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‘Traditional institution crucial to community advancement’

Dr. Sunday Odezah is a management consultant in Florida, United States of America and a former professor of public administration programme at the University of Virgin Islands.


Dr. Sunday Odezah is a management consultant in Florida, United States of America and a former professor of public administration programme at the University of Virgin Islands. He is the founder of the United States Virgin Certified Public Manager Programme. He is also a former member of the board of directors of the National Certified Public Manager Consortium in the United States.

He has just been honored with a chieftaincy title alongside 21 sons and daughters of Oyede Kingdom and other Isoko communities in Delta State. It was at the first coronation anniversary and installation of chiefs by His Royal Majesty, Joseph Emasibeta Idiareh 1, the Odiologbo (king) of Oyede Kingdom, held at the palace in the Isoko North local government area community.

Chief Odezah, now the Ewoma of Oyede Kingdom, spoke on the traditional institution, which he identified as a critical vehicle for community development in Nigeria.

Is the traditional institution still important in modern society?
The traditional council of chiefs of any community is vested with the responsibility for development, leadership training and settling disputes and other related matters and reports same to the king.

The chieftaincy title is the affirmation of honour bestowed on illustrious sons and daughters of a community that have made various contributions towards the development of that community.

Therefore, the youths should be committed and patient in whatever they do and live philanthropic lives for the people of the community. There is sowing before reaping in life.

What is the nexus between modern governance and traditional rulership?
Politics and the traditional institution have similar elements of governance depending on exposure, knowledge and wisdom. Corruption is everywhere and good leadership emanates from discipline, interest in the welfare of the people and development of the community.

This why I commend odiologbo (the monarch) and the council of chiefs for the honour. The coronation and installation of chiefs were well coordinated, a motivation in the human capital development. Such events affect the development of communities.

Chieftaincy is not only about personality issues of respect and social activities but leadership responsibility towards the development of the society. He noted that chief’s are meant to serve the people and be committed to the success of community projects as traditional institution.

What is the role of chiefs and what advice do you have for them?
A chief is like a senator that works with the president of a country. Isoko chiefs should exhibit leadership qualities. The traditional council of chiefs should have vision of development as their sole objective. The traditional council of chief is the light of the people and should always show good example.

Earlier, the monarch installed the 21 chiefs at the palace with a charge to be role models and avoid whatever can destroy the traditional institution of Oyede kingdom.

The address presented by Chief N.A Aluta, the Otota (speaker) of Oyede, noted that the kingdom is governed by nine edio (elders). The eldest among them is the Odiologbo (king) of Oyede kingdom. The kingdom comprises Oyede town, Bethel-Oyede, Okrame-Oyede and Salehamalecoth-Oyede.

Aluta added: “This first coronation marks the epitome of joy and awesome bliss of Oyede people. Oyede community is celebrating victory to the part of greatness.”

He lauded the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, for making the event a reality by the approval and recognition granted the monarch of Oyede kingdom.

He also thanked the chairman of Isoko North local government area, Hon. Emmanuel Egbabor, the council of traditional rulers and Hon. Eta Enahoro for their magnanimity and support, praying that God’s mercy and all the good things of life to be their portions.

In attendance were members of Isoko traditional rulers’ council and the councils of chiefs from various communities of the ethnic nationality as well as Chief Iduh Amadhe and Professor Akama Emume Samson, who are presidents-general of Isoko Development Union (IDU) and Oyede Town respectively.