As Onuorah ascends the throne, peace returns to Oraukwu
When Dr. Emeka Onuorah was persuaded to drop all agitation shortly after the 2011 general elections, little did he know that providence was simply preparing him for a bigger position and role.
He had answered the call of his Idemili Federal Constituency to represent them in the National Assembly, but today, he has ended up as the Igwe of Oraukwu, having been unanimously chosen to lead them, amidst a few oppositions.
Despite his initial reluctance when he was approached, considering the tussle for the Igweship stool and the attendant acrimony it had brought, the assurance of collective support of the people and the state government made him have a rethink.
For the entire Oraukwu people, their dream of a peaceful succession to usher in development appeared to have been fulfilled recently with the presentation of a Certificate of Recognition to Onuorah by Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano at the Governor’s Lodge in Awka, which was followed by a long convoy to the Igwe’s Eze Chinyere Palace in Ezennaja-Oraukwu, amidst cheers from the people.
Their joy appeared boundless. The people, across age, gender and social class, visitors and even neighbouring communities shared in the unfolding aura as they trooped to the palace.
His enthronement came five years after the death of Igwe Emeka Ogbunude threw the community into a crisis of succession, making peace elusive; hence emotions ran so high with the eventual resolution and selection of a new monarch.
Onuorah, taking a cue from the admonitions of Obiano and Igwe Peter Anugwu of Mbaukwu, has remained consistent on his call for true peace and reconciliation, saying there would be no real development in an atmosphere of bitterness and rancour.
He described the contest as a family affair, where there was no victor and no vanquished, with the community as the greatest beneficiary, having been restored to the path of development.
He has continued to play host to all the villages, quarters and groups within the community, who besiege his palace to declare their loyalty.At a Thanksgiving Mass at the St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, Rev Fr. Barth Okonkwo of St John’s Parish, Obosi prayed for everyone’s support for the new monarch to usher in lasting progress and love in his domain.
He reminded Onuorah that as an Igwe, he is now the father to all and should lead with humility, kindness and a listening ear to endear him to all, while carefully dispensing justice without sentiments.
Onowu Samson Chiedu, who is also the Obi Orubelu of Irukwelekor village, said what the community needed most at the moment was peace to foster development.
Chiedu, a former regent, reminded the people that failure to follow the laid down procedure of succession led to the five-year interregnum.
He prayed God to imbue Onuorah with wisdom to dispense justice without fear or favour, so as to once again unify Oraukwu as one people.
The Odu of Oraukwu, Chief Anthony Nnamdi Utulu, was hopeful that Onuorah would take the community to the next level of development and bring it national and international respect and recognition.
He called for vigilance even in the efforts to reconcile all, hoping that the Igwe would leverage on his new position, international exposure and experience to attract development to the community.
He restated his love for the peace and unity of the community, recollecting how he was chosen to replace Ogbunude, which he declined.
“So, for Onuorah to sit on that exalted throne today is an act of God; hence no one should try to fight God’s plan,” Odu emphasised.
Chief Joseph Ukeji (Chimalunzu) urged the monarch to remain open and sincere always and be a model to indigenes and other traditional rulers, while also being close to the state government to attract development to Oraukwu. He also appealed to the people, irrespective of whoever they had sided during tussle, to remain peaceful and supportive in the interest of the community.
Chief Michael Udoh, on his part, disclosed that the emergence of Onuorah was publicly prophesied over four years ago by a priest, meaning that Onuorah is God-sent.
He, therefore, implored him to remain close to the people and God, pursue peace, fair-play and justice and extend a hand of fellowship to everyone, including his former opponents in the race for the stool.
Chief Aloysius Ogabido, who was the chairman of the caretaker committee initially set up by the state government to restore peace and organise the town union election that ushered in the current executives, said the whole community was jubilant over the choice of Onuorah.
“I appeal for the cooperation and support of all to the Igwe for him to give us his best,” he stated.Chief Alphosus Ugochukwu said of the monarch” “He is a humble young man and my prayers is that he remains level-headed,” and counselled him to avoid listening to gossips and half-truth during his reign.
President General of the town union, Chief Cyril Ejidike, stressed that the emergence of the new Igwe followed due process and the people were happy about the development.
Meanwhile, Onuorah has already inaugurated a nine-man peace and reconciliation committee to approach all genuinely aggrieved indigenes with a view to assuaging them for the overall good of the community.
He charged the committee to reconcile all genuinely aggrieved individuals and groups and recommend sustainable ways to achieve a lasting peace in the community and amongst indigenes and ways to avoid a reoccurrence.
The monarch expressed readiness to made sacrifices where necessary for the sake and development of Oraukwu, just as he appealled to his subjects, including those in the Diaspora, to join the peace and reconciliation evangelism to enable the community make progress.
He disclosed of efforts to restore regular power supply and streetlight along major roads and rehabilitate major roads, as well as plans to check the ravaging effects of gully erosion within the community.
“I am not that type of monarch who would stay in the palace only to break kolanuts and pour libations. I was called by some well-meaning indigenes to come and take this stool and was nominated by the kingmakers in accordance with the laid down procedures, rules and regulations.
“Now that we have come this far, I implore everybody to forget all that had transpired. Let us work together in the interest of our community and our children,” the widely travelled lawyer-monarch told his people. Obiano had issued a Certificate of Recognition to Onuorah as the new monarch after “satisfying all the laid down process.”
But one of the contestants, Chief Ezedigbo Okoye, felt shortchanged and threatened to go to court to challenge it.For now, peace may have returned to Oraukwu and succession to the throne, even as the people earnestly look forward to development.