One of the longest-serving Monarchs in Nigeria
The ancient Kingdom of Nnewi in the Anambra State of Nigeria today announces the Golden Jubilee of His Royal Highness Igwe Dr. Kenneth Onyemaeke Nnaji Orizu III. CON. JP. The celebrations will be marked by two days of celebrations to include a youth carnival and youth night on 27 December.
The celebrations which mark His Royal Highnesses’ 50th year of accession to the throne are expected to be attended by thousands of local people from the ancient Kingdom alongside a number of special guests, to include the President and Vice President of Ghana and Governors from some of Nigeria’s 36 states. The celebrations will conclude with a church service on 12 January 2014.
At the age of 88, His Royal Highness Igwe Dr. Kenneth Onyemaeke Nnaji Orizu III. CON. JP. The Igwe of Nnewi, who ascended to the throne on 25 May 1963, is one of the longest-serving Monarchs in Nigeria. He is the 17th ruler in the Nnewi Royal family lineage which ruled the province long before Britain colonised the West African country in 1900, and amalgamated different Kingdoms into what later became the country of Nigeria. Nnewi has retained its status as an ancient Kingdom and is fully recognised by the country’s federal government.
His Royal Highness has been credited with much over his 50-year reign, including:
- the abolition of the Osu caste system in the 1970s. Before then, the local Osu people were treated as outcasts and subjected to the servitude of various forms
- Being the first, in a long line of Nnewi Monarchs, to embrace Christianity;
- modernizing the legal system of Nnewi by establishing a Palace panel of Arbitrators for interpersonal misunderstandings. To ensure the highest degree of equity, justice and fair play,
- he also set up an Appeal Panel to review appeals from the Arbitration Committee; and
- The new Nnewi market which has given the province prominence as one of the largest commercial cities in Nigeria. It was set up at the instigation of the Monarch, whose vision for uplifting living standards in his domain has been highly commended by his peers
The spokesman for the Royal family, Prince Obi Orizu, said the celebrations were not only aimed at marking the Monarch’s 50 years on the throne but were also a demonstration of the love and respect the people of Nnewi feel towards their King.
Prince Obi added: “By the Grace of God, His Royal Highness Igwe Dr. Kenneth Onyemaeke Nnaji Orizu III. CON. JP. The Igwe of Nnewi is still fit and strong at the age of 88. By organizing the celebration for their King, the people of Nnewi want to wish him many more years so that he can continue his tireless campaign to improve the lives of all his people. Nnewi wants to demonstrate its gratitude for its Monarch and everyone will be welcome to share in our happiness.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
The celebrations will continue on 29 December with a Cultural festival, followed by masquerades and traditional dances on 30 December. Post anniversary church services will be held at St Peter’s Catholic Church, Nnewichi, Nnewi on 5 January and on 12 January 2014 at St Mary’s Anglican Church, Uruagu, Nnewi.
Below is a list of some of the King’s achievements:
The King is the first of Nigerian Monarchs to abolish the Osu cast system, thus making everyone in the province of Nnewi free-born.
The King dealt with a political crisis in Nnewi by allowing the town in a general assembly to choose a title for him to restore peace in the town. Thereafter, the community named him the GENERAL OF PEACE. His other title is, Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON). The King is a one Star Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.
The King was instrumental in the establishment of a Teachers Training College in Nnewi; now Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi. He also advocated the siting of the College of Health Sciences of the University by encouraging Nnewi people to make significant financial contributions. He personally donated most of the land for the establishment of the school.
The King facilitated the establishment of New Nnewi market and this market gave Nnewi prominence as one of the largest commercial cities in Nigeria.
For further information contact:
Joe Nwankwo – Director of Information and Research, Unit, Igwe Nnewi Palace, Nnewi
Tel: 08033138291 or 08037019672
Victoria Geoghegan / David Bass – Bell Pottinger
Tel: +44-207-861-3925 or +44-7917-551155
For images, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Kingdom of Nnewi