– By Patrick Ochei
It was indeed a memorable day as the cerebral and amiable Omu Okpanam/Omu Anioma/Nneoha, HRM Obi Martha Dunkwu recounted her life’s journey with tears of joy on the 19th October, 2022.
The Omu Anioma who clocked 67 on this day, was taken by surprise as her children and mentees woke her up with music and dancing conducted by the voice of Emma Sax.
Dancing emotionally with this group of people to the site of the Royal Residence being constructed for her by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and then back to the Palace, Omu Dunkwu took time to recount her journey of life.
She revealed that she was born by poor parents and was taken away by a relation at age two, adding that she returned as a big girl during the war where people had to point her parents and their thatched house to her.
She stated that having seen the pauperised state of her parents, she therefore, determined to succeed in life to lift her family out of poverty.
Omu Dunkwu affirmed that her determination as a clerical staff with the Ministry of Finance in Bendel State, took her to England and America to further her studies.
She said she returned to Nigeria over 38 years ago, was able to build her parents a house at the age of 25, trained her siblings who are all doing well presently outside the shores of Nigeria and was able to build a consultancy business that had managed the image of the Oba of Benin of blessed memory and other top Nigerians.
Omu Dunkwu said she dreamt of joining politics to contribute to leadership through politics but was interrupted by the call to become an Omu.
However, before then, she had risen through dint of hardwork to become the first female president of Asaba Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ASACCIMA) and then first female president of Delta State Council of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (DELCCIMA). She didn’t stop there but rose to become the pioneer Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and currently holds the position of Life Vice President of NACCIMA.
The woman with the most deliberate philosophical slogan “Image Is Everything”, has indeed brought visibility into the ancient institution of Omu since becoming the Omu of Okpanam over two decades ago and Omu Anioma over 12 years now.
According to her, “I have done my best, I have been patriotic enough all these years, to the effect that I dedicated my life and resources to the growth and development of my community and of course, Anioma Nation. I promoted the institution of Omu and Anioma Culture in a way that no one else had done. I brought renaissance into our tradition and culture.
“In doing these, I faced monumental opposition and challenges. I didn’t look back because I represent the forces of light, which will in perpetuity defeat the forces of darkness.
“I make bold to state that God has always given me victory, because He has seen my heart and my purpose. I am not deterred because what I do is a physical manifestation of a spiritual conclusion”, Omu Dunkwu posited.
Speaking further, Obi Martha Dunkwu specifically appreciated a number of persons who have supported him in prayers, finance, media publicity and others.
She thanked the mother of the Minority Leader and Member representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, Mama Elumelu for her prayers and motherly support.
The Omu profusely thanked Ndudi Elumelu who had commenced the building of the Omu Residence for her through his constituency projects, maintaining that the gesture was marvelous to him.
She also thanked the Director General of Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency, Hon. Joan Onyemaechi for visiting and taking up the responsibility of painting the entire Omu Palace for her, praying to God to continue to embolden her in her political journey.
Not stopping there, Omu Dunkwu sent a message of prayer to Brig. Gen. Raymond Nani Ochei for being an illustrious son of Anioma who never fails to show concern to her person in times of need.
Furthermore, Omu Dunkwu eulogized her Abuja based god-daughter and renowned lawyer, Barr. Juachi Adaeze Ezete for her affection and quantum of love always expressed in giving without restraint.
For Comrade Mrs. Stella Macaulay, Omu Anioma described her as a wonderful daughter who has continued to make her proud in all ramifications. Same accolades went to Ogbuenyi High Chief Paul Eloke Uduh and wife, and of course, Chief (Mrs) Josephine Ada Kachikwu for their undiluted affection and support all these years.
It was indeed a great day as Omu Dunkwu cut her birthday cake dancing to the ‘buga’ song. The event was sumptuously put together by the Functioning Permanent Secretary in the State Bureau of Orientation, Comrade Mrs. Stella Macaulay, an Abuja based lawyer, Barr. Adaeze Ezete, NUJ Delta State Council’s Secretary, Comrade Patrick Ochei and Ogbuenyi and Mrs. Uduh.
Others who attended the occasion included the Omu of Obior, HRH Omu Onyebuchibe Okonkwo, the Founder of the Courageous Girls, Women and Children Initiative, Ayovuata Courage Uyoyou and crew, NUJ Delta State Council’s Auditor, Comrade Celestine Afokobah, GM of Bridge Radio, Comrade Gospel Amaliamifeobu, Mr. and Mrs. Tony and others too numerous to mention.