When Chris Chidume, industrialist, was crowned Igwe of Omor community

Chidume’s coronation rekindles the hope of a people that waited for 10years to get a monarch they truly desired, GODFREY OFURUM writes:


It is said that “The content of a man’s character determines his destiny”. Igwe Oranu Chris Chidume’s character and sense of humility has endeared him to his people in Omor community in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State.

Omor community, unarguably the largest community in Anambra State, selected Chidume, among many other sons of the land, who aspired to become the traditional ruler of the community, which was vacant for 10 years.

Igwe Chidume, an industrialist and chairman, Krisoral Group, was unanimously chosen by his people, among other numerous contenders to the throne.

As a successful industrialist, Igwe Chidume is expected to bring his wealth of experience, as a manager of men to transform the community, And so there was jubilation in Omor, following his installation as Igwe and the substantive traditional ruler of the area, by Governor Willie Obiano, recently.

The certificate and staff of office came shortly before he was crowned as the Eze Ana-Ukwu, Eze Igulube of Omor, by the community.

Governor Obiano, while handing the certificate to Igwe Chidume, at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, noted that he was issuing the document to Chidume, based on the power conferred on him, as the chief executive of the state, under Section 7 of the traditional rulers law of 1981, an indication that Chidume has transformed from Igwe-elect of Omor to a substantive Igwe.

The governor said that he was impressed with the maturity and peaceful processes with which Omor people selected Chidume, among other contestants, as their new monarch and urged other communities in the state, which have not selected their own royal fathers to emulate the gesture.

Greg Obi, commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, recalled that when the contest between Chidume and others who were interested in the royal throne, became hot, the state government had to intervene and set up a committee to look into the matter.

Obi noted that the committee made up of credible personalities like Tim Menakaya, Paul Odenigbo, Igwe Rowland Odegbo of Nteje, Igwe Christopher Idigo of Aguleri and himself (Obi) as members, found out that Chidume, was the choice of the community.

He noted that based on the committee’s findings, which Obiano adopted, Chidume became the Igwe-elect and issued him with a certificate and staff of office.

He urged Chidume to unify the people and rule them with love. Igwe Peter Anugwu, traditional ruler of Mbaukwu, who spoke on behalf of other traditional rulers at the ceremony, advised Chidume to regard everybody, including his opponents as his subjects.

He observed that royal stool is meant to be contested for and not given to someone on a platter of gold, stressing that it is not advisable for anybody to accept a traditional stool given to him on a platter of gold.

Igwe Chidume in his response, expressed excitement and happiness to have received the certificate and staff of office, from the government and promised to unify everybody in the community.

He also promised to partner other royal fathers in the state to assist Governor Obiano to develop the rural communities and reduce urban migration.

“My next line of action is to make effort to bring Omor indigenes together. That is my first assignment. I am so excited, very happy for receiving the certificate of recognition.

He continued, “Omor, is an agrarian community and so we would do our best to uplift the living standard of farmers in the community, equip hospitals and schools, as well as, set up agro-industries to support farmers in the community.

“Agriculture is our major occupation and I will ensure that government invests in the community, especially in rice farming.

“Our company- Krisoral Group- has employed so many Omor people and many more are joining, but there is no way we can employ every Omor person in a single enterprise; consequently, we hope that as time goes on, one of the ways to get our people employed, especially the youths, is to attract some other industries in Omor area, such that it would be close to them”.

“Combining traditional institution and corporate leadership will be a difficult task, but they know me one on one, it is something I can always combine. Omor has gotten a lot of people that are willing to work together with me, to ensure that our community is developed.

Igwe Chidume, was crowned by four eldest persons from the four villages and two others each from Igwe Chidume’s paternal and maternal homes, they coroneted him, as the traditional ruler of the community amidst pomp and ceremony.

Chukwuma Nebeife, president-general, Omor Town Union, applauded the selection of Igwe Chidume, as the traditional ruler of the community, noting that they have confidence that he would take the community to greater heights in terms of quality leadership and development.

He therefore, urged every indigene to support the new monarch, even as they wished him long life and progress as he mounts the throne.

He also thanked Governor Obiano for issuing the new Igwe with certificate of recognition and staff of office, saying that the governor heard the cry of the people, who chose the new Igwe for the throne after many years without a king in the community.

Highlights of the occasion include cultural dances, masquerade displays and a thanksgiving service held at the Christ the King Catholic Church, Omor.


Omor community

Omor in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State, South-East region of Nigeria is made up of 4 main villages, namely, Orenja, Akanator, Aturia and Amikwe.

It also has 20 sub-villages altogether; Orenja is made up of Isiokwe, Ezeonyia, Umu-uzu and Umuokpanta; Akanator is made up of Amaukwu, Isukwa, Umali, Umuezeatum, Agbaja and Oyi; Aturia is made up of Ituku, Isiekenabo, Isiove, Umuanala, isiadi, Isiokpaya and Isinkakwu, while Amikwe is made up of Akara, Amikwe-etiti and Umuogbu.

Furthermore it has 69 kindreds altogether. Omor is on the shores of the Omambala River. It is thought to be geographically the largest town in Anambra State, closely followed by Agulu.

Omor has a total population of 7,196 in 1952/53 Nigerian Census, 17,337 in 1963, in 1990 it has an estimated population of 20,248 presently the its population has risen above many towns in Anambra State and in Nigeria. Omor is surrounded by Umumbo, Igbakwu, Anaku, Umerum and Ogbosu in Umulokpa clan, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.

It has good vegetation, fertile lands for production of food crops such as rice, maize, yam, cassava and assorted fruits.

The Federal Government built the Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority Lower Anambra Irrigation Project (LAIP) Rice Farm project at Omor, which has resuscitated the growing of rice in that part of the State. Forty hectares of Fadama land have been cultivated with rice in Omor, under the collaborative arrangement between the state government and farmers under the auspices of the state Rice Farmers Co-operative Union Limited. In addition a new rice mill complex with units for parboiling, milling, destoning, and bagging capacity sufficient to produce over 10,000 metric tons of high quality rice annually is enhancing production of the staple food for local consumption and export.

Omor is said to be the food basket of Anambra state as almost all its citizens depend on farming.