The Enugu State capital, otherwise known as the Coal City was literally shut down on Monday and Tuesday when the Igwe of Ezeokwe Kingdom, His Royal Highness, Dr Emmanuel Ugwu and his community bestowed on Comrade Isaac Balami a chieftaincy title of Ochiriozuo 1 of Okwe Kingdom.
Balami who hails from Borno State was conferred with the title for his large heart and benevolence having touched lives across every part of the country, with no bias for culture, religion and politics.
The event which began with an induction night where the Arewa youth leader was inducted ahead of the main coronation culminated into another ceremony of religious declaration of Okwe Kingdom as a Catholic Community, otherwise known as the All Saints community.
The Bishop of Enugu Diocese, His Lordship, Callistus Valentine Onaga conducted the service ahead of the main coronation, where he prayed for blessings for all those who attended the remarkable event.
In a speech after his coronation, Balami said he was overwhelmed for being singled out of many and nominated for the title, affirming that the decision of the Igwe and his kingdom was a clear statement to the fact that good things can hardly be concealed.
Comrade Balami who is also the President, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers was accompanied to Okwe kingdom with over 400 youths and prominent politicians from across the country.
Urging young people to concentrate only on the things that can better their lives, Balami said, ” for me, to have been bestowed with this title at this prime age shows that the youths have got great things to offer this country.
He said, “I did not know the Igwe from anywhere. I think this honour was just done based on recommendations. I was surprised when I was informed about my nomination. This goes to show that one cannot actually hide himself.
“I must sincerely appreciate the Igwe for being who he is.
One thing that amazes me most is his promotion of national unity. I understand that some other persons have received similar titles from different parts of the country, even though I’m the first from the North East.
“This goes to show that the Igwe believes in oneness and the unity of this country. It goes to tell those agitating for the break up of the country that they are simply wasting their time, as the bond that binds us together cannot be broken.”
Balami said the investiture was a sign that young people could actually be trusted.
Speaking, however, on why Balami deserved the title, the Igwe of Ezeokwe Kingdom, said “his benevolence which cuts across boundaries was the reason for the honour.
“The title as bestowed on him today means ‘one who gathers the people and feed them.’ Considering what we have heard from people, your love for the downtrodden has put you on this level,” the Igwe said.
He urged Balami to continue the good work as he had just began his journey to the next level.
Also speaking on the significance of the title, Comrade Mohammed Jega, a friend and partner to Comrade Balami said Balami’s “selfless service to the nation and his offer of assistance to many irrespective of their background couldn’t have been hidden from well meaning Nigerians who are keenly watching and taking note of people’s deeds.”
Balami, is the coordinator, Nigerian Rebirth Project which was recently launched at the Presidential Villa.