From Don Ekpunobi, Onitsha
Nature, it is said, abhors a vacuum, so it is in leadership be it at the local or community level, in order not to avoid anarchy.
Probably it was in the realization of that wise saying that the Ojoto community in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, abided by the rule and hastened not to allow any gap to exist following the long journey to the great world beyond embarked by the traditional ruler of the town, HRH, Igwe Augustine Obidiwe in April this year.
In Ojoto and many parts of Igboland, a traditional ruler never dies, but when he makes a long journey and fails in the local parlance to return within 28 days of his journey, a regent should be appointed to act in his stead, pending the last Ofala celebration of the Igwe.
By the records of the Ojoto community, their traditional ruler, Igwe Obidiwe has gone on a journey since April this year, leaving his function as traditional ruler virtually unattended to, thereby leaving a vacuum that needs urgently to be filled.
It was then left for the town union executive led by Dr Edwin Umueghalu to do the needful by filling the vacuum created.
And that was done on Sunday, July 31, when the traditional Prime Minister of the community, Chief Jerald Mbamalu, the Asato Ojoto, was officially inaugurated as the regent of the town.
The colourful ceremony was performed at the home of the regent in Enugo village, Ojoto, amid pomp and pageantry.
Speaking shortly before handing over the staff of office to the regent, the President-General of Ojoto Town Union, Dr Umeghalu said that the inauguration was in line with the constitution of the Ojoto community which also vested on him the power to perform it.
He described July 31st date of the emergence of the regent as a beginning of another chapter in Ojoto and appealed to the people of the community to give the regent the necessary co-operation to successfully pilot the affairs of the town for peace and progress.
“It is Important to build high level of respect for the traditional institution of the town as that is a good way of attracting respect for the town and her people.
“The Ichies are representing a great institution of Ojoto and should, therefore, be highly respected,” he said.
The President-General prayed God to grant the Reagent good health, wisdom, sincere and kind heart to enable him discharge his function well.
Responding, the regent, Chief Mbamalu thanked the people for the confidence reposed in him and pledged to carry everybody along whilst this tenure lasted, pending the selection of another monarch.
He also called for closer cooperation between the Regent-in-Council and the town union leadership for better administration of the town.
The regent stressed the need for high level of respect for the traditional institution and pledged to administer the community according to the rules and constitution of the town.
He advised each of the villages in Ojoto to set up village council which would be empowered to try cases brought before it in order to minimize the number of cases coming up to the Regent-in-Council.
Earlier, Rev. Timothy Chukwuenye conducted prayers for the Regent and the Ojoto people in general.
He called for cooperation among the people to ensure peace and progress.
The reverend also advised the people of Ojoto to shun fetish practices and other vices which he said tend to pull people down instead of bringing progress.