Onyeama becomes Dike EjiEjeMba as Udi stood still
MAURICE OKAFOR writes that Mr Geoffrey KwusikeOnyeama, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister was honoured with ‘Dike EjiEjeMba of Igbo land’, literally meaning [Strong and worthy influential ambassador of his people] recently.
The event marked the re-union of ‘Ozoji family’s dynasty, an ancestral lineage of the Onyeama royal family of Eke, in Udi local government area of Enugu state.
The President of OhanaezeNdigbo, Enugu state chapter, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, who led de creme de la creme of members of the organization to honour Onyema, a seasoned United Nation [UN] recognised diplomat.
Chief Ogbonnia who described Mr Onyeama as a worthy son of Igbo land with sterling, disciplined qualities stated, ‘His re-appointment as the nation’s foreign affairs minister in President Buhari’s second term cabinet is an indication that he did well on the same portfolio and designation during the first tenure, of which greater performance is expected from him this time around’.
Likewise, the traditional title holders among his clan in Eke community, honoured Mr Onyeama with a traditional stool ‘Ofo’. The leader of the cultural society, OzorUcheAlor, said the title is a sign of remarkable leadership rendered by MrOnyeama and urged him to keep it up.
Earlier in a brief worship to commence the Re-union ceremony, Rev Father NnamdiNwankwo appraised the genealogical cycle of the Ozoji family as destined by God Almighty.
His words,’ God chose us. We did not choose ourselves. Therefore we have to worship God with all humility. Just as the Israelites, the covenant between God and our ancestors has lifted us up once again. Our Journey is a long one – our history is a vast one from the cradle, if we trace back to our genealogy.
Father Nwankwo who is also a Principal in one of the Secondary schools in Enugu state described the late father of the Onyeama families ‘Chief Onyeamana Eke’ as the pillar of civilization in the entire ‘Wawa enclave and beyond, who gingered the development of Enugu as Coal city; the cradle of missionary work and Education which spread to some other parts of Igbo land. He said the current St Paul’s College, Eke, was initially opened at late Onyeama’s compound.
He lamented that amidst these contributions to early civilization, Eke town as the cradle of civilization had no reputable institution a good hospital or some other social amenities for the benefit of the citizens.
But the Onyeama family descendants and their extended family system promised to feel the gap by establishing a first class international diagnostic center in the village.
The Foreign affairs minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama in his speech disclosed that one of their daughter Mrs Sandra with the support of her husband has bought some of the sophisticated medical equipment that will be installed in the diagnostic center.
The event featured the award of honours and post humus awards to over sixty men and women to great men from their ancient days who played key roles in the discovery, civilization and development of villages and communities within the pre-colonial days and thereafter.
Dignitaries who attended the event included the Enugu state governor, Rt Hon IfeanyiUgwuanyi, represented by his deputy, Hon Mrs Cecelia Ezeilo, Chief GbazueaguNwekeGbazueagu (GNG),several other politicians irrespective of party of affiliation, several cultural groups, The ‘Kwusike political family of Enugu APC led by Deacon OkeyOgbodo, Comrade A.C. Ude, and Lolo Queen Nwankwo. Barr George O’Gara,a governorship aslirant in Enugu state under the platform of APC, among others.