By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA — For the first time in the history of kingship in Anambra State, the people of Ochuche Umuodu community in Ogbaru Local Government Area appeared to have broken record with the coronation of His Royal Highness, HRH, Igwe (Barrister) Osita Ike Ijeomah as the Akuabata Ifeadi I and Onyechinyereze 1 of Ochuche Umuodu, on consensus arrangement without a dissenting voice.
Ab-initio, Igwe Ijeomah himself did not even have the ambition or dream of becoming the paramount ruler of Ochuche Umuodu, even when the throne was declared vacant few years ago, following the last Ofala festival of their late monarch, Igwe Paul Agaba hence he, as a stakeholder in the community, had on some occasions called for interested candidates to declare their ambition in ascending the throne, but none declared.
Rather, the more he innocently searched for suitable candidates, the more the populace were picking interest in him to the extent that at their last general meeting, the general assembly begged him to stop looking for a king and take up the job.
After some resistance and constant pressure on him, according to other stakeholders in the area, Ijeomah reluctantly accepted to become the Igwe on one condition, that there would be no dissenting voice or voices or else, he would throw in the towel for the sake of peace.
After waiting for about three years with no dissenting voice from the last Ofala of his. predecessor, Agaba, the community coronated him in a big way in his palace. The coronation proper was performed by the kingmakers in the community.
After the crowning, his business associates from far and near, including those from Lagos Computer Village where the monarch is the secretary, Chief Virgynus Ozoemena and Sir Ben Onuorah (on the Lord’s side), described Igwe Ijeomah as a friend, brother and philanthropist who derives pleasure in helping the less privileged.
Also, Chief Emmanuel Osadebe, an indigene of Ochuche Umuodi said Ijeomah is a man of integrity and impeccable character who has leadership qualities. One of the elders from the nearby Akili Ozizor community, Ichie Aniche, a retired Chief Superintendent of Customs, urged Governor Willie Obiano to in his wisdom, issue the new monarch with a certificate of recognition and staff of office to enable him settle down for the onerous task ahead.
Other stakeholders who spoke at the event were members of Ogbaru Keke Riders Association led by their chairman, Ugochukwu Ugwunwa; Ichie Oduah Izuchukwu, Akajiofor Anibunwa N’Ocuche and Hon. Francis Ojini (Ikenga Ogbaru) who exprfessed solidarity with the new monarch and urged him to rise up to the challenges ahead.
Responding shortly before he was escorted round the villages in the area and back to his palace, Igwe Ijeomah commended the community for finding him worthy to be enthroned and solicited their cooperation to move the community forward, adding that his major priority now would be on peaceful co-existence and rapid infrastructure development with more scholarship awards and youth empowerment.