Ohanaeze Ndigbo felicitates Prof Chike Edozien, the natural ruler of Asaba Kingdom, as he clocks 99 years today 27 July.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide joins numerous admirers all over the world to felicitate a reflective intellectual giant, purveyor of superior morals, exemplary royalty, outstanding dogged achiever, harmonizer of diverse interests and a quintessential Igbo, His Majesty, Prof. Joseph Chike Edozien, the Asagba of Asaba as he clocks 99 on Friday, July 28, 2023.
The profile of Professor Edozien will remain a veritable source of inspiration to the generations yet unborn. A man who at a very young age of 37 rose to the enviable rank of a university professor and Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ibadan. Subsequently, he became chairman, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos; the Foundation scholar, University of Benin; Professor of Nutrition, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, Cambridge, MA; Head, Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health and a Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina, USA; among others.
What has become the most amazing of the Asagba mystique is his unique capacity to harmonise the diverse ethnic groups that are resident in Asaba, the Delta State capital. There is also his ability to reconcile the burgeoning Asaba modernity with the rich cultural values of the ancient Kingdom. Above all, his hock with the grassroots despite his lofty intellectual acumen, nobility and a meritorious career in public service. All the above sublime attributes have found expressions in the peaceful investment-ambience of Asaba since he ascended the throne of his forefathers over 30 years ago. His reign has catalyzed the transformation of Asaba into a vibrant social and investment hub in South-South Nigeria.
The Asagba has led the Asaba people with unassailable exemplariness, courage, moral rectitude and tenacity. In spite of all the splendours of aristocracy and the magnificence of monarchy at his disposal, the Asagba carries himself with the profoundest of openness and sincerity. The most ennobling of the Asagba persona is located in his strength of character and unwavering commitment to his modest, inordinate and ethical convictions. Furthermore, while some South-South Igbo are plagued with all forms of identity crises because of their duplicitous ambivalence on their Igbo-ness, the Asagba of Asaba remains a role model worthy of emulation.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Engr.Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, CFR (Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo) could not withhold his joy and gratitude to God as the Asagba gets ready to ascend the tenth floor. Ahaejiagamba looks forward to a national grand celebration of the Asagba Centenary Birthday in 2024.
On behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and indeed all the sons and daughters of Igboland, we thank God for his eventful life thus far, we beseech the Almighty God to grant the Asagba of Asaba a longer life in sound mind and stable physique.