By Tony Eluemunor
I still don’t know why the radiance of a king comes to my mind whenever I see the picture of Ubulu-Ukwu’s monarch; Noah Chukwuka Ofulue, who three years ago succeeded his father as “Obi Ubulu” and took the title of Obi Akaeze. Many, including this correspondent have mistakenly called the youthful king Obi Akaeze I (the first).
I hereby offer apologies for that mistake; a person who takes a fresh title which none had taken before, would remain without a numerical description until his successor arrived— which for a king or pope is usually at death unless they abdicated the office and handed power to a successor while they remained alive. That would mean that all those chiefs who tag themselves this and that 1 (for the first) have also been and remain mistaken. It is only after another, their successor, has emerged (most likely after their death) that they would be rightly recognized as the first and their successor would rightly be called this and that the second.
Could it be that I have, I must confess, been fascinated by the mere fact that when he ascended the throne, he was just a 16-year old going on to 17? Yes, he brings to mind Camara Laye’s novel, “The Radiance of The King”— which has both delighted and puzzled readers across the globe since its appearance in 1954; four years before Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Kingship is about leadership and authority; it is about wisdom and sagacity, it is about being a repository of the knowledge of a particular domain, it is about dominion as a king is a principality and power.
Hey! don’t fret yet, for the biblical principalities and powers that the Apostle Paul referred to when he wrote that we are not fighting flesh and blood but principalities and powers are the demons who fell with Satan though they had belonged to the Angelic choirs of powers and principalities. And just like the other cherubs have continued with their ministrations in heaven despite the fall of the Cherub of cherubs himself, the once cherubic Lucifer, the good and steadfast members of the Angelic choir of powers, principalities or the cherubim are also still doing great in furthering God’s designs.
So, I have refused to forsake principality or power or shrine or cultism and surrender such to the devil. I still write about the shrine of St. Anthony of Padua or the Cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and refer to a king as a Principality as in the Principality of Monaco
Back to Obi Akaeze, teenagers are known for their rough and tumble lives, for frivolities, for studies and preparation for a career; not for bearing the weight of a community on their frail shoulders. Three years ago, some suspected Fulani herdsmen altered the course of boy Noah Chukwuka Ofulue’s life when they kidnapped and murdered his father. The Prince became a king— with all the radical alterations in his life. His father’s immediate younger brother, Tony, has so far been acting for him as a Regent.
On the 15th of this month, the
Eze Nwata, (youthful king) had a rite of passage. As a 21-year old, he joined the Academic Procession at the University of Exeter, England, (number 141 in World University Rankings by Times Higher Education) and marched into the main auditorium to be officially conferred with a law degree. The graduands were a sight for sore eyes; radiant as their faces glowed with joy and a sense of achievement, resplendent in their academic gowns, confident in the future their newly acquired degrees have prepared them for.
A conferment of a university degree is a rite of passage; but Obi Akaeze’s frightful rite of passage occurred three years ago. To all intents and purposes, Noah’s teenage years had a rude ending in 2016, with the kidnap and killing of his father, a murder that has not yet been solved as the murderers have not been really identified, tried and punished. He was forced to grow up, taking up his position in the circle of life.
The members of the nuclear family that Noah’s father, Akaeze Edward Ofulue, the Obi Ofulue the Third of Ububu-Ukwu, left behind, has been nursing a terrible scar since that death. As the kidnappers have not been brought to book, it means the family would still be living in fear. Secondly, this family that was London-based until the patriarch had to return to sit on the throne of his fathers would not fully understand the madness called, euphemistically of course, just insecurity.
But time, that peerless doctor, has been hard at work— as the days followed the other. With a law degree in his pocket, the 21-year old Obi Akaeze appears ready to face the world. Yes, he is expected to attend the law school. Yes, he may even opt to go for a Master’s degree. But fact is that the boy-king of three years ago has become a man, the secondary school student of three years ago has graduated from the university and is now a lawyer, one who I understand, earnestly wants to earn higher academic laurels.