Akwuukwu Declares Traditional Rulers Throne Vacant after Last Offala for Igwe Offorkaja

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By Uzo Ugwunze

The throne of the Traditional Ruler of Akwuukwu Community in Idemili South LGA, Anambra State has been declared vacant after nearly three decades that it took the town to come together and celebrate the last offala for the Late Igwe Thomas Offorkaja ( Ijilija 1 of Akwuukwu).

The throne was officially declared vacant by the Spokesman, Nze na Ozo Akwuukwu, Ogbuefi Chief Nnamdi Ejimbe(Nnanyelugo) making it open for activities leading to the selection cum election of a new Igwe to commence.

It was a festival for Traditional rulers, spirits and masquerades as the la creme de creme of Umu Akwuukwu both at home and in Diaspora thronged the palace of the late monarch to bid him farewell on his journey to the great beyond.

Speaking during the occasion the Anambra State Commissioner for Culture, Entertainment and Tourism, Don Onyenji said that his community Akwuukwu prepared very well for the last offala of their late Igwe adding that Igbos believe that until a dead person’s funeral ceremony takes place the person may not reach his destination in the great beyond.

“Today, you can witness the last offala of Igwe Ijikala 1 of Akwuukwu in our own style. Traditional rulers came in numbers, There are Masquerade displays, women dance troupes, Enough eating and drinking.

“Wether first, second or last,offala is the same. The difference is the person on the throne today who dressed and danced the traditional dances the way the late Igwe used to do it.

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“Without a last offala you cannot enthrone a new Igwe. After this, Akwuukwu may begin the search for another traditional ruler for the vacant throne.

“Igwe is a symbol of culture and tradition. The duty of a traditional ruler is enormous. He unites and ensures that peace reigns in the community,” Onyenji said.

According to the President General (PG) Akwuukwu, Comrade Udoka Ejiakor KSM, today is the last Offala of Igwe Thomas I Offorkaja and it has been a success. You saw when the seat was declared vacant by the Nze na Ozo society.

“As the PG who was able to ensure the successful celebration of this last offala after many years, I urge Akwuukwu to embrace peace, dialogue and understanding as we commence the process of letting a new Igwe who will guide the town emerge.

“Ezenagu ora – Everyone has interest in becoming king but you can have the spirit to say for the interest of peace let me step down for my brother to become the Igwe,” Ejiakor said.

The PG Emeritus, Mr Uchenna Anayo said that he was happy that the program they initiated was being accomplished:”This offala should have taken place over 30years ago but all the same it has come to pass. Akwuukwu has lagged behind in area of ozo titles, ndi ichie because there was no traditional ruler to coordinate them but after now progress and development will ensue”.

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Royal fathers who graced the last Offala from the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council (ASTRC) in their separate remarks advised Akwuukwu community to ensure a peaceful transition as they go about selecting their next monarch knowing that the community have lost certain privileges for not having an Igwe for close to 30 years.

ASTRC Vice Chairman Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, Igwe Surv. Charles Agbala of Uke prayed that as the community was able to eventually unite and hold the last offala with neither violence nor court injunction they should produce their next Igwe seamlessly.

Also, ASTRC Chairman, Idemili South LGA, Igwe Engr. Nich Obi of Nnobi advised Akwuukwu community to accept anyone who eventually emerges no matter the Akwuukwu family,kindred, village or quarters their next traditional ruler comes from saying that it is not in the interest of the LGA that any town operates without an Igwe.

HRH Sir Joseph C Ajodo from ASTRC Anambra North Senatorial Zone and Igwe Peter Nebechukwu Ezeamama of Enugu Umeonyia Orumba South LGA advised Akwuukwu to pray to God to give them the right person who will be there king.

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“They should follow their Constitution and chose a wise, humble and understanding person. Their choice should not be based on riches, political connection, violence or unhealthy rivalry knowing ‘ adi azo eze azo’ but God makes Kings,” they said.

Earlier the foster son of Late Igwe Thomas Offorkaja Chief Sylvester Obi Offokaja(Ezeudo) and late Igwe’s grandson Mr Nnamdi Offorkaja described the late monarch as a great man and a peace maker when he was alive thanking Akwuukwu people, friends and well-wishers and everyone who came from far and near to show their last respect to Igwe Ijikala 1 of Akwuukwu.

The Security Coordinator Special Squad, Ifeanyi Obumneme, Youth president, Surv Patrick Obumneme and Youth Commander,Anthony Osadebe were all happy that the long overdue last offala was talking place saying that they will do their best to contribute in ensuring that nobody uses the youths to forment trouble as Akwuukwu commence the process of selecting a new monarch.

Dignitaries that made occasion colourful include, the Idemili South LGA Chairman, Hon Mrs Amaka Obi( Iyom Ife- abata Idemili), Honorable councilors/liason officers both present and past, Traditional rulers from the three Senatorial zones in Anambra State.

Highlights of the occasion include traditional ufie and abia dances, masquerade display, women damce troupe performances among others.

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