By Denge Dr. Josef-Ken Umunnakwe Onoh
“A Nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers”._
President JFK Kennedy
Hence I remember His Majesty today @45 and always as long as life endures.
His Royal Highness Benjamin Ikenchukwu, Keagborekuzi I, the Dein of Agbor Ancient Kingdom in Delta State is a good illustration of the Holy Bible when it says in Proverbs 29:2 that the people will always, not only rejoice, but triumph when a good leader is with the mantle of leadership. On the contrary, a bad leader begets sad situations in his domain. Looking at the sprawling city of Agbor Ancient Kingdom today will prove the Bible right because the city itself is a smiling city, a joyful city and a city that beholds progress.
Ever since Dein assumed the throne, most especially after his studies in the United States of America, a lot of positive changes have been made in Agbor, culminating in the city producing the Governor of Delta State, who by the grace of God would become the next Vice President of Nigeria. That is exactly what the Bible is saying.
But more importantly is Dein’s vantage position as an epitome of the merits in youth leadership. He has given the Nigeria youth courage and hope that good governance is possible in Nigeria and an encouragement for the youths to aspire to leadership, but with a promise to use the power for the good of the people.
Crowned at two years of age, the Dein has carried a huge responsibility on his shoulders, a task which burdens the younger generation, but his excellence in the traditional institution indicates that youths when well guided excel in leadership. He has been able to impact positively on his subjects more than the politicians have done, through his proper guidance and actions.
Earlier than his assumption of throne, there was the dread of Agbor areas for armed robbery attacks, but all that are no more since his ascension, those heinous crimes packed out from Agbor.
It takes patriotism for a Dein who was nurtured in USA to come back to a country like Nigeria to assume a throne and and still believe in the country with its awkward system, believing that things will be better. This is an indication of a true ambassador of the youth.
The message from the Dein to Nigerian youths still residing abroad is that if he could abandon all the comfort and come back to Nigeria, it means that things could be better when subjected to commitment.
The Dein has been able to place himself side by side with the other Young Royal fathers such as the Olu of Warri, the Oni of Ife, Oba Elegushi, and even the Oba of Benin who have all demonstrated that royalty is not about age, but about determination and sincerity in leadership. The Dein has been able to form a pillar of hope that political leaders have become envious of and should be able to tap into in resolving youth restiveness and such related problems.
Named the world’s youngest crowned monarch in the 1980 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, the Dein of Agbor was the Chancellor of the University of Ilorin and has been able to fill the 25 years vacuum created in his infancy when he travelled to be tutored in the majesty of kingship. On return he exposed his selfless stewardship, canvassing against the practice of human trafficking and irregular migration in Nigeria.
His advocacy for selflessness attracted one of his subjects and the Governor of Delta state, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who during the Dein’s 42 birthday showered encomiums on his majesty, describing the King as a monarch who has made Agbor kingdom peaceful and investor-friendly since he ascended the ageless throne of his forefathers
There is no doubt that the Dein has provided purposeful, courageous and tenacious leadership for the Agbor people over the years and deserved to be celebrated. His contributions to addressing the issues of unemployment, social deviance and value orientation among youths culminated in the establishment of the Agbor Youth Learning, Development and Empowerment Centre; just like he instituted cultural and traditional reforms to enhance the cohesion of the kingdom, hedge up its competitiveness. The Dein has raised his Kingdom’s visibility at national and trans-national fora, and increased its strategic relevance in the increasingly relevant traditional institution in Nigeria’s dynamic polity.
I recall the Dein expressing frustration in a country as Nigeria that was blessed with abundant mineral resources which the country is not making use of what it has. He said that he finds it very unfortunate when some people feel very comfortable when there are people around that are not doing fine. In his words, the Dein said “For me as a monarch, it is extremely frustrating. I have electricity because I can afford to buy diesel for my generator. There is electricity here now but I can tell you that the whole neighbourhood is in darkness, so definitely I cannot be comfortable with that.” This is a mark of good leadership.
I therefore felicitate with my good friend and Brother as he turns a new year, praying that his reign will continue to foster glory, not only to his kingdom but to Nigeria and indeed the entire universe. Happy Birthday King Keagborekuzi I, the morning star of Southern Region!
Happy birthday My king, His Majesty Dien of Agbor. Keagborekuzi 1. May the sun never set in your dominion. The ancient Agbor Kingdom truly isn’t saying anything again except Long live Keagborekuzi I!!
_Denge. Dr. Josef-Ken Umunnakwe Onoh is the Okaa-omee Ngwo II, Ani-nefungwu Agbaja iv_