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- Published on Sunday, 07 August 2011 15:49
- By Bonaventure Ezekwenna
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(His Royal Highness, Igwe Nicholas M. N. Obi (Igwe Nnobi) The traditional ruler of Nnobi Town, Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State, Nigeria.) New York--- Information reaching us indicate there was a great sigh of relief and joy in Nnobi, a rural town in eastern Nigeria following decision of Anambra State Governor Peter Obi to release the Certificate of Recognition of its monarch, His Royal Highness, Igwe (Engr) Nick M. Obi,
Information indicate that this event took place July 29, 2011 at Anambra State Government Office, Awka, Nigeria.
According to reports, while the monarch was in London on a private visit, Governor Peter Obi’s government hurriedly summoned the town’s high chiefs to Government House and released the very important document to them.
In apparent reaction to this development, The Igwe’s Palace issued a community information release titled, Certification of Recognition which read; “Please be informed that on Friday 29 July 2011, His Excellency Mr. Peter Obi, Anambra State Governor released my certificate of recognition as Igwe Nnobi. This is to appreciate your prayers, efforts and support that made this day possible. Continue to pray for me, for God's guidance to ensure peace, stability and progress in the ancient town of Nnobi. Long live ananso Nnobi. God's Blessing and Best regards.” The release was signed by His Royal Highness, Igwe (Engr) M.N. Obi.
This development puts to final rest all lingering doubts and uncertainty on the status of the fiercely contested Nnobi town’s monarch.
Nnobi, a small rural town in eastern Nigeria elected British trained engineer, Nicholas Obi and former close-confidant of the state governor as its monarch in about 2007/2008 in accordance with the town’s constitution and government guidelines, following the death of former monarch HRH Igwe Edmund Ezeokoli in 2003. However, Anambra State Governor Peter Obi had for unknown reason believed to be purely political withheld the mere symbolic but important document of government recognition of the monarch.
Many indigenes of the town believe that HRH Igwe (Engr) M.N. Obi has the requisite fortitude, desire, integrity and will to leverage local and international resources into the long neglected rural town to usher unprecedented development. This believe was re-enforced based on the massive road projects unleashed in the town by Anambra State government during the very short time he served as Adviser to the State Governor on Utilities and Infrastructure.
Reactions of Nnobi indigenes worldwide have been very swift. Feedbacks from Nnobi town and other cities in Nigeria indicate that reactions vary.
While indigenes gathered at local eatery and joints (beer parlors) in celebratory mood, others prepare to go to churches on Sunday to give praise to God for touching the heart of Governor Peter Obi into releasing the very important certificate thereby dousing unnecessary tension over the town’s traditional ruler, according to reports.
On international front, Mr. Lawrence Ezenyi who is visiting US summarized what is considered to be general consensus of the community by stating, “I am happy that this issue has been finally resolved and I’m optimistic that the town will now move forward. I know the Governor has no choice than to eventually release the Certificate of Recognition because the town had long made its decision of who is its traditional ruler. Nnobi followed the due process in producing him. It’s just a matter of time, withholding the Certificate of Recognition was purely ‘political.”
Our executive Director, Bonaventure Ezekwenna, wondered why releasing the Certificate of Recognition should even be political. “Engr. Obi was a very close confidant of Peter Obi way long before he became the Governor of Anambra State. When almost everybody deserted Peter Obi after his mandate was stolen, Engr. Obi was on his side of at all times. On several times when Peter Obi and Engr. Obi visited US for one convention or another, Engr. Obi never had time for personal engagements and he always cited tights schedules due to itinerary and strategic meetings he and Peter Obi were holding with some people in US. These are some of the reasons people are really surprised at this ‘political delay’ in releasing this certificate, especially after the people and the courts had sided with the very popular monarch”, said Mr. Ezekwenna.
A group of Nnobians we spoke to in local community centers stated, “all that ends well is well (whatever that means). When pressed further they explained; now that this has ended well, it is well with Igwe, well with Nnobi and well for Governor Peter Obi. The Igwe should not hold grudge, Nnobi support him all the way, that is all that matter.”
Though Anambra State governor and the monarch share the same last name, they are not related in any way. Governor Peter Obi is from Agulu town while HRH Igwe Nich. Obi is from Nnobi town. Obi is a common last name in Anambra State, Nigeria.
Nnobi town is one of the communities in Anambra State dogged by ‘Autonomous Community’ issue; however, that issue had since been resolved and Nnobi remains one indivisible town under one community leader and one monarch.