After a long wait, Onitsha is set to finally install a new Onowu Iyasele or traditional Prime Minister. Chief Okechukwu Ononye who was hitherto the Asagba Obi of Onitsha was elevated to this position with a few traditional rites which commenced on Friday the 13th of August.
In Onitsha tradition, the Onowu Iyasele, is the highest in rank among the first class red cap chiefs and by responsibility, the prime minister of the kingdom. The position of Onowu became vacant due to the death of the late Chief Chike Ofodile (SAN). The Onowu position is a key appointment that is critical to the welfare of the Onitsha people, thus the need to fill the vacuum without delay.
After due consultation, Chief Ononye was selected and the first part of the ceremony called, Igbu nye ewu (slaughter of Goat), indication of interest was performed.
Later that evening, close family members, friends and associates assembled at his country home at Ogboli road junction by Ugwunobankpa road, Inland town. The entourage then proceeded to the palace where the Obi of Onitsha, Obi Nnaemeka Achebe administered to Chief Ononye the initial rites of becoming Onowu Iyasele.
Afterwards, his retinue jubilantly returned him home where entertainment awaited them.
The traditional rites are expected to be completed in a months time ( for now he wears the white cap instead of the normal red cap) . Once the time is due, he will be fully accorded the recognition of Onowu Iyasele amidst grand ceremony, lavish entertainment and fanfare.
Inlandtown.com will keep you in the loop of the latest developments.