EZEIKE HRH EZE UGONWANNE
DR. SIR. M.C. NGENE (JP),
KSP, FCA, MNIM.
EZEIKE IV, NIBO
HRH Ezeike Nibo
HRH Ezeike Ezeugonwanne, is the traditional ruler of Nibo Town. He holds a doctorate degree, he is a scholar and an educator, and was a head master until his ascension to the throne of Ezeike Nibo IV. HRH is a Justice of the Peace (JP), a Knight of the Anglican Church and man of majestic grace.
His Royal Majesty, Ezeugonwanne Dr. Sir, M.C. Ngene (JP), Ezeike Nibo IV of Nibo, grew up in the Royal Court of Ebetete Umuawulu. His Royal Higness, Igwe Oranye Umuawulu, was his uncle. He took Ezeugonwanne, when he was but a lad of five years old, into his court. It was in his palace that Ezeugonwanne would be educated through primary school and secondary school. Deducing then, it becomes clear that HRM had by virtue of been raised in a palace, the experience to adequately guide the town of Nibo, and its ever-teeming population. He remained in the palace, being raised by Igwe Oranye, until high school. Then, he transferred to board in a school in Onitsha.
Associating quite early with dignitaries, attending to them as would be expected of a young man growing up in any given Igbo community, he gained the parlance for relating and socializing with people of diverse backgrounds. This would earn him the title of Natural MC, because of his uncanny ability to liven up the occasion. Ezeike’s background is the key to his capacity to adapt into his role as the fourth Ezeike. Given that he is the second traditional ruler, following the recently introduced rotational system of leadership, to hold the throne. Also, there being an absence of manuals to learn from, on how to be an Ezeike. A self-styled psychologist, who within a couple of minutes, of interacting with people, can ascertain the disposition of their mental aptitude, would be favored in the capacity of Ezeike. Favorite of his talents, is his undisputable capacity to know the history of every indigenous man or woman born in Nibo town.
Strongly antagonized after he became the traditional ruler of Nibo, Ezeike, would claim not to have taken those issues to heart. His sentiment being, that he was crowned Ezeike freely. He neither campaigned for the throne, nor lobbied for it. Having previously declined the offer to rule in Nibo. It was after an early morning meeting with his mother that he rescinded his decision not to accept, and accepted to become the Ezeike. His mother had asked him if he was contesting for the position, and when he told her he wasn’t, she said if it was not been contested and he declined to accept the responsibilities been offered him, if anything happened to the people of Nibo, he would be held accountable. “Ọbulu n’ọbu ife azọrọ, nọ na enye lụ gi ya iwe ju, ife mebie, ụmu nne gin di Nibo ya ta gi ụta. Ndi ije, ya ta kwu gi uta. Ndi ije bun di gbo dina zi n’ọnwu.”
A Christian, of the Anglican denomination, Ezeike does not believe there is any difference, whatsoever, in any Christian denomination from the other. He, despite being raised an Anglican, has a strong affinity with The Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship, and holds regular prayer meetings at the palace. His declared position on religion, has been that, since he is the father to every citizen of Nibo, he is a part of every religion. Several controversies have trailed Ezeike. As would be expected of any public office holder. Needless to say, how such issues were handled will make or mar the one caught in the line of these conversations. Such was the case of a highly controversial period in the life of Ezeike. When, one day, during the celebration of Ezeoye day, as is the practice of every quarter and village in Nibo to celebrate a day in honor of their communities. During December, Ezeike made a comment. He would be later quoted out of context and his words misconstrued. Upon discovery of the person responsible for the tales, Ezeike invited him to the palace court. They reconciled their understandings and Ezeike received the man’s apology. In a re-union with Nibo citizens of Ezeoye quarter, Ezeike revisited the issue and had an open understanding with them all. So, peace ensued in Nibo town. Thus, is the known manner in which HRM would usually attend to an issue. Nipping it in the bud. To avoid been taken for an arrogant and nonchalant king.
Nibo is a highly populated metropolis. The citizens do not expect Ezeike to govern them. Ezeike Nibo is one who leads and allows people to grow. In his words, “I do give what belongs to Caesar, to Caesar, and what belongs to God, to God. Through a one-way traffic.”
In several Nigerian communities, at large, discrimination is a norm. Non-indigenes find it most challenging to set up enterprise and prosper. However, in Nibo, where the people are deeply inoculated with a mindset that makes providing basic amenities a non-governmental affair. Non-indigenes thrive and have the most viable environment to do business and prosper. During local squabbles, as can at times be the case, Ezeike, as the Justice of the Peace can stand in to understand the issue. He then resolves or refers the case. The influx of people into Nibo began after the regular tales of how Nibo town had regular electricity, because an illustrious son, late Engineer, Chief Ubosi (Ọnwa 1), influenced the erection of the power station, situated in Nibo, while in office at the defunct Nigeria Electric Power Authority. They also heard how Nibo people would give water for free, and not sell it like every other community were want to do. This also, was initiated by Chief Kanayo Ughammadu (Ishimmili).
Having travelled far and wide, Ezeike Nibo is best known for his oratorio, his belief that politics in our nation is overrated and that being taciturn is not the best way to go, in life. Ezeike has been the traditional ruler of Nibo for, months over, thirty-five years by the year 2020.
Ezeugonwanne has a vision for Nibo. He sees a time when Nibo becomes the hub of trade and commerce within its senatorial zone and beyond. Due to Nibo’s position as the city, cardinally positioned at the center of several other metropolises. Nibo connects Nise, Umuawulu, Mbaukwu, Amawbia, and Awka to themselves. Sitting at the center, aa focal point of contact to all other metropolis. Thereby, his classic motivational message to every Nibo indigene, in and outside the community, is for them to always think home. Invest at home, and Nibo is home. If he could choose what to come back as, re-incarnation, as is popularly believed in Nibo culture, he would choose to come back a woman and be married to the Eze of Nibo.
Ezeike represents a new culture in Nibo. The office of Ezeike is contemporary and defines the new vision and prospects of Nibo. Every 26th day of December, Nibo celebrates Ezeike Day. Formerly called Nibo day, it was renamed to connote the notion that Nibo is Ezeike and Ezeike is Nibo. Usually, age grades assembly to parade, displaying the glory and beauty of their age. Ezeike performs chieftaincy recognitions and celebrates the life of Nibo citizens for that year. When saluting Ezeike, it is customary to hail him Ezeike four times. Each time he is hailed, each one represents the four quarters of Nibo. There is a visitation culture required for visiting the Ezeike’s palace. This includes the taking of what are termed Ezeike’s kolanuts (available in Eke Nibo), and a hot drink, for ablution to our forefathers of Nibo.