–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Albert OGRAKA:
The traditional Palace of Onicha-Uku kingdom in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, has been relocated to a permanent abode built by the Elumelu family.
The edifice which stands at the centre of the community, was officially unveiled for use on Friday, December 18, 2020 by the Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Ndudi Elumelu, who represented the Elumelu family, recounted the challenges of the community in having a centralized Palace for its traditional rulers over the past years due to the rotational system of its traditional institution.
He noted that, the passion of the Elumelu family in providing a lasting solution to the challenge and leaving legacies for their community, they embarked on the project which is now counted amongst other projects built in the community by his family.
“What informed this edifice is as a result of the re-occuring of the traditional institution in Onicha-Uku. The traditional institution is structured in such a way that, the Obiship is rotational and what happened was that, in every quarter, you see Palaces and it became worrisome.
“The Elumelu family sat down and agreed to erect a permanent structure where whoever that the mantle of Obi gets to, will move into this Palace and when the person finishes serving (when he joins his ancestors) the Palace will be cleaned up for the next person. By so doing, everybody will now know that there is a centralized place where you call the Obi’s Palace. So, on behalf of the Elumelu family, we present this gift to the community”, the Minority Leader said.
Hon Elumelu who represents Aniocha Oshimili Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, further disclosed that the wisdom behind the project is to give back to our immediate society.
“We come from a humble background where God has done a lot for my family and it is on record that in Africa, we have my brother through his Tony Elumelu Foundation, gives young african entrepreneurs 100 Million US Dollars annually to augment their businesses. Charity they say begins at home, so this is our own way of supporting our local traditional institution.
Governor Okowa who was represented at the event by his Special Adviser on Local Government and chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Kelly Penawou, commended the Elumelus for the giant gesture to the community and the traditional institution in the state, saying, “Elumelu family has done well. This is not the first project, they’ve built a church, town hall, 6.5mva substation, acquisition centre, 250 bed hospital which is Currently an annex of fmc asaba in the community.”
The Obi of Onicha-Uku, HRM Raphael Agbamuche while performing his first activity in the new Palace, prayed for the Elumelu Family, asking God to bless and protect them always.
Some of the dignitaries who attended the event included the Former Deputy Governor of Delta State, Chief Benjamin Elue; the Permanent Secretary Directorate of Local Government Affairs, Mr. Eric Ebijuwa; Chairman of Aniocha North Local Government, Mr Chuks Oseme, Senior Legislative Aides to the Minority Leader, amongst others.
The duplex Palace features a large palace room, five suite rooms, sitting rooms, dinning rooms, equipped kitchen, two bedroom bungalow detached building, security post, backup power generator and an open court in-front and within the building.