By Sunny A Ijomah
The Chairman of Oshimili North Local Government Council, Hon. Innocent Esewezie, has said that his administration would put up a constitutional provision that would give recognition to Omus in the Local Government Area
He also said he would as well assign roles to the Omus who are female traditional rulers and pay them monthly stipends as applicable to the male Monarchs in the Local Government Area.
Hon. Esewezie made the declaration when he led the legislative arm of the Council to the Omu Annual Otite Festival which held at the Omu Anioma’s Palace, Obi Dr. Martha Dunkwu, on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
“Our administration in Oshimili North will give a role to Omus in Oshimili North. What we see around is the personal effort of the Omu to promote the culture of the Anioma people. With a law backing the role of the Omu, we will begin to see more impact of the Omu.
“Without her effort, what would have happened to the Omu institution in Anioma land. We will pass executive bill to the legislature in Oshimili North to give special recognition to the Omus in the local government. They need recognition by the government in Delta state. We will still commence payment of stipends to them.
“The Omus are the people who protect and defend the voice of our people. I’m calling on my fellow Chairman in Anioma to do the same. When we meet as Anioma Chairman, we will push for it,” Esewezie said.
The local government Chairman said the Omu Anioma, Obi Martha Dunkwu, is playing a very ctitical role in Anioma land. He said the Omu has successfully showcased the culture of Anioma land to the World.
In her address, Omu Dunkwu took time to explain the meaning of Otite (Roasting of Yam) Festival and why it was decided to make it an all Omus in Anioma affair.
She also gave the etimology of Omu by research from late Prof. Mike Angwulu Onwuejiogwu (Founder of the Anthropology Dept. of University of Benin), adding that the Omu Institution is over 700 years.
She affirmed that the institution was going into extinction but for her activities, campaigns and advocacies when she came in, there is now light at the end of the tunnel with individuals all over the world now identifying with the institution.
“I am an incurable optimist who believes that whatever I do with result in mind, is a physical manifestation of a spiritual conclusion. We have a duty to our various communities as Omus, and we equally have a duty to Anioma as a blessed land already manifesting glowingly to the world,” Obi Dunkwu said.
As a mother who believes that Omus are not being treated fairly, she called on the Oshimili North Local Government Chairman to initiate policies to be the first among equals to start paying Omus in his local government.
She said she had been on this advocacy for years, not because she needed the money, but for those who can’t afford to cope as Omus. She noted that the local government is in the market collecting revenues where an Omu is supposed to earn her daily living; and besides, she is not being paid by her community or any other agency of government.
Her words: “My son, Hon. Innocent Esewezie, if you do this for me, no matter how small the amount is, I will forever remain grateful to you. I have always loved your youthfulness, carriage, finesse and comportment as a progressive young and enlightened mind. This is a very serious matter that needs urgent attention. The Omus are suffering, they need support to carry out their duties, assigned to them by our forefathers and various communities,” she appealed.