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Iku Opuruiche Isiokpo Honours KELGA Chairman, Godwin Mpi, Others

Hon. Welendu Chijemezu Amadi the chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Dr. Godwin Mpi, the Permanent Secretary Rivers State Ministry of Health, Mr. Christian Oyirinda Amadi, former Access Bank Manager, Chief Hon. Nmaa Matthew Aleru, the Managing Director Niger Delta Basin Development Authority NDBDA were among twelve Illustrious sons and daughters of Isiokpo Ancient Kingdom who were honours by the Iku Opuruchiche Isiokpo.
The ceremony took place during the Silver Jubilee celebration of the association and discussion proper on marriage rites and Okepe (sharing of deceased properties) at the Kelga council secretariat Isiokpo recently.
Hon. Welendu Amadi was presented with distinguished merit award on political leadership in Isiokpo Kingdom, Mr. Mpi received accomplished civil servant award, Mr. Christian Oyirinda Amadi, distinguish merit award for his initiative towards the physical infrastructure, Matthew Aleru leadership, physical and human development in Isiokpo award.
Others who received award include Dame Hon. Chief Eunice Igwe J.P, foremost woman entrepreneur in Ikwerre nation award, Mr. Umesi Emenike John, exemplary leadership and youth development in Isiokpo kingdom award, Prof. (Grand Dame) Joyce Akaninwor, foremost female intellectual in Isiokpo kingdom award, Sir. Richard K. Madume foremost Licensed Surveyor in Isiokpo kingdom award, Dr. Engr. Nwenedah John Mpi FNSE) FCAI Colossus in engineering for excellence in oil industry award, Dr. Nwobike SAN PhD in law an award of excellence as the 1st SAN from Ikwerre LGA and Mr. Herbeth Wigwe excellence in banking in Nigeria award.
In his welcome address the President of Iku Opuruiche Isiokpo Rev. Chinedu Amadi revealed that the organization came into existence 25 years ago, precisely 1987 through the foresight and pioneering efforts of some illustrious members who he said were inspired by the zeal to harness the hitherto, divergent efforts of most members of the organization towards human and socio-cultural development of Isiokpo Kingdom, expressing sadness that some of the founding members were late.
According to him, the emergence of Iku Opuruiche Isiokpo as one of the top flight age groups that embellished the Isiokpo age grade system was not without teething problems, one of which was the issue of regenerating of the members to ensure that they became better prepared for the task of offering leadership in the overall quest for moving the society forward, stressing that despite the prevailing circumstances, the age grade forged ahead by offering apprenticeship opportunities to less privileged youths in Isiokpo by floating an enduring loan scheme which provided capital base for some indigent members, widows of the late members and other enterprising persons.
The President of the group who enumerated the benefits of the Iku Opuruiche Isiokpo to the government and society at large, called on both local and state to give support to the age grade system in the communities to enable them harness and utilize the potential of the system in community development. He pointed out that such encouraged age groups to operate viable fund schemes, to provide capital for small scale entrepreneur activities which will eliminate hunger, poverty and achieve MDG goals, among others.
Presenting the award to the awardees, Rev. Amadi noted that they were honoured in recognition of their various support to the age group and their selfless service to humanity and thanked all who graced the occasion.
Earlier in his opening speech, the chairman of the occasion Barr. Goodluck Onyebele highlighted some of by the issues in the programme, such as what constitutes marriage in Isiokpo, Okemkpe, the award and urged the resource persons to make their presentation brief, stressing that the ceremony was to ensure peace in Isiokpo.
In their separates presentations on marriage rites in Isiokpo, Okemkpe, the discussants Chief Hon. Nmaa Matthew Aleru, Mr. Obiandu, Owhondah, Mr. Alikor, Albert and Opuruiche, while describing marriage as a union between man and woman condemned same marriage, stressing that such marriage is not an African culture.
The discussants recalled that before the advent of the white men into the hinter land of Africa marriage in Isiokpo was base on tradition.
According to them, a man who is seeking for a wife, after carrying palm wine four times to his wife to be’s family pays a bride price of some pieces of cowries, which was later changed to N10,000, regretted that most families in Isiokpo and other African communities nowadays demand huge amount of money from their in-law as a result of greed.
The discussants who noted that it is bad for parents to sell their daughters to men, condemned the scenario as well as condemned situation where most families prefer white wedding than going through traditional process in marriage which is the main African culture, pointing out that church wedding is a mere marriage registration and celebration.
The discussants further condemned blood relationship marriage (incest) adding that such is an abomination in Isiopkpo which attracts punishment of banishment of one who committed the offence.
In their acceptance speeches, Mr. Christian Oyirinda Amadi, Sir. Hon. Welendu Amadi, Dr. Godwin Mpi, Chief Hon. Matthew Aleru expressed their gratitude to the Iku Opuruiche Isiokpo members for the honour done them, describing them as special performers who have enthroned peace and development in Isiokpo kingdom.
The awardees dedicated the awards to God and Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi the governor of Rivers.###

Emeka Jilly Ejiowhor

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