By Okey Obiozo
Onitsha now has a new Onowu Iyasele or traditional prime minister Chief Ikechukwu Ononye. Chief Ononye who was formerly Asagba Obi of Onitsha from Odoje Village, got his investiture on Friday September 4 at the Obi’s Palace, Ime-obi Awka road Onitsha.
The well attended ceremony at the King’s Courtyard featured the caping ceremony and formal presntation of the staff Office by the Obi Of Onitsha, Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, who declared Chief Ononye as the Onowu and prayed that his tenure would be successful.
The choice of Chief Ononye has not been without a few hitches, with some stakeholders claiming that the office should be maintained as the reserve of Umuasele Village. However, during the declaration Of interest (Igbunye-ewu) the Obi Achebe cleared the air by publicly informing that the Office is not the exclusive reserve of any village since records show that many other villages have held the office in the past. He added that he consulted wide and gave out the position on merit and prayed for guidance before the selection of the new candidate.
The ceremony which was slated to start by 4:00pm took off behind schedule at exactly 6:30pm. As part of the ceremony, the white cap which he has won since his declaration of interest(igbunye ewu) was replaced with the Red Cap by the Obi Of Onitsha. Chief Ikechukwu Ononye is henceforth the Onowu Iyasele Of Onitsha.