Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Traditional ruler of Amurri Ancient Kingdom in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, Igwe Charles Egbo Nwoye (Obioha II of Amurri), marked his 10th year on the throne with pomp on December 28, 2019.
Highpoints of the Ofala festival included the conferment of chieftaincy titles on deserving Nigerians for their contributions to their fartherland. Those recognised were Enugu State governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Minster of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.
Other recipients of the honour included, former governor of old Enugu State, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, as well as a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state and retired general of the Nigerian Army, Joseph Okoloagu, among others.
Conferring the titles on them, the monarch said they were chosen based on their track records and contributions to the society
Igwe Nwoye, who bestowed the title of (Akana Edozie Obodo 1 of Amuri), meaning, “hand that builds community” on Ugwuanyi, stressed the need for Nigerians to always eschew violence and engage in meaningful acts capable of promoting peace and unity in the country.
Ugwuanyi, who was visibly elated thanked the traditional ruler for honouring him with a title. He said he would ensure that more projects were done in the community to show his level of appreciation of the title.
On the title he received and his development plans for the community, Governor Ugwuanyi said, “Since the people of Amurri decided to appreciate me for the projects I’ve done already, they should get ready for more.”
In his goodwill message, Nwodo said that “the massive accomplishments you and your dear family have recorded in your community are evident for all to see. To some, the crowning achievement so far has been the tarring of Amurri road in your time by the Enugu State government.
“This has opened Amurri to the state and, resultantly, a lot of development is expected to come to your home. Igwe, 10 years is a short time, and you are in your prime. My prayer is that, by the time you celebrate your diamond jubilee on the throne, Amurri will be a town brimming with technological and social advancements.”
Similarly, Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Chief Edward Ubosi, extolled the leadership qualities of the traditional ruler, describing him as a man who always craved for the development of his community.
In an interview, chairman of APC in Enugu State, Dr. Ben Nwoye, said 10 years was very significant for any traditional ruler in Igboland and in the traditional beliefs of Amurri people.
“Today is a great day for our king. His 10 years on the throne, just as is the belief of our people and the entire Igbo nation, shows that God has endorsed his leadership. So, it calls for celebration and we are all happy this is happening,” he said.
Dr. Nwoye who is the Crown Prince of Amurri ancient kingdom, also thanked God for using Governor Ugwuanyi to help start some infrastructural projects in the area.
He said: “When there was kidnapping, the entire security infrastructure, or rather architecture, they all came to Amurri, the governor sent them, the Commissioner of police, the GOC, the DSS director in the state, they all came here to protect us and that is why we crowned him Onye Na Edozi Obodo of Amuri.”
The state APC chairman reasoned that people had thought that he would be at war with Governor Ugwuanyi just because they belonged to different political parties but urged Nigerians to shun politics of bitterness and acrimony: “Politics is not quarrel. It is not fight; we have ideological differences. However, we have commonality, both APC and PDP, we want to do good to the people of Enugu State but we want to do it in different ways and everyone that comes and joins politics wants to do good. Political party is just a platform that is used to arrive there, both those in PDP, those in APC and other political parties.
“Some people expect me as the leader of opposition in Enugu State to be abusive to the PDP government; that is not the way we do it; we do it through constructive dialogue. When the government of the PDP does a good thing, we praise them.”
It was indeed a huge cultural carnival with colourful and dazzling performances of various troupes.