By Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Nnewi
The Oba community in Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State, has said that being wealthy or not, will not be one of their considerations in choosing the replacement for its late traditional ruler, Ezeokpoko Oba, Igwe Peter Ezenwa.
It also said that the contest for who replaces the revered late traditional ruler of Oba, is open to all carders of responsible individuals that will meet up the requirement set by the community, but noted that being or not being rich is not one of the conditions, as it is going to ensure a level playing ground for all contestants to the seat of Ezeokpoko II.
Speaking through its Regent Prince Noel Ezenwa, the community disclosed that it is building an N166 million Permanent Traditional Rulers Palace for the would-be Ezeokpoko II of Oba, to ensure a smooth transition for the lucky person to succeed the affluent late Ezeokpoko, Igwe Ezenwa.
“The idea of a permanent Ezeokpoko II Palace was originally brought up by one of the members of the late Ezeokpoko’s cabinet, while Ezeokpo, Igwe Ezenwa, himself was sitting.
“The Chief mentioned the idea five years ago and it was accepted as a very courageous idea and no negative reaction followed the suggestion, and Ezeokpoko himself and I took it up and started planning about it.
“We knew that after Igwe Ezenwa, the Ezeokpoko Oba, there must be a permanent site for Igwe’s Palace, knowing that we should not decide the faith of the next traditional ruler after Ezeokpoko, simply because the personality has a large or small house, rich or poor, but should rather be by one’s capacity to handle the leadership of the town to positively affect the people.”
Already, according to the Oba Regent, Prince Ezenwa, over N30 million naira has been realized in a mini launching conducted last December for the Permanent Igwe Oba Palace project, during the Annual General Assembly, of Oba community, held at Oba Civic Center.
Describing the permanent Igwe Oba Palace project as a great accomplishment that will ensure a smooth transition during the selection/election of the next Ezeokpoko II, the Oba Regent said that the community has directed the President General of Oba Patriotic Union, OPU, to announce and make the provision of guidelines and the schedule of the process for the selection/election of the new Igwe, known to the people and contestants.
“The Permanent Ezeokpoko II Palace is an N166 million permanent Palace project that will have facilities, such as the Obi Igwe, stadium seating for VIP, Chiefs and Cabinet, OPU and Oba people in general, Ofala arena, parking space, Medical Center, Security building, Out Nze na Ozo Omenaana facility, Garden, Powerhouse, existing buildings, Civic Center, WC Complex and Library.”
Prince Ezenwa also disclosed that apart from the Permanent Ezeokpoko II Palace project, the community is embarking on reforms that will take it to the next level of development, place it on the highest committee of communities in Nigeria and also change some wrong and negative perceptions people have about it.