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Okumagbe Of Uwanno Kingdom In Edo State Marks 22 Years On Throne As Compassionate King

Okumagbe Of Uwanno Kingdom In Edo State Marks 22 Years On Throne As Compassionate King

By Gabriel Omonhinmin

Uwanno Kingdom is the bustling and riverine town of Agenegbode in Estako East Local Government Area of Edo State.

The traditional ruler of this largely fishing and commercial town, is His Royal Majesty, Dr George Oshiapi Egabor, OON, Omoaze 1 and the Okumagbe of Uwanno Kingdom.

Okumagbe turned 82 years old on January 7th, 2024. He ascended his ancestral throne at the matured age of 60 years after excellent records in the private sector of the economy as a trained accountant. For the twenty-two years he has reigned as a king of Uwanno Kingdom, he demonstrated quality leadership, which has distinguished him from other kings in Edo State and other parts of Nigeria.

Five rare qualities stand him out among his peers. Number one is the immense display of wisdom in all that he does. As a very wise king, Okumagbe has been able to make sound judgements and decisions, even under pressure. He is able to see the big picture and understand the long-term consequences of his actions. Hence, his deliberate efforts never to hurt anyone no matter the provocations.

The Okumagbe of Uwanno has at all times demonstrated the rare qualities of courage when it comes to matters bothering on the welfare and wellbeing of his people. As a courageous king, he is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in, even when it is unpopular. He is willing to make tough decisions and take risks when necessary. Okumagbe exhibited this rare quality during Adams Oshiomole’s administration as the Civilian Governor of Edo State.

Oshiomole, who never tolerated any opposition throughout the 8 years of his regime, later punished him severely for standing on his principles as a king. His stands and beliefs became vindicated immediately after Adams Oshiomole vacated office as Governor of Edo State. He has since told whosoever cared to listen that he harbours no ill feelings nor bitterness against anyone over what happened.

He has continued to demonstrate to all the people who encountered him, that a strong king is not only physically strong, but he is also mentally and emotionally strong.

Okumagbe is able to withstand adversity and setbacks, and he never gives up on his goals. His drive and determination have helped in no small way in the development of Agenebode town into a modern city and Estako East Local Government Area as a whole.

Now, why Okumagbe is so loved and cherished by the Uwanno people, is because as a humble king, he has never allowed his power as a king to go into his head, as most first-class kings do these days. He readily agrees that as a human being, he is not perfect and he is always willing to learn from others no matter how young or inexperienced you are.

The Okumagbe’s compassion is unquantifiable. I say this, with all sense of responsibility, that I am alive today to write this piece, is all part of Okumagbe’s personal efforts to save my life while on my sick bed. He did what most friends, brothers and children could not do for me. It is extremely difficult to find a king in these modern times that is as compassionate as the Okumagbe of Uwanno Kingdom.

He is a just and fair king, who treats everyone with respect. He cares about his subjects and allows them to do everything within their powers to improve their lives.
As a personal testimony to these rare and sterling qualities of a king in the 21st century, yours sincerely on January 18th, 2024, in one of the leading hospitals in Lagos, had a prostrate surgery.

Before this particular surgery, Okumagbe was one of the persons I confided in. Right from the time I was wheeled to the operation room throughout the four and half hours I went under the knives, he made sure he monitored every moment of what was happening to me, an ordinary Nigerian, who is not related to him, nor one of his subjects. For the benefit of people not too familiar with Edo State, Okumagbe of Uwanno Kingdom, is an Etsako man in Edo North while I am an Esan man from Edo Central.

Our only connection was that I met him in the course of carrying out my journalistic assignments and he has since then remained one of my cherished mentor in life.

Okumagbe did not only stop there, but had since my first surgery on January 18th 2024 had other two major surgeries. After my second surgery, there was a drug that was not initially listed on the list of drugs, that I was supposed to have bought or provided before the commencement of my operation.

Immediately, I was wheeled out of the theatre, according to what my wife, who was with me in the hospital told me, hours after I had regained consciousness, “the Consultant asked her to hurry to the hospital Pharmacy and immediately buy the drug or drip that will be added to other drugs available to aid my gradual recovery or more appropriately my coming back to life. At this point, we have virtually exhausted all that we had in our bank account.

While my wife was desperately cracking her brain trying to see who to contact that could be of help. She then decided to pick up my phone and check the numbers of one of my friends or brothers, who would be willing to help immediately, that was when an alert popped up on my phone, it was the Okumagbe, who had again decided to do something without any prompting.

As it has turned out to be the King’s habit, he just sent in an amount that covered the drug, that she was expected to buy for my recovery. She was formally downcast, not knowing what to do, under those circumstances, but immediately braced up and rushed to the hospital Pharmacy to buy the drug prescribed and handed it over to the Nurses, who were taking care of me. This was how my life was saved by the Okumagbe of Uwanno Kingdom.

Hours after my recovery, she quietly asked me in a very low tone, “Who is Okumagbe of Uwanno Kingdom? Mind you that my wife is a Yoruba woman from Ibadan in Oyo State. She said, please call him to thank him, God mysteriously used him to save your life.”

She then excitedly narrated her experiences during those very difficult times in full. As if this was not enough show of affection and good gestures toward me, the Okumagbe at one point or the other during these excruciating pains and experiences, played a role or two in ensuring that I bought all my drugs promptly, which have become too expensive and out of reach of the common man.

Despite the huge inconveniences my admission to the hospital had caused him financially, he had never shown a sign of being tired of helping me. He is the first to call me if he has not heard from me for some time, to ask, “Gabriel, how are you doing today? I hope your health is now improving?”

What else could I ask from a good man like the Okumagbe? How do I ever get to pay him back or thank him sufficiently enough other than, this public acknowledgement of his assistance and care towards me when I needed them most?
Under the watch of Okumagbe in these past 22 years, the entire Uwanno Kingdom has witnessed massive infrastructural and human developments.

The higher institution, that was almost ruined and closed down, just because he decided to be his own man, when he was being punished by the former Edo State Governor, is now functional and bustling with students from all over the country. Thanks to Governor Obaseki’s administration.

As an administrator, he has been able to navigate the monkey waters of bitter rivalry from a fellow king and politics but still maintained the much-needed peace in his domain. The peace his people needs to continue to survive in this very hard time as an agrarian community. At the height of this personal provocation by an uncouth king of a neighbouring community, the Okumagbe refused to allow himself to be soaked into unnecessary crises and provocation.

He maintained a dignified level of headedness saying, “Gabriel, there is nothing like peace. I will never encourage my people to breach the peace and take the laws into their hands. If I do that, I will not be showing a good example as a king. I would have therefore failed my people and the Edo State government.”

Gatekeepers News is not liable for opinions expressed in this article, they’re strictly the writer’s

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