By Emeka Mamah
Enugu—There was jubilation and excitement at Odoma-Okpo, Okpo, in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, following the appointment of a retired headmaster, Chief Vincent Obodike Eze, as the first traditional ruler of the area. Okpo is the border town between Enugu and Benue State where the Nigeria Civil War started in 1967.
Presenting the Igwe-elect to the Chairman of Igboeze North Local Government, Comrade Uwakwe Ezeja, in his office, the President- General of Odoma- Okpo Town Union, Hon Francis Arji, said the choice of Obodike Eze was unanimous as he was acceptable to all the six villages comprising the community.
Arji said that the new traditional ruler was a former president-general of the town union adding that he acquitted himself creditably when he served in that capacity.“The Igwe-elect is acceptable to everybody in the community. All the aspirants to the position withdrew when he signified interest to contest. We have six villages and all of us accepted his candidature, because of his patriotism. With Obodike Eze as the Igwe, we will not have problems as he is a peaceful man,” he said.
The Zonal Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Enugu North Senatorial District and former member of the state House of Assembly, representing Igboeze North 1, Hon. Michael Onyeze, described the Igwe-elect as a worthy son of Odoma-Okpo, saying that his recognition by the state government would accelerate the development of the community just as the traditional ruler of Okpo Community, Igwe Patrick Okenyi, said that he cut short his business trip to Taraba State to be part of the programme, due the respect accorded the Obodike Eze in the area.
In the presentation letter signed by all the six king makers in Odoma- Okpo, including the eldest man in the area, Onyishi Eze Nweya (Umu Igwurube); Chiefs Okenyi Oodo (Umu Osede); Eze Nwa Agada (Umu Onukwuma); James Ugwuanyi (Umu Okwo Nwee); Hyacinth Onu (Umu Okenwa); Ugwu Arji Aba (Umu Odeje) as well as the Secretary General of the town union, Chief Emmanuel Oshemi, they urged the state government to give expeditious approval to their request to ensure rapid development of the rural community.Speaking on the occasion, the local government chairman, Comrade Ezeja, who was represented by the Secretary to the local government, Hillary Ogili, and the Community Development Officer for the area,
Anthony Ojadi, promised to convey the message delivered by the community through their representatives to the state government. Ogili expressed joy that the new traditional ruler was chosen without rancor and asked other communities where there were problems associated with succession to emulate people of Odom-Okpo, just as the new monarch promised to rule his subjects with the fear of God.