Farewell to A Great King, Late Chief Willy Idode, Okphe Ukpi and Head Ogbona Sub Clan (1959- 2022)
By Elias Inaede
It was a life so beautifully lived to promote unity rooted in deep love, humanity, growth and development for his people.
The Memories of the Late King, Chief William Uloko Idode, the immediate past Okphe Ukpi and Sub Clan Head of Ogbona will remain an indelible footprint for generation yet unborn judging from the quality leadership which he provided for his people during his reign.
The Final burial ceremony of Late Chief Willy Idode indeed, showcased the success story of a selfless king whose reign attracted peace, unity and progress to the indigenous people of Ogbona Community.
Late Chief Willy Idode was a strong pillar of the arts, Culture and tradition of the people of Ogbona Community. Indeed, the Black Race has lost a Titan in the person of HRH William Idode.
Born on 4th April, 1959 to the Family of Mr. Momodu Ojakpa Idode and Mrs Lametu Amiunomhene Idogho both of Ivhiobore Quarter of Ogbona.
He was a Peace Loving King, a Unifier and a Beacon of hope to those who came around him as His contributions to humanity were highly acclaimed. He died at a time His Royal advice and guidance was most needed by the People of Ogbona Community.
There is no doubt about the fact that the final burial ceremony was remarkable in the memories of the people of the community who came out enmasse in honour of a King whose positive footprint in the community would stand the test of time.
Expectedly, the Final burial Ceremony of Late Chief Willy Idode was an opportunity for reunion by Family members, Friends, Well Wishers and Schoolmates of the Late King who came to pay the last respect to the King in view of the tremendous achievements and growth under the rulership. He was able to restore orderliness and peace in the community as a result of his exemplary leadership qualities that has endeared him to the heart of the people of the community.
Guests at the ceremony that took place on 23rd December, 2022 at the Ogbona Secondary School Field, Ogbona, were treated to a lavish reception with a reknowned Music Legend, King Benji Igbadumhe trilling the Visitors with sole touching melodious numbers.
Late Chief Willy Idode was an exceptional traditional Ruler of inestimable value and a God-fearing Man whose death till date has created a huge vacuum in the community and whose role in uniting and strengthening the community would be greatly missed. This was the testimony given by the Oghianviawu of Avianwu HRM Chief Jackson Etokhana in his speech. He also admonished the Ogbona Community of the due process to install a new King which must not be undermined. In like manner, “the Egboise” Second in Command of the Community Chief Vincent Otsoi also enumerated the virtues of the late king as a Unifier, kind, selfless and truthful.
Extolling the rare qualities of his father, the Son of the Deceased Mr. Aloaye Idode in his tribute, described his father as an exceptional man, a great father, a role model and a true symbol of a man who contributed his quota selflessness to the growth of the family, community and humanity.
According to Aloaye, the Deceased was a hardworking man, a Disciplinarian, a God-fearing man, an Exemplar and a resourceful man whose valuable services would be greatly missed. His World rolled along like a song. The deceased was an effective and compassionate Ruler and a pragmatic Christian who would be remembered for his legacies and contributions to mankind.
Chief Idode stood on the truth to administer justice to all irrespective of age, political, economic, social and academic status without fear or favour. He was never afraid to speak the truth regardless the parties involved.
His love for Ogbona community was without rival. His influence was in every aspect of the community, primary and secondary education, scholarships for the indigents and proper running of the schools including recruiting teachers. He touched the medical institutions, Markets, Security, governance and peace in the community. This was remarked by the Funeral Organizing Committee Chairman Mr. John Odior Anaweokhai in his welcome address.
His reign brought about the abrogation of some cultural practices of gender discrimination against women especially on matters of inheritance and the transformation of the annual New Yam Festival into an occasion of sharing with the needy and community annual day of thanksgiving.
HRH, Late Willy Uloko Idode took ill sometimes 2021. This he was able to manage until early 2022 when the required cost of treatment became so huge for him to bear alone. As a king loved by everyone, the community at large through the following various development groups, Ogbona Federated Union, Ogbona Elite Forum, Ogbona Youth Forum, Age Groups and other notable persons from in and outside the Ogbona community made the needed contributions of funds for his treatment. This treatment took place in various specialist hospitals within Nigeria. UBTH Benin City, Lagos, Irua Specialist Hospital Irua, Edo State and several hospitals in Abuja. He finally passed on at home and was immediately buried according to Avianwu Royal Tradition on the 5th October, 2022.
After the burial, the Palace set up a committee of eminent sons and daughters of Ogbona to plan for a befitting funeral for the late Opke- Ukpi. Membership of this committee which was chaired by John Odior Anaweokhai cut across the late king’s immediate family, the Ogbona Palace Chiefs, Ogbona Elite Forum and Ogbona Youth Forum.
This committee was further de-centralized into sub-committees for proper coordination. The committee raised fund once more from both within and outside the community for the funeral which finally took place on the 23rd December, 2022.
The well-coordinated occasion was also well attended by college of dignitaries that cut across traditional leaders, politicians, business magnates, age groups, Okada Ride Ogbona association, various churches etc.
Late Chief Willy Idode died at the age of 63 years. He is survived by three Wives and Five Children and three Great Grand Children
ELIAS INAEDE, is a Former Chief Press Secretary to Etsako Central Local Government Council, Fugar. (2013 – 2016)