Maduako Igbokwe l Sunday, December 25, 2022
ANAMBRA, Nigeria – The traditional ruler of Ikem Invite community in Anambra East local government area of Anambra State, HRM, Igwe Simon Obidike, has said that he will confer chieftaincy titles on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, a renowned business man, Jesse Chidama, Kabiru Rabiu and other two persons from north at his maiden Ofala festival slated to hold on 1st and 2nd 2023.
He said that they will be honoured with various chieftaincy titles along other prominent Nigerians across tribes. According to him, the five northerners are renowned technocrats, politicians and astute business men who have distinguished themselves in characters and service to humanity.
The monarch who spoke in his palace at Ikem Invite said that his ascendency to the throne was a child of circumstance, noting that he would use the office to serve his people selflessly.
The monarch, a former Director in the presidency, said he would also honour others from different states and ethnic nationalities across Nigeria – because of their outstanding contributions to the development of politics, economy, and human capital developments; as well as their roles in maintaining peaceful coexistence in their different areas of endeavours.
He said he has lived most of his life outside his area and was exposed to great men and women while serving the country at different capacities.
” I started my career in Lagos and worked with all Nigerians retiring at presidency. I have met many Nigerians and we had good relations” he said
He said Ofala is a festival of thanksgiving for any traditional institution in Igbo land, when the monarch invites his subjects, friends and well-wishers for merry making. He also described Ofala as marking the beginning of a new year in the life of any traditional ruler.
“I never planned to become a king. I was a career civil servant. But the demise of Eze-Ezu I coincided with my retirement; and because our constitution makes room for rotational monarchy, the kinship was zoned to by quarter. So, being the Onowu ( prime minister) – second in command to the former king, my people unanimously endorsed me as their candidate to the throne.
“After the last honour for the deceased former king, I was invited to attend a meeting in my community, where my people adopted me as their consensus candidate to the throne. I told them I never wanted to be a king, but that if I would accept the offer, it was because they requested me to be their monarch. I told them that my plan was to retire peacefully, and join politics – not to contest elections, but to raise young men and women from my community, who will play active roles in politics.” he said .
The traditional ruler also recounted his ugly days on the throne, said there were times when several attempts were made to take his life because of the throne. He therefore, urged that those who feel aggrieved should approach the court, instead of taking law into their hands.
He also regretted that ascending the throne limited his effort to give one hundred percent time to politics and raising people in the game of politics, because of the apolitical nature of the throne; but promised to play advisory roles for his people wishing to join politics.