Nri Kingdom, the age-long custodian of the Igbo customs and civilisation will on Saturday, February 23, confer titles on some prominent sons of the Igbo nation who have contributed to the Igbo nation and sacrificed personally for the preservation of the Igbo civilisation. At the next Iguaro, New Year Igbo Calender, the Eze Nri, His Royal Majesty, Eze Nri Obidiegwu O. Onyesoh (MFR) would in the annual ceremonies confer chieftaincy titles on three prominent Igbo sons.
To receive the revered Nri titles include Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, Chief Orji Kalu and Emma Okocha from Anioma, Delta. In a letter signed by Chief Chijioke Ifeka from the palace confirming the conferment of the titles, the palace appealed to the chiefs to help in the restoration of the Kenneth Dike Igbo Museum, which since the death of the historian had suffered degradation. Ukiwe, Daily Sun gathered, would be conferred with the highest chieftaincy title of the Ikenga Igbo.
Former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Kalu, would take the revered title of Kpakpando Igbo. Author and historian, Emma Okocha, the palace sources disclosed, would be conferred with the title of Onyeamuma Odenigbo. Reacting to the announcement coming from the palace, Dr. Nkadi Ejeko told Daily Sun that, “this is a welcome development coming at a time when some brothers here are deluding themselves and debating whether they are Igbos or not. We are mainly Umunri and as a native of Ogwashi Ukwu we have a historic relationship with the Nris and the conferment of Onyeamuma Odenigbo title to our prophet and the conscience of the Anioma people is consoling to those of us who have not disowned our heritage.”
The Ukrainean trained doctor disclosed that, “the Umunri Worldwide Association worked hard with the palace to establish a scientific index and requisites before we arrived on those to be conferred with these titles. He said that, “Commodore Ukiwe, no doubt, will fill the vacuum created by the death of General Ojukwu and the whole Igbos will be there on February 23 to hand over leadership to a new crop of Igbo leaders who, over the years, have worked for us and demanded nothing for their services.
On Chief Kalu, Ejeko said, “I have never met the man but I read his newspapers, The Sun. We did not hesitate to recommend him for the title of Kpakpando. That young man is bringing the Igbo world to the universe through the publication of Africa’s highest circulating newspaper. Meanwhile, in Asaba, the news of the Nri title conferment on Okocha was greeted with great joy and gratitude. A leader of the Ekumeku and cousin, Chief Eso Amantu, said the Ekumeku did not celebrate or engage in the mundane but would perform in Nri.