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Monarch fetes corps members for role in Ojoto queen mother’s burial

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Traditional ruler of Ojoto, Igwe Gerald Obunadike Mbamalu (second left); Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha and the Metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev Valerian Maduka Okeke; and Senator Annie Okonkwo after the funeral Mass for the late Ojoto Queen Mother, Chief Philomena Egochukwu Mbamalu at the St Paul’s Parish Ojoto. PHOTO: MARCEL MBAMALU

For their role in ensuring a smooth burial rites for the Queen Mother of Ojoto Town, late Chief Philomena Mbamalu, more than 100 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Idemili South Local Government Area yesterday received cash gifts and other royal items from the monarch, Igwe Gerald Obunadike Mbamalu.

The youths were said to have alongside the Nigeria Police Force and other para-military agencies, voluntarily provided logistic support, quasi-security and welfare services during the weeklong burial rites. Some of them who spoke to The Guardian yesterday said they were motivated by the “large heart of the king and his consistent role in ensuring better welfare for corps members in Ojoto and environs.”

Thousands of mourners, including the Anambra State council of traditional rulers, political, religious and business leaders, attended the ceremonies that began on October 23 and ended with a thanksgiving service on October 27.

The youths, who paid Igwe Mbamalu a post-event courtesy call at his place in Enugo-Ojoto, sang praises of the monarch, even as Palace Secretary, Chief Romeo Anyisia, assured them of continued socio-economic support from the king. It was gathered that each of the corps members received cash gift of N20,000, among other souvenir items from the monarch.

It would be recalled that the burial of Ojoto Queen Mother had attracted the who-is-who in Nigeria’s socio-economic and political circles. Hotelier and wine dealer, Charles Odunukwe (Chandon), had a month before the burial, put together a social media platform that galvanised support from leading Igbo elite. Led by the senator representing Anambra South constituency, Ifeanyi Ubah, the group held series of meetings in Lagos and Ojoto.

Group Chairman of Chisco Motors, Chidi Anyaegbu, also provided a number of buses, which were stationed at strategic locations and airports in the Southeast facilitated movement of guests to and from Ojoto.


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