The Traditional Ruler and Nye Udu III of Upata kingdom, His Majesty, King Felix Enene Otuwarikpo on Wednesday unveiled the scorecard of his stewardship in line with the commemoration of his 3rd year anniversary on the throne.
The event which was anchored by Mr Monday Oyagiri, special assistant on media to the revered king was graced by the Upata traditional council, Upata elites, the youth council and a host of well-wishers.
According to the Nye Udu III of Upata kingdom, the essence of the commemoration was to acquaint the public of his achievements within the three years of leading his people and to outline his future projections geared towards the upliftment of the kingdom.
During the course of his remark, the king thanked God almighty for the gift of life and also for the resilient spirit given to him to face and overcome challenges. He acknowledged the efforts made by different individuals and kingdoms who have been in alliance with the Throne.
“Within the past three years of my reign, time seems to have passed away rather quickly and for me, three years appeared to be like yesterday. On this day in 2017, at my coronation, I made a solemn pledge to work selflessly; to focus and rebrand Upata for good. It is a solemn promise which I will not falter. It is, therefore, within the context of that promise that I am expected to reflect on the past, present and future”.
Nye Udu Upata said that his leadership is bent on giving meaning to the traditional institution which has been designed to restore confidence in an environment that had been polarized and fractured by cult-related crises, leadership apathy, despondency amongst other.
According to him, the first thing he did after ascending the Throne was to ensure that community and youth leaders were sent out for leadership training to create an educated class of leaders who can effectively contribute to the development of the Kingdom.
The achievements of Nye Udu Upata III within his three-year reign
The king noted that his leadership having its backbone on the principles of transparency has been able to remain accountable towards his subjects.
He said: “While the people are able to get all the information regarding the activities of the Upata traditional council, they also are involved in the process of decision making. Our level of transparency has a great impact on the process of our administrative reform which positively promotes a high level of efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness.
“There is a bottom-to-top Administrative arrangement; a process where issues are generated from the village level through the clans before decisions are taken by the Upata traditional council. It may interest you to note that the concept of Nye Udu, which first appeared during the meeting of Upata elders in 1827, at Ula Upata town has officially been adopted as the title of all leaders in the kingdom.”
Peace and security
For a long time now, the communities in Upata have been enjoying peace and serenity which can be attributed to the Nye Udu III of Upata’s inclusive process of leadership that is designed to continuously build confidence and upliftment of Upata people’s quality of life.
He recalled that “We inherited a Ula Ikata community that was in total ruin. A land-related conflict sent the entire members of the community into exile for years with property worth millions destroyed and lives lost. We waded in for peace and the people have now returned to their community.
“It is, however, important to note that the pursuit of peace at Ula Ikata provided an expanded outlook on crime control and prevention, given that Ekpeye communities, then were under the jackboot of rascals who prided themselves as cultists… based on the Governor’s approval, I initially moved in collaboration with other Eze Igbus to proclaim traditional amnesty on cultists who would want to renounce cultism.”
On the whole, three hundred and forty-three (343) young men and women surrendered and their weapons were retrieved and handed over to the government.
Still in the bid to ensure the safety of Upata communities, and restore the confidence of investors, his administration has within this period secured approval from the Inspector General of police for a full-fledged police division in Edeoha Town.
In a bid to enhance human capital development, this administration is bent on increasing human and organizational productivity, strengthening the institutional and legal framework for the citizens capacity. king Felix Enene’s administration entered into a partnership with United Nations Institute for Training and Research(UNITAR), the Industrial Training Fund(ITF) and some NGO’s in capacity building initiatives which is aimed at enhancing sustainable development.
“Within the period, over 137 people have been trained in various skills so far and were handed starter packs. More are currently undergoing training in various skills. This is achieved under the ‘one youth, one skill’ policy introduced by the current Upata traditional council. Bursary was paid to students of Upata extraction in tertiary institutions, payment was also made to various schools for our indigent pupils in pre-secondary and secondary schools”.
The king took the men and women of the pen on sightseeing to the multi-million naira Palace. The magnificent building when finished will redefine the people’s perception of kingship. The Palace, which is being given finishing touches will be a safe abode to all reigning Nye Udu Upata.
There also was the heritage hall, which is located within the Palace which is also nearing completion. Massive construction is also ongoing at the permanent site of the Upata police division.
Also, medical services have commenced at the police clinic temporarily located within the Upata Civic centre, Edeoha.
“The idea behind the ancestral hall is a deliberate attempt to house all artefacts, sculpture and artworks. When completed, the hall will serve as an arena for cross-pollination of historical ideas by elders drawn from Upata communities. All these are planned to institutionalize the Upata traditional heritage.”
Revival of Tradition and culture
Before now, the daughters of Upata kingdom were finding it difficult to get married as their supposed suitors take to their heels immediately the ludicrously expensive marriage rite is mentioned. This has, however, come to an end as the marriage amendment bye-law has brought an end to the over-priced rites. Formerly, marriage rites in Upata was a little shy of 1 Million naira but has been to hundred and seventy-seven thousand Naira(177,000), only.
Being a king who is not just educated but contemporary and in touch with the evolving world surely is an advantage as it has been made a law that daughters can inherit their fathers’ properties without being short-changed because of their gender.
Burial rites reforms were also was signed into law on December 30th 2019. This reform ensures that the maximum money spent on the burial of a loved one does not exceed fifty-six thousand Naira (56,000), only.
Equally, modern and well-furnished house gifts were given to three members of the king’s personal staff. Mr Monday Oyagiri received a two-bedroom flat while chief Festus Umehuru and Hon Umegbewe Alabi were gifted one bedroom each.