By: Bisi Adekunle
Following the death of the late Obi Akaeze Edward Ofulue III who was kidnapped and eventually murdered last month by gunmen believed to be kidnappers.
According to most African traditions, a royal seat cannot be be left vacant than necessary, hence a heir apparent has to be installed on the event of demise of the throne occupier. That is the brief scenario that necessitated the 15-year old Obi Akaeze to succeeded his father, late Obi Akaeze Edward Ofulue III.
The new Obi (King), Chukwuka Noah Akaeze I, has been presented to the people of Ubulu-Uku Kingdom in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The presentation of the 15-year-old King followed the fulfillment of different rites that culminated in his crowning as King by the kingmakers of Ubulu-Uku.
He was first presented to the members of the Royal family before the presentation to the council of elders at the palace.
The brief ceremony was well attended by prominent citizens of the kingdom including the member representing Aniocha/Oshimili constituency at the Federal House of Representatives, Mrs. Onyemaechi Mrakpor and the President-General of Ubulu-Uku Development Union, Comrade Jones Ofunne.
Also in attendance were the chairman of Aniocha South council, Mr. Isaac Anwuzia, traditional chiefs and title holders in the kingdom, religious leaders, women, youths and other stakeholders of the agrarian community
Speaking on the significance of the ceremony, Secretary of the Palace, Barr. Joseph Obazei described it as “wonderful in our time.”
“This is a young man who was not even looking up to this position because his father was young and vibrant, unfortunately this bad event occurred.
“He has now been thrust upon the throne taking up the mantle of his late father. Ubulu-Uku people are very happy that somebody has taken up the throne because the king never dies.
“When it appears that there is no king, there is already a king. That is what has just happened.”
Barr. Obazei told Saturday Sun that in Ubulu- Uku tradition, there were not too many rites to the installation of a new king.
“By our tradition, you can wake up in the morning and see the heir apparent sitting on the throne and issue orders which will be obeyed. That will show that something happened in the night and something has happened now.
“So this young man has taken over the stool of his father, and now he can begin to direct the town,” he explained.
On his part, the chairman of Aniocha South council, Mr. Anwuzia assured the new king and people of Ubulu-Uku of his administration’s unflinching support, adding that measures were already on to ensure the presentation of staff of office by the state government.