Ugoani Okpanam mourns Omu Martha Dunkwu;

…Says her death, a huge loss to him

By Lucy Ezeliora

The Ugoani of Okpanam, Dr. Mbanefo Micheal Ogbolu, has expressed sadness over the passage of Omu of Okpanam saying that she worked hard to promote the culture of the people during her life time.

In an interview with newsmen at his Palace in Okpanam, the royal father said the news of her death was more tragic because the people of Okpanam were not aware of her illness before they received the news of her sudden demise.

He said the late Omu was a mother to all, and recalled her contributions to the success of his coronation as Ugoani Okpanam and her encouragement to him to relocate to Okpanam community from Lagos state to rule over his people.

“She was also among those in the forefront to ensure my enthronement as the Ugoani of Okpanam Kingdom was a success that is why her death is a huge loss to me ” he said.

The monarch said “initially, we didn’t believe the story of her death but about 5:30 pm, 16th February 2024, a delegation of the Obi Dunkwu family encompassing MSS, Ofulue Nwokocha, Ogbueshi Emeka Ijei, Oyekwere Dunkwu and the Omu”s son, Afamefuna Dunkwu came to break the news to the Ugoani in Council.

“At that time, most chiefs and well wishers who got wind of the unfortunate death had gathered in my Palace requesting to know if it is true before the members of her family confirmed the sad news to us”

The royal father said, members of the Omu’s family came to the palace to explain to the Council of Chiefs that the Omu before her death, left a standing instruction that her corpse should not be taken to the mortuary and that she should be buried within 48 hours.

He told journalists how he promised the delegation full cooperation of the council and people of Okpanam, provided, they did the needful and fulfilled all rites associated with her position as the Omu of Okpanam.

“When an Omu dies, we consult the gods to determine the circumstances of her death that is our tradition and it was successfully done by our people.

“And, to give the Omu’s family maximum support as promised by the Ugoani in Council, I and the chiefs began to summon the necessary rites to perform the needful for her to be buried as requested. “Special thanks to the Diopka of Ogbeosaji for their cooperation in ensuring that the deadline was met

“Let me appreciate the Ezedibia of Okpanam Kingdom, Chief Abua Ntoka, who did not sleep for 48 hours in his bid to ensure all the rituals are performed accurately

“Also, I want to thank Chiefs of Okpanam Kingdom, Ugoani in Council and members of the community who stood their ground and ensured that the Omu goes home in a hitch free manner.

Let me not forget to mention members of my family for their wonderful cooperation during this trial period, with a promise to carry everyone along when time is up to celebrate her life” the monarch stated.

Expressing pain, the monarch urged the general public to disregard the rumour making the round in and outside Okpanam, regarding her death adding that, it is the handwork of mischief makers, as she had gone to rest.
He prayed God to grant her soul eternal rest.

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