From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The Obosi community in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State was in a festive mood recently courtesy of Dr Emma Kandudi Monago of Ugamuma Village who was inducted as a full member of the Obosi Royal Cabinet.
The occasion came with it the display of the rich cultural heritage of the community and the hosting of many eminent personalities.
Dr. Monago is the incumbent vice chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Anambra State, while his wife is the director of Medical Services, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State.
Having fulfilled all the stipulated requirements for the recognition, Dr. Monago was conferred with the Igweoba of Obosi title by the traditional ruler, Igwe Chidubem Iweka, Eze Ogalagidi, while his wife was decorated as Enyinwanyi Ifekaolaedo (something more precious than gold which is a diamond woman).
The ceremony held at Ime Iba Igwe Obosi amidst pomp started from the palatial home of the Monagos where the celebrant received all the cabinet chiefs who gave their full nod for his induction and thereafter accompanied him to the Igwe’s palace for the real business of the day.
On getting to the Igwe’s palace in a convoy of vehicles, Dr. Monago was ushered into the office of the Palace Secretary, Chief Shedrack Okenwa, who administered on him the oath of allegiance.
He also signed a document, promising to abide by the rules and not act in any way that may bring the Obosi Kingdom to disrepute.
The appearance of Igwe Chidbudem Iweka and his wife with the clinging of cymbals and chiming of bells marked the official beginning of the event.
Thereafter, Igwe Iweka blessed the kolanut and prayed for the overall wellbeing and welfare of the Obosi people.
The traditional prime minister, Onowu Obosi, Chief A.E Nwabude presented Monago to the Igwe, begging the royal father to confer on him the prestige of being welcomed into the fold of Ndichie Obosi.
Igwe Iweka in a response asked the recipient whether he was really prepared for the onerous task.
The traditional ruler reminded Monago that the task was quite demanding, but prayed God to give him the requisite courage and determination to carry on successfully.
He reminded him that Obosi was a strong town and he should be prepared and not shy away from any burden from his people that the new status would bring on him.
Following Monago’s positive response amidst claps from the cheering crowd, the traditional ruler proceeded immediately by offering him a glass of palm wine which he drank with relish.
It was also an emotional moment as the Igwe offered prayers one after the other to all the Ndichies, according to their peculiar persons and characters, as they all accepted the drink from the Igwe and drank after the prayers.
The royal father, thereafter, decorated Monago with various chieftaincy costumes which he demonstrated their uses and significance until the eventual putting on of the royal Ndichie cap to the admiration of the crowd.
After the coronation, the traditional ruler and the newly installed cabinet chief engaged in a royal dance with other Ndichies amidst fanfare before he retired to his home to entertain his guests.
Chief Monago said becoming an Ichie in Obosi Kingdom is not a one-step show, but takes up to five rigorous steps.
Throwing light on his title of Igweoba, he said though Oba means bank in English translation, be it commercial, microfinance or even the traditional yam barn, his taking the title did not mean he has stupendous wealth, explaining that the people only gave him the title based on his character in uplifting the welfare of the people and his mindset in this direction.
He recalled that his traditional Ozo title name, Nkpunaeluaku (the anthill that breeds wealth) was also given to him in the same vein.
He said he felt elated that the wish of his kindred, Umudualor, Ugamuma village, to have him as the traditional leader who would represent them in the council of traditional rulers and ensure that their entitlements were not denied them has been fulfilled.
The wife said that the recognition given to her was a call to rededicate herself to community work which has been her major focus and to channel more of her energy into helping the poor and the downtrodden.
Performing the ceremony also, Ezenwanyi Obosi, Queen Kosiso Iweka called on other titled women to support their husbands in ensuring peace and harmony at their various quarters.
The Afah of Obosi, Chief Dan Chuke and Enyinwanyi Miliakuogidi, Dr Vivian Onwuekwe, described Igweoba as a man of impeccable character and integrity who has contributed immensely to the development of the community, pointing out that nothing less was expected of him now that he has been coronated.