By Emma Amaize, OKPANAM
OMUS (female monarchs) of various communities in Anioma, Delta State, rose from a meeting at Okpanam community, Oshimili North Local Government Area, resolving to inculcate sound values in young ones and create a legacy of unifying culture and tradition of the people.
The Omus met to appraise critical issues affecting the institution and also they commended Anioma traditional rulers for their support to the institution.
The Omus are led by Omu Anioma, the Omu of Okpanam, HRM Obi Martha Dunkwu, in whose palace the meeting was held.
They sought greater synergy with traditional rulers, who they referred as fathers to all, maintaining that unfettered cooperation and partnership were necessary to enable them to continue to discharge their duties seamlessly, especially in this period of festivals.
The presiding leader of the Council, HRM Dunkwu announced the registration of the Centre for Omuship and Women Development Initiative, a platform to assist the Omus to advance their course as they continue to seek relevance and growth.
She equally declared a donation of a building in her palace to house artefacts and photographs of every Omu with a moulded statute of a late legendary Omu in front of the building.
Omu Dunkwu disclosed that she had commissioned an Anioma historian, Elder Emeka Esogbue, to do an expanded version of his first book on Omuship, to include the profile, image and interview of every Omu in a minimum of three pages in the book.
According to her, free copies of the book would be distributed to all traditional rulers, community leaders, government offices, research institutions and friends of Omus.
Meanwhile, it was collectively agreed to inaugurate an annual Omu Otite Festival (Roasting of Yam) any time in September.
Speaking further, Omu Dunkwu explained that all these innovations are for the purpose of tourism, research purposes and reigniting of Anioma value system.
At the meeting, the goodwill message of Ezinne of Issele-Uku Kingdom, Chief Ada Josephine Kachikwu, who has joined the Omus in the campaign for every community to reinvent the Omu throne was read.
Historian, Esogbue, in his goodwill message, said: “Not a few Anioma people have woken up to joyfully know and to see that our revered Anioma culture has been taken across the international borders.
“Many thanks to Your Majesties that have gathered here today to continue in your chart for the way forward for our people under the able leadership of HRM Obi Dr Martha Dunkwu, the Omu of Okpanam/Anioma.
“I recognise that our socio-cultural strata must exist side by side the political layer for our societal wheels to function oily well.
“Something is happening in Anioma and that is our Omuship, an institution unique to us.
“The Anioma people have attained international recognition and acclaimed status, as a unique testimony in the patriotic mouths of all.
“There is no doubt that HRM Obi Dr Martha Dunkwu, the Omu of Okpanam/Anioma is gathering, putting together and establishing in Anioma, a global cultural centre before our eyes and I personally, call on the Delta State Government to support her efforts through provisions of enabling environment.
“From among the Anioma cultural custodians, the Omu had staged a glorious stay in the revolutionary vanguardism of culture to the world.
“Well-meaning Anioma people should also lend a helping hand to complete this progress.
“As you sit together in this meeting of the minds, I reiterate my earlier call to Aniocha and Oshimili Councils to prove the motherly mandate in them by approving monthly salaries for the Omus in Anioma.
“The people have realised that you are deserving of monthly salaries as regal authorities.
“You, the Omus are entitled to monthly salaries from the government coffers and the local government chairmen are entitled to proving that the will of the people is their command,” he added.
The meeting was attended by HRM Obi Martha Dunkwu, Omu of Okpanam/Omu Anioma; HRM Omu Onyebuchibe Okonkwo, Omu of Obior; HRM Omu Lobe Nokwaba, Omu of Ukala and newly-inducted HRM Omu Esther Obiogwa, Omu of Ugbolu, among others.