Dayo Johnson Akure
Five years after the paramount traditional ruler, the Deji of Akure land, Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi abolished the Eze Ndigbo title, a new Igbo leader for the Igbo community in the Akure Kingdom, Chief Umenweke Titus has been installed.
Recall that the Igbo community had been without a traditionally recognized leader since the removal of the then leader, Mr Gregory Iloehika and the subsequent placement of ban on the title of Eze Ndigbo in 2016 by Oba Aladelusi.
Oba Aladetoyinbo who had earlier approved the appointment of Chief Umenweke Titus about a year ago finally performed the traditional installation of the new Igbo leader at a ceremony held at the Ojukoto’s court of the Deji’s Palace.
While performing the rite on the new Igbo leader, the Asamo of Akure Kingdom, High Chief Rotimi Olusanya urged the new leader to continue to toe the path of honour and integrity which he is known for.
Olusanya urged him to lead the Igbo community rightly and ensure that there is a cordial relationship between them and the Akure people.
He charged him to ensure that there is a continued mutually beneficial relationship between the Igbo community and her host.
The paramount ruler while speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Michael Adeyeye said the Monarch had to wait for almost six years after the occupant of the office was removed due to his insubordination and disrespect to the exalted stool of the Akure Monarchy.
He said the essence of waiting was to ensure that the Igbo community present a consensus candidate that will be acceptable to them.
Adeyeye also added that the palace took time to do an adequate check on the background and antecedents of the new leader before finally installing him to give direction to the Igbo community.
Oba Aladetoyinbo described the Igbos as an integral part of the Akure Kingdom. We have inter-married, we share businesses together among other things. It is pertinent to say without any iota of doubt that the Igbo have been very instrumental and contributed in no small measure to the success story of the economic viability of Akure land.
The Monarch who also described them as industrious said I am very sure that my first wife is an Igbo woman. This will further tell you the bond and the respect I have for the Igbo people.
While responding after taking his oath of allegiance, the new Igbo leader, Chief Umenweke Titus said he was highly elated that his people found him worthy to be recommended to the Paramount Ruler of Akure Kingdom as their Leader.
” l am equally grateful to Oba Aladetoyinbo for the confidence he reposed in him and I promise to ensure that henceforth, there will be a great bond of unity between the Igbo and the Akure people.
“We are one, we have our houses, businesses and families here. Therefore we are an inseparable part of the Akure community, he said.Chief Umenweke Titus who took his oath in Akure dialect to the admiration of the people said he had lived in Akure for over fifty years and that all his children speak the dialect and have all their friends here.
“I want to say without fear of contradiction that I am an Akure man with Igbo blood.The installation was personally witnessed by the Deji of Akure Kingdom, The Akapinsa of Ipinsa, Akure Senior High Chiefs, High Chiefs, Chiefs and eminent sons and daughters of the Akure Kingdom as well as members of the Igbo community and other Heads of non-indigenes Associations.