The Omu Anioma, HRM Obi Martha Dunkwu, has said that while growing up she never dreamt being an Omu, a traditional women leader in Anioma area of Delta state.
Obi Dunkwu made the remark during the celebration of her 20th coronation anniversary as the Omu of Okpanam, a suburb of Asaba, in Oshimili North local government area of Delta state.
Obi Martha Dunkwu was formally crowned Omu of Okpanam before she was later made Omu Anioma.
She told the people who gathered in her palace to join her in the celebration that though she never dreamt being an Omu, however the latter part of her life made her believe that providence had prepared the throne for her.
As an Omu of Okpanam for the last 20 years, she said the experience had opened her eyes just as she gave thanks to God for the much she has achieved for the period under review.
In an address delivered to journalists, she listed among others four critical achievement in her 20-year-reign as Omu of Okpanam.
She told the people that for the 20 years she has been Omu, the institution has gained local and international recognition with foreign bodies studying the concept of the Omu institution.
She said: “We vigorously promoted native attire (akwa ocha), our language, our food, our culture and traditions. To this extent, some foreign universities have been coming to understudy the Omu institution for the benefit of research and documentation.
“My palace has also been a study centre, open to the training and knowledge acquisition for women. We have continued to print and distribute the Historian Emeka Esogbue’s books on Omuship to persons who will further advance the course of learning.”
Omu, who is also a media and public relations expert, also said she has set up a women development centre dedicated to the study of Omuship in Anioma nation.
She also said she set up Obi Martha Dunkwu Foundation whose aim is to provide scholarship to indigent Anioma girl children who will be engaged in academic studies, skills acquisition, entrepreneurship development and micro investment.
She noted that her campaign and advocacy to different communities to begin enthroning Omuship has paid off as over 15 communities in Anioma nation have crowned Omus in their domains.
She explained that the Omu’s institution has done so much in guiding leadership at various levels to make right decisions predicated on good governance.
She added: “We must change our society for the better. We must re-invent the value system we are known for. If each and everyone of us play our individual roles, we will definitely and of necessity achieve a prosperous society.”
She told the chiefs and other traditional rulers that were present at the 20th anniversary that God gave her the assignment and the strength to carry it out.
She said with her being the Omu, she has brought visibility to the Omu institution in Anioma land.
She said the Omu institution started in 822 years ago. She added that on ascension of the throne as an Omu, she must leave her father and husband’s house and begin the role of both man and woman in society.
Among those who were present at the 20th anniversary were Josephine Kachikwu, former chairman of Delta state house of assembly service commission, Bridget Anyafulu, commissioner for humanitarian and community development, some traditional rulers in Anioma land and a host of others.