Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The traditional ruler of Ukwulu community in Dunukofia Local Government Area, Anambra State, Igwe Peter. Uyanwa, was recently hosted to a surprise reception on his return from Abuja by members of the community.
The people, in their numbers, and cutting across all strata of the society, not only showered encomiums and prayers on the monarch but also reaffirmed their undivided loyalty and support to his throne and leadership.
Their warm reception and affirmation of loyalty, Daily Sun gathered, was in response to the recent action of an impostor from the community who slaughtered a cow in the community claiming that he was now the authentic traditional ruler while parading himself within the streets.
Narrating what happened to the reporter, a member of the community, Chikwado Okeke said: “Coincidentally, or perhaps acting on a well rehearsed script, the man chose to act at a time that Igwe Uyanwa was not in town but was away to Abuja pursuing some development projects for the community.
“The same actor also flew a kite in the community that the traditional ruler had run into trouble in Abuja which made him absent from the community for more than two weeks.
“The rumour was rife and the situation kept the teeming population of the community worried and eager to find out whether our traditional ruler was actually safe or something bad had happened to him. That was the situation until last week Wednesday when news filtered in that the traditional ruler was coming home and the town went into a frenzy,” he said.
From the road that connects Ukwulu community to Nawgu towards Amawbia-Awka Expressway, the reporter encountered heavy human and vehicular traffic. The Afor Ukwulu market, where the Igwe would take before entering his palace, was a waiting centre with many activities on ground thereby putting commercial activities on hold.
Youth groups danced Ogene music while the women groups in their uniforms also occupied the corner of the road. Cabinet chiefs and other stakeholders from the community were attired in white caftans also lined their cars in wait.
It was like the triumphant entry when the traditional ruler’s convoy screeched into the area and the jubilant crowd shouted in excitement. They escorted the king round the market singing songs of eulogy as he raised his hands in appreciation.
Addressing the crowd, Igwe Uyanwam who is also the chairman, Anambra Central Traditional Rulers’ Council, thanked the people for their show of love and support, reminding them that they have come a long way together. He recalled that he was the President General of the community for two tenures and was also elected for another term but he voluntarily relinquished the position for another person before the mantle of Igweship fell on him years later.
The Ezedike of Ukwulu kingdom sounded a note of warning to some members of the community who he noted had become willing tools in the hands of some external influence from another community in order to foment trouble.
He reminded them that Ukwulu is an ancient community on its own with full autonomy and regulations just like their brother communities in Dunukofia like Ukpo, Ifitedunu, Umunnachi and Umudioka.
He praised the uncommon vision of the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano whom he said had given traditional rulers in the state their pride of place and has also enthroned community participation in governance of the state through the “Community Choose your Project Initiative.”
He said Ukwulu community has benefitted from the Obiano’s administration in several ways and would benefit more, hence the need to maintain peace and decorum.
He announced the immediate commencement of the community library complex, saying it was part of the projects whose execution process he went to Abuja to finalise. He also assured the people of his unending commitment to their welfare.
“We have genuine peace in this community. Those who think that I will become their stooge so that they can come here and grab lands as they wish are the people using some individuals to foment trouble but they can’t succeed. I’m happy my people are solidly behind me,” he said.
President General of the community, Ichie Walter Okafor noted that the people have spoken by their words and actions that they don’t have any other traditional ruler other than Igwe Peter Uyanwa.
His predecessor and Chairman of Amagu village, Ichie Christian Nwadiuto explained that they were the people that presented Igwe Uyanwa to the entire Ukwulu community on request prior to his coronation and there was no compulsion in any form as he has continued to enjoy the overwhelming support of the community.
Mrs Njideka-Angus Anusi, who spoke, for the womenfolk, described Igwe Uyanwa as one passionate about the wellbeing of his people with a positive agenda for the community.