Posted by FactNews Admin | 7 years ago | 25,916 times
The Igbo nation and indeed Nigeria was agog yesterday, Saturday, July 19, 2014, as dignitaries trooped to Nri in Anambra State from all walks of life to witness the conferment of "Ofo Ndi Igbo" title on a worthy Igbo born sailor, astute administrator, thinker, community leader, father and elder statesman, His Excellency, RTD Commodore Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe.
The Ofo Ndi Igbo title is the highest traditional title from Nri Kingdom and by extension all over in Igbo land. Only 3 other Igbo men previously received the title: Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Michael Okpara and Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu.
The title is a sacred and revered one in Igbo land given only to those whose overall life have been exemplary and distinguished in service to Ndigbo and humanity. The recipient must also be worthy in character, learning and actions to be able to attract the blessings of the spirits and respected Igbo traditional rulers who then recommend such a person to the divine king, Eze Nri.
The “OFO” itself, is got from the ofo tree. No wonder the uncommon respect accorded its recipient or custodian, The “Ofo” tree is sacred all over the Igbo nation. The tree is never used as firewood, log or for any other us except as Ofo.
The place of NRI and the OFO as well as IKENGA dates back to AD 900 up until 1911 when the British banned the NRI influence from crossing the Niger and towards the people they regarded as Cross River Igbo or interior Niger Igbo.
From inception, the “OFO TITLE” can only be bestowed by the devine king and from the hands of Eze Nri, who is the divine king and custodian of Igbo civilization.
His Excellency, Commodore Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe (Rtd), throughout his service years as Chief of General Staff, Member of Supreme Military Council, Nationalist, Niger State Governor, Lagos State Military Administrator, and Distinguished Igbo elder exhibited uncommon character that endeared him to the hearts of many. That he is a worthy recipient of OFO NDI IGBO title is widely accepted and approved across Igbo communities. He is better known as a man of "truth and character".
The “Ofo” title in Igbo mythology is the conscience of Ndi Igbo. It is expected that with the conferment of this revered title on the distinguished retired Navy Commodore, he will serve, protect and project the Igbo nation in the most deserving manner and without blemish. His voice on issues involving Ndigbo is expected to be heard as the "Igbo voice" from a man who has the blessings of the ancestors and hears directly from the spirits that guide the actions of an Igbo man.
FactNews Media team was on ground to cover the event. Some of the respected dignitaries that graced the occassion spoke to FactNews on the “Ofo” title, the recipient and other burning national issues. Watch our “Interview” column to read the explosive and expository chats.
After the Nri event, the new Ikenga Ndigbo treated his guests to a lavish reception at his Abriba country home. The high point of the celebration which continued to the early hours of the next day with family and friends from all over the world was the special dance by Commodore Ukiwe and his wife Amina.
Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (RTD) also hold the traditional title of Ochiagha of the ancient Kingdom of Abiriba.
We at FactNews Media congratulate His Excellency on this well-deserved honour and wish him well as he continues to serve Ndigbo and humanity.
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