman who was given the staff of office by the paramount traditional ruler of Three Ibie Kingdom, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Suleiman Ali, the Oghieaga IV, was until his elevation, the Ichaba of Itsukwi; a post he held for a decade.
Shortly after receiving his Staff of Office, the Oghieochi thanked his subjects for the confidence reposed in him, promising not to betray same as long as he lives. “My people, I can’t thank you enough. Singling me out and trusting me to hold this community together is a task that is indeed challenging. But with your prayers and support, we shall overcome,” he pledged.
He also promised to surmount kindreds’ tussle for supremacy, stating that rather than think along the fault line of kindred’s solidarity, the people should think of ways of bringing about the overall development of the community. “I plead with every son and daughter of Itsukwi to put away whatever grouse they may have because without love and forgiveness, there is not much we can do as a people. I will never let you down; I will never fail to say it as it is, for this is the true test of leadership. I am not a know-it-all king but one who is ready to listen. I am receptive to fresh and innovative ideas capable of attracting positive changes to our dear Itsukwi,” he added.
In a separate interview with the Vanguard, the Oghieochi III said he would prioritize education even as he craved the support of the people in the realization of his vision for the community.
“It is not a thing I can do alone without the support of my people. If we are to talk about development, it is a matter of all of us coming together. If you look at the community critically today, we lack social amenities such as water, which is very paramount. Our children need to be educated. I want to emphasize that education is key.
“We have been too backward especially in the areas of education, amenities and even politically. In the next ten years, I want to see our sons and daughters raising their heads high amongst their counterparts elsewhere in the world.
“There have been divisions in our community. No meaningful development can take place when people are divided. So, I want to see how best to bring people of this community together and ensure the past is put behind us. In a nutshell, I want to seat with my people and plead with them to bury the hatchet so that together, we can begin to move forward,” he said.
Chief Suleiman was the natural heir to the Oghieochi stool following the death of Chief J.B. Momoh, the Oghieochi II, a few months ago. With the successful completion of burial rites and the traditional mourning period of three months, the land was thus purified for the installation and coronation of a new king.