HRM OF OWA CONFERS TITLES ON MANY DESERVING PERSONS

Honour was given to those whom honour was due at the 50th coronation anniversary of His Royal Majesty, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II (JP), OON, at the palace ground, Owa-Oyibu, Ika North East Local Government Area, when chieftaincy titles were conferred on notable sons and daughters of Ika land, including non-indigenes who, in their individual efforts, have made the nation proud, and also noted by the Obi for their exceptional qualities.

The chairman, Organizing Body of the entire event, Hon. Justice (Chief) S.A. Ehiwario (Rtd.), the Okiroro of Owa kingdom, rolled out the drums by first giving accolades to His Royal Majesty for his magnanimity and discretion in recognizing the awardees of the chieftaincy titles, saying that it will enhance peace, unity and progress in the running of affairs in the entire Owa kingdom. He also took time to mention some of the sterling qualities of the men and women who were given the chieftaincy titles in the presence of relatives, friends and well-wishers and a crowd of visitors.

Conferring the chieftaincy titles on the recipients, the Obi of Owa, Dr. Emmanuel Efizomor II told the gathering that he was very much delighted to have been associated with some of them, and have noticed their exemplary conduct over the years. He paid glowing tributes to Ambassador (Chief) Olusegun Olusola, who came from the Western part of the country to receive his chieftaincy award; saying that in Yoruba land the elder statesman has touched the lives of many Nigerians in a very unique way. The title of Ogibumeze of Owa kingdom was consequently conferred on him. Chief Mrs. Mary Oshiegbu who was conferred with the title of Oriowe of Owa kingdom, was noted by the Obi for her immense contributions to the development of Ika land, also helping even those who are in need, and educating them. She was also given an American citizenship recently by the American government. Mrs. Alice Nwaebo who was given the title of Odozi Aku of Owa kingdom was recognized for being one of the first women who went to school abroad and came back to Nigeria to work in high positions. She was advised to continue in her good works and see to the development of the kingdom. Mr. Paul Osemele was conferred with the title of Igirigi Enweiwe of Owa kingdom. While Dr. Obiagulu Melekwe was praised for his educational qualities by the Obi. He was given the title of Obazenu of Owa kingdom. Mr. Stanley B.C. Onyibe was noted for his leadership qualities as principal of different schools. He has also given scholarship to students in tertiary institution and helped in the establishment of health centres in Owa land. He was conferred with the title of Obazuwaye of Owa kingdom. A retired army officer who later became a school principal and from Owa Ofie, Mr. Stanley Ehianuta was conferred with the title of Odafe Arakeze of Owa kingdom. He was enjoined by the Obi to help develop the Ofie community and allow the village to maintain a good name.

Speaking to Ika Weekly shortly after his conferment, the Ogibumeze of Owa kingdom, Chief Olusegun Olusola said that he was highly pleased to have been given such a honour by a highly placed monarch from outside his community. "It gives me an additional challenge. It is like recognizing in part, some of the relationship I had set. I worked in Enugu for five years, as zonal Managing Director of the Nigeria Television Authority. I did not take a title. I met HRM at a time when we both determined that this part of the country must be enlightened. The meaning of the title given me, by Kabiyesi, the Obi of Owa kingdom is The Bringer of Kalanut and you know that bringing kolanut is like bringing life; and by the grace of God I will certainly perform like a person who will continually exchange kolanuts with my colleagues here," he said. He urged the Obi to continue to do his work progressively and for his people to read carefully the book which the great monarch has written concerning the Owa kingdom; saying that by so doing, and by putting into practice most of the instructions contained in the book, Owa kingdom will witness greater change for the betterment of her people. "The Obi is a very strong advocate of peace, and that is where our paths crossed; and we will always meet and work along those lines," he concluded.

Towards the end of the conferment exercise, cultural dance troops from different parts of Owa kingdom entertained the gathering with their mesmerizing dance steps. The chiefs and elders of the different communities that make up Owa kingdom also paid homage to the Obi.

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