The Sun News

Umukabia installs first monarch with pomp and pageantry

…As natives recount interesting history of Abia autonomous community

From Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia

Like the biblical David, who God chose while he was in the wilderness tending his father’s sheep, Eze Uzor Nwosu, Ojim 1 of Ojim Ukwu Nnu Egbe, did not contest nor stand for an election for the throne of Umukabia Alaike Autonomous Community in Ohuhu, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State.

Nwosu emerged as a consensus candidate and popular choice of his people. Thus his coronation at the Umukabia Central School playground recently was described by the people as divine.

Oriental News learnt that the people of Umukabia, known to be home of professors, doctors, lawyers, political bigwigs and people of diverse make-ups,   agreed with one voice that he should rule them. It was also gathered that Ojim 1of Ojim Ukwu Nnu Egbe is a revered title that could only be given to a king that is widely accepted by his people.

On the day of the installation, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu was chosen to chair the occasion attended by prominent personalities from across the country and beyond.

Associate Professor, Iheanyi Nwosu and chairman of Central Planning Committee of the event, speaking on the history of the Umukabia people traced its origin to Amanze Obowo in Imo State, from where Ukabia, the founder of the community migrated with his brother Nkata, and others, in a horde, to their present place of abode.

“They arrived at Nkwoegwu, and drove away Obani people who were then occupants of the area that is today known as Nkwoegwu Community. Years later, due to lack of space and land being infertile to yam production, for they were great yam farmers, Ukabia left Nkwoegwu area for Nkata his brother, moved his family across the popular Ikwu River and settled at their present place of abode called Umukabia.  Here he had two sons, Ezeaguma, his first son and Agbom, his second, who make up the community that is today called Umukabia,” he said.

He pointed out that Umukabia, a community of 16 villages, had been under Nkwoegwu Autonomous Community with the late Ikechi Nwadinobi as its traditional ruler until 2000 when they formed an alliance with Umulenso to get Okauiga Alaike Autonomous Community. The late Eze Nwaubani emerged the traditional ruler. For reasons not known to the Umukabia people, the people of Umulenso abandoned the palace of Eze Nwaubani for nine good years, he said.

“When Eze Nwaubani joined his ancestors, the Eze-in-Council, under the able chairmanship of Chief Nwabisi Utaegbulem, a former traditional Prime Minister of Okaiuga Autonomous Community in consultation with some illustrious sons of the community moved for the creation of Umukabia Autonomous Community,” he added.

According to an Umukabia son, Mr Ezechukwu Adimoha, of the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA),  Eze Nwosu never encountered a single opposition from the very moment his name was mentioned as the  one to reign over them as traditional ruler.

“Even those who would have loved to vie for that position withdrew on their own because of his name that was mentioned; it is possible, but hard to find someone whose pedigree can match that of Eze Nwosu,” Adimoha said. “He has endeared himself to the entire Umukabia people through his numerous outstanding acts of philanthropy which has impacted positively on many lives and this he does in style by awarding scholarships to indigent students, providing employment and empowering artisans to set up their own businesses.

“He derives pleasure in helping people. He is a man of the people who relates with the high and low in the society, irrespective of the circumstances. He may not be the richest in Umukabia, but God gave him that spirit to magnanimously give out to the needy, there are many rich Umukabains who have never shown to anybody including members of their own immediate family, but Eze Nwosu is different. Almost everyone has directly or indirectly benefitted from his fountain of kindness.”

The acting President General of Umukabia Progressive Movement, Federated, Comrade Echeta Akujobi Johnson, in a chat with Oriental News said that the dream of the Umukabia people of having their own traditional ruler has become a reality with the installation of Eze Nwosu as the first traditional ruler of the Umukabia people.

His words: “Eze Uzor Nwosu, the Ojim 1 of Ojim Ukwu Nnu Egbe, comes from a family of means. His father owned the first storey building in Umukabia Community, but despite his privileged background, he remained humble and worked very hard on his own to attain greatness and prominence by charting an independent existence early in life. “He attended the Methodist Central School, Umukabia where the installation took place, and Williams Memorial Secondary School, Afugiri, all in Umuahia North LGA of Abia State. On completion of his secondary education, he went to Sokoto in northern Nigeria and joined his father’s business, but he later set up his own business with base in Sokoto State.

“Through diligence, he expanded his tentacles to Abuja, Lagos and other parts of Nigeria as one who believes in excellence and had in the course of running his businesses availed himself of several courses and programmes in his chosen career in and outside the country.”

A certain elderly woman from the community described the monarch as an epitome of goodness and selflessness.

Also, Elder Justice Amah Agwu, the secretary of the Central Planning Committee, described him as a man whose philanthropic and humanitarian inbuilt have propelled to greater heights while Emeka Nwosu, an Abuja-based media practitioner said that the unanimous choice by the entire Umukabia Community of Eze Nwosu is an indication that he is a man of the people.

In his speech, Nwosu who expressed his joy at the massive turnout of people at his coronation, thanked the Abia State governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, for creating the autonomous community, the planning committees for making the occasion possible and all Umukabia sons and daughters and other stakeholders for finding him worthy of the honour. “The 16 villages unanimously elected me to serve as their pioneer Eze,” he enthused. “I am overwhelmed by the unity of purpose, love and solidarity they have demonstrated in making me their choice.”

He solicited the support, co-operation and understanding of his people, at home and abroad, saying that together they would take the autonomous community to a greater height.

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