ISAAC OJO reports that a key aspirant to the traditional rulership stool of Ideani, in Idemili North council of Anambra state, and retired Medical director from the state’s Civil service, Dr Elo Ojekwu has taken his aspiration to the next level by taking the Ozo class title.
Dr Ojekwu, an Onitsha-based medical Consultant was admitted into the distinguished Ozo society class of the community, with the title of Ozo Chinyelugo Nwachinemelu, in line with the requirements for those aspiring to the community’s stool.
Prior to his recent retirement from the state’s Ministry of Health, the lanky medical officer, imbued with a burning passion for humanity had over the years given out scholarships to more than forty (40) indigent but bright students of Ideani origin, promising to go beyond the boundaries of the community, to neighbouring communities.
When taken up on why he chose to go for the Ozo title taking, as many see it as preoccupation of the demonic, the pagans and the uneducated, Ojekwu chuckled admitting that he held such unrealistic assumptions too until he took out time to inquire and was pleasantly surprised to find out no such thing existed.
That even the act of ‘isa ile’ as practiced in the past was simply a commitment oath to stand for justice, fairness and sincerity as watchword. And as a cardinal aspect of the initiation process which was usually performed barefooted as a constant reminder and communication between man and nature to draw the weight of his commitment to the oath he was taking, and to avoid any slip. The whole process was then shielded away from the public; unlike now.
Ojekwu admitted he has discovered it was to prevent youths from turning the Ozo class to, albeit, some form of social club for all.
He listed other stages like ‘utazi’, ikwo aka’ and the main event where the entire community, friends and well wishers attend to eat, drink and make merry as the stages involved. More so that the Ozo title taking was purely for males and would serve better for the community and the kingdom of God as message from the throne would make greater peace and better citizens.
There were about four other aspirants already jostling for the throne of Ideani which became necessary with the ‘last Ofala’ of the former Igwe Humphrey Okoye (Hokoson Engr Ltd) performed about eighteen months ago. They include Chiefs Solomon Onyekwelu, Kevin Ojukwu and Steve Umeji.