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Photos: Former Gov Omehia Bags Highest Ikwerre Chieftaincy Title

 


Sir Celestine Ngozichim Omehia, joins league of traditional title holders in Ikwerre  


Former governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Ngozichim Omehia, has joined the league of traditional title holders in his Ikwerre ethnic nationality following his coronation as the Eze Gbuwara Uzor 1 of Ikwerre land (translated 'The King that paved the way').


Orange Magazine was At the colourful ceremony held at St. Peter's Primary School Field, Isiokpo, headquarters of Ikwerre Local Government Area, on Saturday, the Supreme Council of Government Recognized Ikwerre Traditional Rulers conferred the title on Omehia in what they said, was premised on his numerous achievements and contributions to the advancement of Ikwerre land, notable among them was his emergence as the first Executive Governor of Ikwerre extraction.


Ten cannon shots heralded the arrival of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, who came with a horde of dignitaries including former Katsina State governor, Barrister Ibrahim Shehu Shama; Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom, King Dandison Jaja; Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Senator George Thompson Sekibo; former Deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Austin Opara and immediate past Chairman of PDP in Rivers State, Bro. Felix Obuah.


Decked in full regalia of his stool, with a beaded flowing red gown, feathered long hat, and a gold plaited staff to match, Sir Omehia became the cynosure of all eyes at the event which also had Senator Lee Maeba; former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Precious Sekibo; member representing Ikwerre/Emohua in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Boniface Emerengwa in attendance.


Also present was Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (South-South), Chief Dan Orbih;President-General of Ogbakor-Ikwerre (worldwide), Professor Emenike Wami; Kagote Leader, Hon. EmmahDeeya; former and current Vice Chancellors of the Rivers State University (RSU), Professors Blessing Didia and Professor Okogbule respectively, renowned Economist, Professor OkeyOnuchukwu and a horde of top rankingpoliticians and captains of industry.


The Executive Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Hon (Engr.) Samuel Nwanosike and his team had a busy day, as they paced up and down the venue and environs, to ensure the observance of Covid-19 protocols and free flow of traffic as well as the safety of visitors and vehicles.


Led by the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Government Recognized Ikwerre Traditional Rulers and Eze Oha Apara IV, Eze Chike Amadi Worlu-Wodo, all the government recognized traditional rulers in Ikwerre ethnic nationality were also present at the history making chieftaincy installation.


The ceremony which was also graced with the presence of Ohna Sergeant Awuse, showcased Ikwerre traditional dances as the Onyemgbe Cultural Group of Ubimaentrapped the audience with a rare display of hitting knives around the legs. 

But the star performance came from the famous Ochaliri Wrestling Group of Omuanwa. With a high-pitched voice, the singer captivated the audience as he eulogized Governor Wike, Omehia and other personalities present at the event. As the praise-singing continued, a group of wrestlers engaged in mock display, drawing applause from the audience.  


Unable to resist the drumbeat, Omehia rose from his seat, danced towards the wrestlers, who lifted their hands in sporting salute amid another spontaneous applause from the crowd.


Governor Wike who could not hide his excitement at the event, praised Ikwerre traditional rulers for choosing to honour former governor Omehia whom he described as an illustrious son of Ikwerre land.


“What you have done today shows that you know what is good.  It is good to honour a man when he is alive that when he is dead.


“Omehia is one of those who have supported this government, so we must come to honour him.  He is very humble and unassuming”, Governor Wike said, even as he also showered encomiums on Omehia's wife, Dame Dr. Anthonia Omehia who was also conferred with the traditional title of 'Ugwu Eze 1' of Ikwerre land.


Orange reporter also gathered that The governor also pointed out the dialectical differences in Ikwerre language, observing that in his section of Ikwerre, the title would read 'Eze GbuworuApa' rather than 'Eze GbuwaraUzor', as according to him, 'Apa' and 'Uzor' means Road.


In his address, the Chairman of the occasion, Rt. Hon. Austin Opara described the event as special as that was the first time Ikwerre Government Recognized Traditional Rulers was conferring a chieftaincy title on a son of the soil.


He reminded the recipient that the title carried enormous responsibility and urged him to ensure that the peace enjoyed in Ikwerre land was sustained.


Nyenweli Eli Isiokpo, Eze Blessing Wagor who is Chairman of Council of Government Recognized Traditional Rulers, Ikwerre Local Government Area, in his goodwill message, paid glowing tributes to Sir Omehia, saying that the chieftaincy conferment is a demonstration of the love Ikwerre had for him.


“He has behaved well.  We are proud of him and shall open our special envelope for him after the coronation”, he promised.


Similarly, former Katsina State Governor, Barrister Ibrahim Shehu Shama commended the Ikwerre traditional rulers for honouring Omehia whom he said was his close friend and associate.


He said he had known both Omehia and Governor Wike from the 90s when he did his NYSC in the defunct NAFCON, describing Omehia as 'humility personified' while praising Wike for doing excellent job in Rivers State.


In his goodwill message, the Administrator of the Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Anabraba, described Omehia as an amiable person who is highly respected and loved by all.


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Loveth Ogedegbe: Thursday, 18 February 2021 at 2/18/2021 10:33:00 pm

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