. . . Call for United, Prosperous Nigeria
By Abuchi Onwumelu
The traditional rulers of the South East and South South regions have ended their seminar in Awka with a call on Ndigbo to disabuse their minds of the notion of the Igbo having no king. The seminar raises hopes of stronger ties between the diverse cultural groups in the old Eastern Region.
This is the first time in several decades that the traditional rulers of both regions would be meeting under one roof to discuss issues of common interest.
Led by the Chairman of South East Traditional Rulers Council, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, the Seminar holds under the theme, “Igbo Nwelu Eze: Perspectives on the Traditional Institution in Ani Igbo.”
The Seminar seeks to cast a beam of light on the nebulous issue of leadership among several other important issues in the old Eastern Region.
Addressing the gathering, the Chairman, Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, and the traditional ruler of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, regretted the killings and destruction of crops by the herdsmen and their cattle, noting that it had affected adversely the agricultural produce of the region, as well as resulting in communities living in fear.
He called on the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Speaking on the significance of the event, Igwe Achebe noted that the annual event provided them the opportunity to review their score cards for the past year, layout the agenda for the year ahead, adding that the traditional institution would not relent in ensuring peace in the country.
The Onitsha monarch used the occasion to announce the formation of a synergy and collaboration among traditional rulers of the old Eastern Region, which according to him, would mark a new beginning.
In an address, the Seminar Committee Chairman and the Deputy Chairman, Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Isaac Okafor of Okpuno, expressed the hope that the participants would go home better informed on the evolution of kingship in Igboland.
In a paper presentation, the keynote Speaker at the event, Dr Chidozie Chukwuokolo noted that Igbo revival lay within and not without.
Addressing the traditional rulers, the Anambra State Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and the chairman Board of Trustees (BoT) of ASATU, Ichie Damian Okeke Ogene, called on the royal fathers to be alive to their responsibility and shun divide and rule tendency in their various communites, saying that for any meaningful development to take place there must be a lasting peace between the traditional rulers and presidents general of various towns.
In their separate remarks, the traditional ruler of Nanka, Igwe Godwin Ezeilo and his Oraukwu counterpart, Igwe Emeka Onuorah, described the traditional institution as a very important element in achieving sustainable peace.
The event which had its theme as “IGBO NWELU EZE”, and the eighth in its series, attracted over seven chairmen of the State Traditional Rulers Councils across the old Eastern Region, including Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Akwa-Ibom, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu among others.
Some members of the newly inaugurated Seventh House of Assembly, the Anambra State Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Chief Damian Okeke Ogene, the National President of Anambra State Association of Town Unions, Chief. Alex Onukwue, among other dignitaries, attended the event.