Two distinguished Nigerians, former Acting Chief of Staff to the President, Chief (Dr.) Gbolade Osinowo and former GOC of Nigerian Army, Major General Sanusi Nasir Muazu, have been duly honoured for their contributions to the development of the countryand for the pleasant relationships they have had with the people of Okori Community in Eleme, Rivers State, over the years.
Osinowo was given the title, Nyime Ekoo Okori, meaning ‘Good friend of Okori’ while Muazu was given, Egbere Awia Emere, meaning, ‘Great Brother of the King’ by HRH Appolus Chu, the Egbere Emere Okori 1 Eleme.
The chieftaincy titles, according to HRH Appolus Chu, aims to strengthen the inter-tribal relationships between the communities from which the persons honoured are from with that of Okori people, thereby fostering unity and harmony in the nation at large.
Osinowo and Muazu, on their part, accepted the honour with gratitude and thanked the king immensely for his thoughtfulness and generosity.
Describing the ceremony as very symbolic and capable of strengthening and harmonising the nation at large, HRH Applus Chu said, “We are making them part of the Okori community by enrobing them with these chieftaincy titles and now they have become chiefs of Okori and automatically members of the Okori community. It is like an alliance; they have now become one people with our community and would also stand uprightly for the Okori community wherever they find themselves.”
Chu, who also spoke on the relevance of traditional rulers in the African society noted, “Traditional rulers are the last hope of any government administration. When government fails and lost grip of its citizen, it falls back on the traditional rulers to come to its rescue and help call the people to order. We are very powerful but sometimes government do not recognise how important we are to them. We are the roots of our communities and we stand for the unity of the nation. If anything goes wrong in a particular community, it is the traditional ruler, who is closer to the grassroots people that is consulted first to bring peace and order to whatever situation that arises. And when the communities are peaceful; government would be focused and able to carry out the primary duties it owes the people.
“For our community to prosper and be healthy, it lies in our spoken words. After God, the next persons that power is given on earth are the kings. The kings are the custodian of the power of the earth and if we the kings speak positively into the lives of the subjects, when the king makes a pronouncement on you and you are prosperous, that means the land has also prospered. So let us as kings learn to make positive statement into the lives of our subjects at all times and when we continue to do this, it will go long away in allowing peace in our kingdoms and the nation at large.”
During the very brief ceremony, which was part of larger event held recently in Rivers State, the Okori women also made a symbolic cultural display of a bride been given away in marriage, which was later interpreted to the audience by King Appolu Chu.
“In our tradition, if you are giving your daughter out in marriage, as parents you are worried that your daughter will not go hungry in her matrimony home and so as he leaves for her new home, the parents present to her all kind of food stuff to keep her going in her new home and also for her to plant for harvest in years to come.” He also declared prayers on his people for good harvest in the year to come.
Apart from the array of traditional rulers that assembled at the event, many other personalities of great repute also graced the event. Eminent personalities present included, father of the executive governor of Rivers State, Rev. J.N.E Wike; Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed; Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Dan-Malam Mohammed and Retired AIG, Joseph Mbu amongst others. Present also were men of God of great repute, royal fathers like the paramount ruler of Aleto Clan and Secretary Eleme Council of Chiefs and Elders, HRH Philip Osaro Obele and HRM Eze (Pastor) Philip Ajomiwe amongst others.