It was celebration galore over the weekend in Rumuoro Ogbakiri in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State when Prince Paul Wokhe Wonodi (JP) was installed as Eze Agbakpuru (V) by the Rumuoro Council of Chiefs.
The Traditional installation and succession to the ancient ‘Agbakpuru’ stool was performed by the Rumuoro Council of Chiefs led by the Paramount Ruler of Rumuoro, Wezina, Echichi-Imo (xxvii),HRH Eze Stephen Ichendah Agbi. The brief ceremony which took place at the Great Echichi-Imo Royal hall was witnessed by a large crowd of distinguished guests from far and near.
The Royal Fathers present who conducted the ceremony include HRH Eze Stephen Agbi, paramount Ruler, Rumuoro Ogbakiri; HRM Eze Worlu A.A. Wodo, Paramount Ruler, Rumuigbo/Apara Kingdom; Chief Michael O. Maru,(KSC), Secretary to the Council; Chief Austin A. Egbeka, Speaker, Rumuoro Council and Eze Albert P. Okpara.
Others were Eze Sylvanus Ojire; Eze Godfrey Ottona; Eze Sunday O.P. Onyukwu; Eze Jonathan Elekwachi; Eze James Onunwo; Eze Emmanuel Chukwu and Eze Allwell A. Ojire.
The traditional rulers charged Eze Paul Wonodi to be dedicated and committed to the welfare of his people at all times. ``You are now a distinguished traditional ruler who must listen, support and defend your people at all times”, they said.
They urged the celebrant not to be partial in his judgment on any dispute brought before him or use his present position to surprise his subjects.
``You should use your present position to rather attract peace, unity, and development to the land``, they declared.
The Rumuoro Council of Chiefs also charged Eze Wonodi to ensure his administration is all inclusive administration and rule his people with the fear of God.
Bishop Ben Obeneme offered the installation prayers.
The Apara Monarch, HRM Eze King Chike Amadi Worlu Wodo, was equally given a role to play in the coronation ceremony as according to him, “the Etitinwo clan is customarily, traditionally and ancestrally related to Rumuigbo in particular and Apara Kingdom in general. As Eze Ohna Apara, the Monarch said he deserves the role given him to play”.
Chatting with newsmen, the Apara traditional ruler stressed that all traditions got their root from the scripture, explaining why the coronation was conducted with a Bible.
Eze Wodo stated that libation was not compulsory for a traditional ruler, adding that libation is sometimes left for the Owhor holders and Elders as according to him everybody has their schedule of duty.
The Paramount Ruler of Rumuoro, handed Eze Wonodi a traditional staff of office to the excitement of the jubilant crowd.
After another brief ceremony inside the Community hall, the celebrant and his guests retired to the Wonodi`s compound where he was fully decorated with the chieftaincy regalia and other paraphernalia of office.
Eze Paul Wonodi, Agbakpuru V in his acceptance speech promised to do his best not to disappoint his teeming supporters and in particular his ancestors.
The Rivers State Chief Executive, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who was represented by his Chief of Staff Chief Emeka Woke in his goodwill message congratulated Eze Wonodi for accepting to serve his people at that level.
``Your installation as Agbakpuru V is an eloquent testimony of your hard work and acknowledgment of your valuable contributions to the growth of Rumuoro, the entire Wezina and Ikwere Ethnic Nationality in general, he said.
Surv. Sam Agwo and Engr. Dacoaster Orlu all extolled the sterling leadership qualities of the celebrant, urging him not to relent but to improve on his sacrifices to his people for posterity sake.
Agwo said Eze Wonodi is eminently qualified for the position even by nomination, having served his people meritoriously in various capacities. Eze Orlu on his part advised him to be closer to his people so as to be acquainted with their challenges with a view to finding solution to them.
The former Commissioner explained that most of the thrones like his own are hereditary and that what matters is the legacy one leaves at the end of his own tenure.
Traditional music and band entertained the guests at the event while friends, family members and well-wishers flooded the place with traditional gifts and cash.