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IKA WEEKLY - The Obi of Igbodo Kingdom in Ika North East Local Government Area, His Royal Majesty, Ikechukwu Nkeobikwu Osedume I, was on Tuesday, 14th of April, 2009, presented with the staff of office by the Delta State Government, at the Royal Palace, Igbodo. The staff of office which was presented to Obi Osedume by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Agbe Utuama (SAN) who stood in for the Executive Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan symbolizes the official oath of office by the traditional ruler having been coronated by his people on the 12th of January, 2007 immediately after his fathers burial. The occasion which displayed the rich cultural heritage of Igbodo community was witnessed by numerous Igbodo sons and daughters, both at home and abroad and non-indigenes, prominent among whom were the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Prof. Utuama, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, House of Representatives Member; Justice Marshal Mukoro, Commissioner for Works, Sir Paul Osagie, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social and Community Development, Queen Victoria Ikenchukwu, Ika North East Local Government Chairman, Hon. Festus Iweriebor; his Deputy, Hon. Benson Oside, Leader of the Council Legislative Arms, Hon. Chuks Agbomah, Alhaji Obunba II from Nasarawa State, traditional rulers which include Obi of Owa Kingdom, HRM Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II (JP) OON, Obi of Akumazi, HRM Obi Stephen Chukwuyemeze III JP, Obi of Ute-Okpu, HRM Obi Solomon Chukwuka I, Obi of Umunede, Agadagidi Ezeagwu Ezewanli I, Obi of Otolokpo, HRM (Pastor) Collins, Obi of Ute-Ogbeje, HRM, and palace chiefs. It was learnt by Ika Weekly that the newly coronated Obi became the Obi immediately after the demise of his father, His Royal Majesty Albert Sunday Iyeke III (JP) who joined his ancestors in 2007. On the 12th of January, 2007, and have been according to some interviewed Igbodo indigenes, working cordially with the council of Elders, the Obi-in-Council and Heads of the six villages in administering the affairs of the community. Obi Ikechukwu Osedume I, when interviewed by journalists over the question of why his surname was changed from Iyeke to Osedume, the Obi said that the surname was changed by his late father before he died and does not know the reason behind the change. He further stated that his father was the end to the Iyeke dynasty while Osedume I is the first and beginning of his generation. When asked about how he hopes to tackle the challenges of his people, vis-�-vis protecting the culture of his people, he said politely that he looks unto God the supreme being, for guidance and direction and most especially wisdom, adding that with his obi-in-council, elders, and clergy men, he hopes to take Igbodo community to a higher level as he promised that though that it is that the people that makes a culture exist, but that any culture which is not in line with God is not accepted, as he respects God. The Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN) who read the congratulatory speech presented by the Governor, His Excellency Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, said that the Obi should endeavour to carry his people along in other to take Igbodo to greater heights and as he is the custodian of culture for his people, he should strive to attain the three point agenda which includes: Peace and security, human capital development and infrastructural development as stipulated by the Delta State Government, in his every day administrative duties in the community. Prof. Utuama further said that the cries of the community over certain infrastructural development, like provision of good feeder roads/erosion control, completion of the NDDC borehole water project, availability of a modern market, completion of the building of the community�s health centre, have reached the knowledge of the Delta State Government and promised that they will be looked into one after the other. The Deputy Governor went a step further to commend the community for being the food basket of Delta State. He also seized the opportunity to encourage the great personalities of Igbodo, like the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Joe C. Keshi, the President of Igbodo Development Union, North America, Mr. Chuks Ojemi, Former Vice Chancellor of University of Benin, Professor Nduka Okoh, Coordinator of Igbodo Development Union, Europe, Mr. Christian Martins Ubani, Chief Emmanuel Mbulu, the Akueluno of Igbodo and the rest of them to help bring back home their vast knowledge to the benefit of the entire Igbodo people. In an address presented by the Honorable Chairman of Ika North East Local Government Area, Hon. Festus Iweriebor to the Deputy Governor, he took note of all the accomplished projects in Ika North East and those yet to be completed. Hon. Iweriebor also stated that he appreciates the government of Delta State on their goodness to the people of Ika North East while concluding that he hopes the Royal Majesty, Obi Osedume I, will do well as to extend the benefits of his rulership not just to the people of Igbodo alone but to Ika North East and well meaning Nigerians. The occasion was agog with merriments, dancing and echos of joy from a unified community. Also in attendance is the National President of National Association of Ika Students NAIS Comrade Ehiwario Jerry who said that no doubt that the Ika Culture has been marked and he has no fear that their children�s children will not lack knowledge of Ika cultural heritage as he went on to say that Ika Students can now browse on a website which was formulated to portray Ika culture. He further said that he was very happy indeed for the great occasion and wished Igbodo people above all things oneness of heart to carry on with their new obi, Obi Ikechukwu Nkeobikwu Osedume I.