THE entire community of Umuoji, in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State marked the last ofala of the traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Cyril Enweze, popularly known as Ebube Igwulube Okodu, Ochiluozua and Ochendo” in his palace in Ifite Village, Umuoji .
Before his death, the late Igwe Enweze was the chairman of the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), under the leadership of the governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano and has contributed tremendously in his community through his intellectual ability, his experiences from outside the country, his support on education and development projects in Umuoji.
Speaking during the occasion, the governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, who was represented by the Managing Director of ANSIPPA, Mr Jide Ikeako commiserated with the family of Enweze and the entire people of Umuoji.
He said, “he was a philanthropist of many accomplishments, well respected leader whose legacy will forever be remembered and celebrated. I want to assure that our prayers are with you”
In response, the President General of Umuoji, Sly Onyima, thanked Governor Willie Obiano for honouring their invitation, as well as management and staff of ANSIPPA for their show of solidarity during the festival.
“Ndi Umuoji are proud to note that, His Majesty, Igwe Dr. Cyril Nwabunwanne Enweze is easily one of the most educated, most experienced and most travelled Igwe in Anambra State. After a 16 year reign, like all mortals, he has been incommunicado since April 12, 2019. This ofala festival is therefore a necessary and an official rite of passage meant to inform Anambra State Government, Traditional Ruler’s Council, ANSIPPA and friends that His Majesty is still on his spiritual journey”
While speaking to newsmen, the Regent of Umuoji, Chris Nnedu said that the community had lost a world renowned economist, a man who has put the name of the community in the world map which nobody has done so well than him.
In his word, “this is a very senior officer who retired as a Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB). All the international monetary organisations know his name and I believe that they know he is from Umuoji. After traversing the whole continent of the world, he humbly came back to this location which he described as ‘Serenity Palace’ to rest.
“So, we have lost a colossus. God knows everything. We are happy to remember him as one of the most intellectual Igwes that ever ruled Umuoji…”
He further noted that in no distant time, a new traditional ruler will be crowned in the community.
The son of the late legend, Prince Chukwudi Enweze said his father was a pace setter who trained many people wide.
“He was a father, he was a brother, he was a son, he was a ruler and he was an economist and a man of many hearts. I think he is a generation of figure. I would emulate him by giving back to the community because we are fortunate enough to have him. Following my Dad growing up was amazing. For coming back to wear his crown and coming back to his community, I can only wish to have the same kind work-ethic, dedication, determination and ambition he had”.
Also, the junior brother to the late monarch, Chief Anthony Enweze described his late brother as a transcontinental economist, a mentor, very caring human being, intelligent and always willing to take challenges, adding that he admires his great family life.
The commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Anambra State, C Don Adinuba, said the festival was a befitting tribute to a great man and somebody who has performed an incredible work in global states as well as local state.
The festival also attracted huge turnout of royal fathers and members of Igwe-in-Council, such as Igwe Chidubem Iweka, Igwe (Pharm) Alexander Onyido, Igwe Emeka Onuorah and other friends and well wishers of Umuoji, who came to pay their last respect to the late king.
The late Igwe Enweze is survived by his wife, Mrs Virgy Enweze, two children and many other relations.