Early in the year, natives of Umudike-Ukwu at home and in the diaspora, friends and well-wishers gathered to celebrate of one of their own – an amiable young man, Eze Chaplain Ben Ogechimereze Oriaku, as he was crowned traditional ruler of Umudike-Ukwu Autonomous Community with the title: ‘Dike 1’ (meaning the strength of the people) in a colourful ceremony.
Oriaku is widely touted as the youngest Eze in Abia State.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu praised Eze Chaplain Oriaku for his humility, courage and resilience in taking his people to the Promised land even in the face of tough challenges.
The governor who spoke through Sam Onuigbo noted that “whether some people like it or not, Umudike-Ukwu Autonomous Community has come to stay and there is nothing anybody can do to void it.’’
chairperson of Ikwuano Local Government Area, Ezinne Oji who was conferred with a chieftaincy, admonished women to always strive to attend greater height in all fields of human endeavour and asserted emphatically that with hard work and dedication, the sky is the limit for every woman. She equally praised Eze Oriaku for resolutely standing by his people at all times.
The sanctification of the throne was performed by two prominent clergymen, Rev. John Onyeanusi and Bishop Nath Ofor.
Summing up the sermon that took greater part of the coronation, Pastor Inyang unequivocally declared that kingship is divine and that whosoever that is destined by God to be a King will certainly be.
Eze Oriaku promised to serve his people in a Godly manner, take them to the next level and ensure that Umudike-Ukwu becomes a leading autonomous community in Abia State in terms of human and material development. He charged recipients of chieftaincy honours to be good ambassadors of the community wherever they find themselves.
One of the side attractions was the heroic display by the famous Ohafia war dancers which electrified the occasion.