Why we are honouring Asagba at 90, By Asaba Chiefs
Prominent indigenes of Asaba, Delta State, have outlined reasons why they are honouring and immortalising His Royal Majesty, Professor Chike Edozien, the Asagba of Asaba who marks his 90th birthday on July 28.
A week-long programmes of events released in Asaba by the planning committee said the ceremonies will commence today with visits to historical and tourist sites in Asaba.
A prominent White cap chief of Asaba said they have set aside this event to immortalise Prof. Chike Edozien whom they described as a living legend. He is the 13th Asagba of Asaba.
The Izoma of Ahaba, Chief Philip Asiodu, Chief Sony Odogwu (Ide Ahaba) and Prof. Epiphany Azinge who spoke to the media in separate interviews in Lagos said “the 90th birthday of the monarch is the most auspicious time to appreciate Prof. Chike Edozien for the numerous accomplishments that has come to Asaba during his tenure. Among these are the reforms in some traditional practices in Asaba as well as the rapid infrastructural development in the capital city in the past 24 years when he became the monarch.
The three High Chiefs of Asaba and indeed Anioma people should show appreciation to the Asagba for mobilising Anioma people towards the realisation of the Delta North to produce the next governor of Delta State which was achieved with the victory of Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa
Both Chief Asiodu said at the Asagba’s age he provided the intellectual focus and strength that served as the rallying point for the other traditional rulers from Delta North, who resolved to sink their differences to fight for a common cause.
According to Chief Asiodu, it is a thing of joy that Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, who emerged as the candidate selected by Anioma Congress, as the number one among three other aspirants went ahead to win the election, thereby vindicating the work of the Anioma Congress that set up the Philip Asiodu Committee to screen the 22 Anioma aspirants”
He said “Asaba people are also honouring the Asagba for his efforts in restoring the dignity of Asaba people who were decimated by the activities of the civil war where thousands of Asaba people were massacred by the federal troops and by their neighbours.
According to Chief Asiodu, the emergence of Prof Edozien in 1991 was a blessing as it provided the people the desired leader to take them out of the traumas of the civil war. This has greatly healed the wounds inflicted on the people as the Asagba was able to bring the experience of his academic training and exposure abroad to galvanise the people. He also spoke out against the” injustices done to our people over the years”.
Chairman of the Planning Committee, Prof. Azinge said “the Asagba has brought in several reforms in the areas of treatments of widows during their mourning period and the expensive traditional burial that further impoverished the family of the deceased.“
He said the Asagba will be inducted into Asaba Hall of Fame on Tuesday, July 21 in Asaba while the other programmes to immortalise him included the renaming of Direct Labour Road as Asagba Prof. Chike Ezodien Road and unveiling of a life-size statue of His Royal Majesty, Prof Chike Edozien as the 13th monarch of Asaba.
Prof Azinge said the planners of the event have taken their time to use it to showcase the cultural, social and intellectual assets of Asaba which was once the headquarters of the Royal Niger Company and in that capacity, served as the administrative capital of what became known as Nigeria.