By Martin Nwoko
The remains of the traditional ruler of Okoroduru-Ekwe Autonomous Community in Isu local government area of Imo State , HRH Eze Igwe Fortunatus Awubenne Nwoke (Ohazurumee 1) was on Wednesday December 22nd 2021 laid to rest in his palace in grand style.
The revered monarch was said to have championed the struggle leading to the creation of Okoroduru Ekwe Autonomous Community by the Imo State House of Assembly in 2015. Later in January 2019, the former governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha issued him a certification of recognition and staff of office to reign as the traditional ruler of the autonomous Community.
In his homily at St. Ann’s Catholic Parish Ebenator-Ekwe, the officiating priest who presided on behalf of the Parish Rector, Rev Father Amaechi Awurum, consoled the entire family over the demise of the revered monarch.
He described him as a true and devoted Christian who joined hands with his wife to train their nine children.
According to the priest, “the greatest challenge facing you as a family is to follow his footsteps and also to give meaning to all values he believed in”.
The clergyman reiterated that the late king was readily available for his community, church and family till his death, stressing that Okoroduru-Ekwe Autonomous Community has lost someone who is always available for service to his people.
After the requiem mass at St. Ann’s Catholic Parish, Ebenator-Ekwe, his remains were laid to rest in his palace amidst tears by family and friends whom he touched their lives in one way or the other.
The late monarch is survived by his wife, Ugoeze Veronica Nwoke, nine children, a half brother, two sisters, nephews, nieces and twenty three grand children.
The burial ceremony attracted lots of dignitaries including traditional rulers from different communities who came to commiserate with the family on the demise of Eze Igwe Fortunatus Awubenne Nwoke.
In his reaction shortly after the burial, Prince Engr. Ezeugo Marksaviour Nwoke (Eze Elect) described his late father as a man of the people, a principled man, a great man and a warrior during his time on earth.
Speaking on his plans for his community, Prince Ezeugo said, “I will follow my father’s footsteps and also make sure his kingdom and empire he labored to build forges ahead under my watch. My people know what can do. That’s why they unanimously chose me to continue from where my father stopped”
He prayed for the peace and progress of Okoroduru Ekwe Autonomous Community and also wished his people long life, prosperity, wisdom and knowledge in order to join hands with him move the community forward.