From Chuks Onuoha, Aba
The traditional ruler of Isiali Autonomous Community in Ozuitem, Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, Eze Ocy Onyemachi has said he would give the kingship a touch of class.
Eze Onyemachi is an ordained bishop with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the United States. He promised to make his kingdom one of the best in Abia State, both physically and spiritually.
But he asserted that he would not be involved in pouring libation or rituals like other royal fathers.
“This is where I will be different,” he noted. “I have elders, whose jobs it is to interact with the ancestors. My job is to go to government, open their hands with my contacts, bring my community’s share and give to them. I don’t care what they do in other areas. If they say their money to buy drinks is finished, I will give them money. If it is the issue of a goat for the new year, I will give them. But I will never be part of anything like shedding of blood or worshiping of idols,” the Eze said.
The royal father said his church does not broadcast the positions of its leaders, adding that some of his subjects don’t know he’s a bishop. “I was released as a bishop to come and serve my people as their traditional ruler, but my bishopric position is forever.
“When some of my church members come here, they address me as bishop and not as His Royal Highness, and people get confused. Before I accepted to be their Eze, I made all these things known to my people, and they accepted it.
“But good enough, my community was not created by tradition. This is one of the autonomous communities created by former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu.
Eze Onyemachi spoke after his successful presentation as the new traditional ruler of Isiali Autonomous Community in Ozuitem. The ceremony was carried out at Dr Orji Uzor Kalu Multipurpose Hall at the Bende Council Headquarters
Chairman of the council, Chief Emmanuel Onwuchekwa, who performed the ceremony, expressed satisfaction that the king was the popular choice of the people.
“We have started the process of your kingship by accepting you. My job is to foreword your request to the state government but my advice is that since your people have chosen you, you should realise that the job is an enormous one.
“From today, government would start looking upon you in terms of getting information as it concerns security of the autonomous community and other related responsibilities of a traditional ruler in Isiali. Ezes work with the government in power and it is the state governor that will give you the staff of office in due course.”
He appealed to the Eze-elect not to work against the government, but to work in tandem with the desires of the government as it concerns his people.
He told the monarch that the allowances given to traditional rulers were very minimal, and that his job as a traditional ruler would be more of sacrifice, commitment and dedication to his people.
“Time comes when you have to stay with your people, settling land disputes and other problems that may arise. As you continue doing it, the elderly ones will be coming to you to seek advice. And you will continue to work with them while we as a government will continue to call on you to find out what is happening in your community.”
He promised to ensure that all necessary documents for his staff of office would be sent to the governor. He assured that the council had already recognised him as Eze-elect.
In his response, Eze Onyemachi expressed joy that he was loved and accepted by his people.
“I have seen that you love my people by accepting me as their Eze. Though, I live in America, I, sometimes come home more than those who live in Lagos.
“One important thing about being a leader of your people is that when you go out and get something, you come home and use it to the benefit of your people. I am very grateful to you and on behalf of my family, I accept finally that I will be the Eze of Isiali people. I am happy that you accepted to receive us at a very short notice despite your busy schedule. I promise that you will never regret your good relationship with Isiali people starting from today. ”
As an expression of his joy and gratitude, he promised to repaint the hall. He pledged that whatever allowance he got as a traditional ruler would be used to better the life of widows in the community on monthly basis.
“I don’t need it because God has blessed me round about. We will be working together to better the lot of Bende people,” he said.
Eze Onyemachi, an engineer by training, studied Information Security Engineering at an American University.
Born in Ozuitem, he attended Ozuitem Central School and Ozuitem High School before going to Port Harcourt to obtain a diploma in Computer Science.
“I have always had a knack for business and self-entrepreneurship, and I opened a personal computer business and succeeded in it, opened an IT Consult and started computer supply. I also did some importation of fairly used products, got married in 2005 and travelled to the United States in 2007.
“That was the beginning of a new life in the United States. After six months, I got admission into a university where I studied Information Technology, majoring in computer networking and graduated as the best student. The same university also offered me a scholarship for my bachelors. I graduated in less than two years but majoring in security. After that I started working, went for my masters, majored in cyber security/information security. I am trained by the best brains in the United States. I am a certified security specialist. I have worked with lots of computer outfits and organisations as a consultant.
“My father was one of the decision makers in Ozuitem. My father built every single inch of what I am today.
“My people chose me because they know that I am very humble and forthright. Sometimes my forthrightness makes me speak with the voice of a thunder, not rudely. I can’t remember speaking once without people paying attention, I could listen to them talk in Agbala Square for an hour or two. But each time I raise my hands to speak, everybody listens. My people chose me because they know that I love them. “They can count on me that if I say I will do, I will do it.
“Any child in isiali that has an admission in any university but does not have any one to train them, I will take over, train them and help them to get a job. I have some of them working at various places. Not under my watch would a child from Isiali gain admission without going to school
“I am going to revolutionise the Ezeship in my community. I attended meetings with my track suit and cap. Nobody should expect me to be dressing with Ezeship regalia all the time. Nobody will also expect me not to be speaking to people, unless I want to put my people in perpetual obscurity. I want to help lift them out of obscurity.
“In a few years time, you will come to Isiali and see a secured kingdom, a place where those who genuinely need help and raise their hands get help. And it will translate into a happy kingdom, where the people will be celebrated,” he assured.