– By Patrick Ochei
Rising from a meeting of the Omus at the Omu Anioma Palace in Okpanam, the Omus from various communities of Anioma in Delta State have commended Anioma Traditional Rulers for their supports to the institution, adding that most Royal Fathers had given them the needed cooperation to carry out their spiritual and physical functions as kept by Anioma forebears.
The Omus gave this commendation during their August meeting to dissect critical issues affecting them and to project the way forward for the institution.
They equally sought greater synergies with the Traditional Rulers whom they referred as fathers to all, maintaining that an unfettered cooperation and partnership was necessary to enable them continue to discharge their duties seamlessly, especially in this period of festivals.
While speaking as the presiding leader of the Council, the Omu of Okpanam who doubles as Omu Anioma, HRM Obi Martha Dunkwu, particularly eulogized the sterling traditional leadership qualities of the Obuzor of Ibusa, HRM Obi Prof. Nwoboshi, Obi of Ubulu-Uno, HRM Obi Afamefuna Kikachukwu and Obi of Owa, HRM Obi Dr. Efeizomor whom she said started promoting the institution of Omu earlier and had given their best of supports in coordinating the leadership of the institution centrally and perfecting all written documents to government which enabled the issuance of certificate to Omu Dunkwu as Omu Anioma.
As part of her modest contribution towards the promotion of the institution, Obi Martha Dunkwu announced the registration of Centre for Omuship and Women Development Initiative, a platform to assist the Omus to advance their course as they continue to seek relevance and growth.
In addition to that, she equally announced the donation of a building in her Palace, which she said she had decided to pledge for the institution free of charge forever. She stated that the building would house artefacts and photographs of every Omu with a moulded statute of a late legendary Omu in front of the building.
Going forward, Omu Dunkwu affirmed that she had commissioned an Anioma historian, Elder Emeka Esogbue to do an expanded version of his first book on Omuship, to include the profile, image and interview of every Omu in a minimum of three pages in the book. According to her, free copies of the book would be distributed to all Traditional Rulers, community leaders, government offices, research institutions and friends of Omus.
Meanwhile, it was collectively agreed to inaugurate an annual Omu Otite Festival (Roasting of Yam) any time in September.
Speaking further, Omu Dunkwu explained that all these innovations were stemmed up for the purpose of tourism, research purposes and reigniting of Anioma value system.
At the meeting, the goodwill message of Ezinne of Issele-Uku Kingdom, Chief Barr. Mrs. Ada Josephine Kachikwu who has joined the Omus in campaign for every community to reinvent the Omu throne was read.
She had commended the Omus, in particular Omu Anioma for her traditional patriotism by bringing back the dignity of the ancient Omu leadership system for the purpose of inculcating sound values in the young ones while leaving behind an enduring legacy of a unifying culture and tradition of Anioma people.
Also read was the goodwill of Historian Emeka Esogbue which further boosted the motivation base of the Omus, invariably as evidence that our people appreciate the enormous work they are doing.
His words, “Not a few Anioma people have woken up to joyfully know and to see that our revered Anioma culture has been taken across the international borders. Many thanks to Your Majesties that have gathered here today to continue in your chart for the way forward for our people under the able leadership of HRM Obi Dr Martha Dunkwu, the Omu of Okpanam/Anioma.
“I recognize that our socio-cultural strata must exist side by side the political layer for our societal wheels to function oily well. Something is happening in Anioma and that is our Omuship, an institution unique to us. The Anioma people have attained international recognition and acclaimed status, as a unique testimony in the patriotic mouths of all.
“There’s no doubt that HRM Obi Dr Martha Dunkwu, the Omu of Okpanam/Anioma is gathering, putting together and
establishing in Anioma, a global cultural centre before our eyes and I personally, call on the Delta State Government to support her efforts through provisions of enabling environment.
From among the Anioma cultural custodians, the Omu had staged a glorious stay in the revolutionary vanguardism of culture to the world. Well-meaning Anioma people should also lend a helping hand to complete this progress.
“As you sit together in this meeting of the minds, I re-iterate my earlier call to Aniocha and Oshimili Councils to prove the motherly mandate in them by approving monthly salaries for the Omus in Anioma. The people have realized that you are deserving of monthly salaries as regal authorities. You, the Omus are entitled to monthly salaries from the government coffers and the Local Government Chairpersons are entitled to proving that the will of the people is their command”, stated Elder Emeka Esogbue.
The meeting was attended by HRM Obi Martha Dunkwu, Omu of Okpanam/Omu Anioma, HRM Omu Onyebuchibe Okonkwo, Omu of Obior, HRM Omu Lobe Nokwaba, Omu of Ukala and newly inducted HRM Omu Esther Obiogwa, Omu of Ugbolu.
However, Omu of Ewulu and Omu of Ilah were excused as a result of old age, while Omu of Issele-Uku was unavoidably absent having participated in her community’s ‘Ilo Uyangbe’ festival during the day and Omu Onicha-Uku was said to have travelled before the meeting was fixed.
Others who attended the meeting were admitted on representative basis. And generally, the Omus resolved to continue to be good ambassadors of Anioma tradition and women; be above board by always dressing well and conducting themselves properly in public as true Queen Mothers that they are.