It is a new dawn now for the Chief Mac-Pepple War Canoe House in Opobo Town following the installation of a new Chief to head the royal house in Opobo Town, recently.
The 8th day of November 2009 would be evergreen in the hearts of the members of the house, when they rolled out their ancient Xylophones, War-Canoe drums to celebrate their new Chief or ‘Alabo’.
For one week, it was fanfare of festivities and ancient rites to usher in the new Chief, Prince Charles Douglas Mac-Pepple Jaja a scion of the legendary King Mac-Pepple Jaja, the third occupant of the King Jaja Stool.
Prince Mac-People was last year unanimously presented before the Alapu Council in Opobo town foreplace the late Chief Eugene Mac-Pepple.
The presentation marks the first level of installation rites since it represents the willingness of the war-canoe house to have a new head.
And just within a space of one year plans commenced in earnest to install him. First, there were activities to finally end the mourning of the late Chief Mac-Pepple, after which full installation rites would begin.
The rites begins with a memorial service of the late ‘Alabo’, after which several ancient masquerades would be displayed including a boat regatta which would be conducted to prepare ground for the real installation rites to be handled by the Amayanabo himself.
So it was not surprising that when all these activities are carried out, the new Alabo Mac-Pepple amid tumultuous crowd of indigenes and elated youths was again brought before the Alapu Council for final induction.
During the installation and administration of oath by the Amayanabo, King Dandeson Jaja V, the King admonished prince Mac-Pepple to be humble and diligent in his activities.
The Opobo Monarch noted that traditional rulers are meant to be servants of their people hence they are supposed not to be eratic in their decisions.
King Jaja V called on the new Chief to uphold justice and fairness in his dealings with the people, stressing that the Holy Bible on which the Prince swore abhors all acts of bribery and mischief.
In the king’s words, “there are a lot of temptations and provocations but you must stand firm in doing what is right. Speak the truth no matter the temptation.”
In his new position, king Jaja V, urged Alabo Mac-Pepple not to be sectional in his activities, adding that he is now the leader of all people in his domain.
Following challenges ahead of him, the monarch prayed God to guide Alabo Mac-Pepple in his activities and solicited for unremitted support from both Senibos and youths of the house to their new head.
Taking the oath of office, Alabo Mac-Pepple pledged to uphold the culture and traditions of the Opobo people, abide by the customs guiding the Alapu Council and to ensure that members of his house are given necessary lendership to move them forward.
Born 50 years ago in the royal house of Mac-Pepple Jaja, Chief Charles Mac-Pepple was the second son of late king Douglas Mac-Pepple Jaja.
As a blue blood his was bred in line with aristocratic leanings under the tutelage of his Christian father, late Eman M.T. Epelle.
Unlike other children of aristocratic background that would lose focus and tread the pleasure path, Alabo Mac-Pepple took education serious. Strangely he took technical education as opposed to the Grammar schools that most Princes would have chosen.
By 1976 he proceeded to the government technical College Abak, where he studied Electrical installation technology of the WAEC (London City and guilds.
He was at the Rivers State School of basic Studies, Port Harcourt in 1979 for a remedial course programme and obtained Diploma in Business Administration from the Sondore Institute of Management.
He went further to acquire academic knowledge when he got admission to read Public Administration and Political Science in the University of Port Harcourt in 1991.
Currently he is running a Post-Graduate Study in law at the Rivers State University of Science and technology and a fellow of the Nigerian Chartered Institute of Public Administrators.
President of International Federation of Public Administrators Academy (NCIPA), Prof Hensely Kirby said of him, “an accomplished public administrator to occupy this reverent ancient stool at this time which we are optimistic that your advent in the rulership of the historic chief Mac-Pepple War Canoe House will witness a new horizon.”
Indeed he would bring to bear his management qualities with which he had managed his father’s business, Messrs P.S. Mandrides Plc, Kano, a company where the late king Douglas Jaja served on the board over a period of time.
Congratulating him for the installation, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Hon. Dakuku Peterside remarked, “My dear Alabo, given your pedigree and antecedents in service to humanity, I have no doubt that this installation is a clarion call to redouble your efforts in the service of your people and Opobo kingdom”.
Secretary of Chief Mac-Pepple House, Senibo Chris Pepple wished their new head, “an eventful reign”, adding that, your ascension and installation as Head and Alabo of your grand-father’s stool” would bring good tidings and blessing to the people.
For Chairman of the Likeminds Board of Trustees, Sir Dinne Adafe Jaja, Alabo Mac-Pepple “has been a source of pride for many of us.”
The Adafe family Union Chairman expressed the hope that the War Canoe House would be lifted beyond the expectation of the people.
A similar view was held by the President of Mina-Ogbo Ikina Cultural Society, a club which the new Chief has remained glued to despite his tight schedules.
President of Mina-Ogbo Ikina, Senibo Bond Accra-Jaja said the new Chief, “has been captured young, and we are entirely convinced that your wealth of experience, generosity and leadership style will contribute to the advancement of your house and indeed Opobo Kingdom.”
Describing her fondness to her husband, Princess Boiya Jaja called him, “Old boy”, saying, “Now you are called Alabo meaning my father or my Chief … your entire relationship with people signified the dignity in fatherhood.”
Known for his diligence and commitment to anything he sets his mind at, Alabo Charles more than anything else, values development of human capital to paltry handouts to the less economically endowed.
CP’s Wife Visits Onne Division
Wife of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mrs Ijeoma Emeka, has visited Onne Police Divisional Headquarters.
The visit of the Police Commissioner’s wife last week was geared towards familiarising herself with the police officers’ wives and attending to their needs.
The CP’s wife’s entourage was received on that day by the Onne Divisional Police Officer.
Ijeoma, in her remarks, said her mission was to familiarise herself and synergies with wives of police officers under her as regards their welfare
She emphasised the cleanliness of the barracks and working relationship to achieve the desired objective
Earlier, the Onne Divisional Police Officer, CSP Ugochukwu Ijeoma expressed gratitude to the CP’s wife for finding time to visit the Division.
CSP Ijeoma described her visit as a welcome development, saying the lectures delivered by the CP’s wife were memorable.
He said the inspection of the barracks was done in a novel manner and said the visit would improve the welfare of the women.
Ijeoma while speaking with newsmen said she has taken into account the state of the women under her as well as bettering their lives.
She said some palliatives were distributed by her., describing it as a rare privilege to host the wife of the Commissioner of Police
The Onne Divisional Police Officer urged residents of the area to be law-abiding and give the police relevant information that could lead to the apprehension of criminals.
He said the fight against crime must be a collective responsibility as the police are ever ready to cooperate with everyone to reduce crime.
Ebonyi: AIG Cautions Personnel Against Bribery
Mr Echeng Eworo, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), has urged the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to shun bribery in the discharge of their duties.
Eworo, in charge of Zone nine, Umuahia, gave the charge yesterday during his one-day working visit to Ebonyi State Police Command, Abakaliki.
He said that the measure would ensure good service delivery to the people and also bring about free crime society for the citizens.
“You should keep on doing the good work of ensuring a free crime society for the citizens.
“You must shun all sorts of bribery, as the law will not allow anyone found wanting to go unpunished.
“Do not shy away from your responsibilities. Always stand for the right thing for effective protection of the people,” he said.
The AIG described the police as the leading agency in the protection of lives and property, urging the personnel to embrace professionalism on the job.
“The police is all about the people. Always ensure that you protect them, be objective and do what is right. Remember that all the units in the command were set up for a reason in crime fighting processes,” the AIG said.
Earlier, Mrs Augustina Ogbodo, the Ebonyi Commissioner of Police, thanked the AIG for the visit, adding that the personnel in the state had been dedicated to their duties.
Ogbodo, who gave a brief breakdown of her achievements since her assumption of office as 26th Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi, said the personnel had nabbed suspected fraudulent employment syndicates in the state.
Other suspects arrested include suspected kidnappers, cultists, robbers as well as recovery of arms of various kinds.
She commended the Inspector-General of Police Kayode Egbetokun, and the AIG on their supports to the officers and men in the command and promised to do more work at ensuring peaceful environment for the people.
Multinational Troops Eliminate Terrorists, Rescue Abducted Victims
Troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), have eliminated scores of Boko Haram terrorists and rescued abducted victims in recent encounters in the Lake Chad Basin region.
The Chief of Military Public Information Office for MNJTF, Lt.-Col. Kamarudeen Adegoke, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in N’Djamena, Chad.
Adegoke said the troops of MNJTF Sector 4 in Niger, while on patrol along Kara–Diffa Road on Jan. 9, 2023, intercepted four persons suspected to be Boko Haram/ISWAP logisticians conveying about 1,000 litres of fuel.
He said the fuel was cleverly concealed in plastic bags inside a Toyota Highlander Jeep and was being transported from Maine Soroa to the Lake Chad Islands, possibly to suspected terrorists.
He added that the sum of N650,000 was also recovered hidden in the vehicle, saying that suspects and exhibits were in custody of MNJTF Sector 4 for further investigations.
Adegoke said the troops of Sector 3 (Nigeria), had in another incident on January 11, 2023, repelled an attempted infiltration by the Boko Haram/ISWAP criminals due to superior firepower.
He said that two terrorists were killed at the end of the encounter and one Rocket Propelled Grenade, seven bombs, two 60mm mortar bombs, 36 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, seven mortar chargers and two wooden canoes were recovered.
According to him, the canoes were promptly destroyed.
“Similarly, on Sunday, unspecified number of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists also attempted to infiltrate Monguno in MNJTF Sector 3 (Nigeria) in the early hours of the morning but met the gallant and alert troops.
“Troops engaged the criminals in a fire fight forcing them to withdraw in disarray.
“The unrelenting troops pursued and engaged the criminals along their withdrawal routes neutralising three criminals while many fled with gunshot wounds.
“The troops also recovered one AK 47 rifle and 2 magazines after the encounter.
“Regrettably, a soldier paid the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty in this encounter.
“Five young men suspected to have been abducted were rescued by the troops while five brand new boxer motorcycles were also captured from the terrorists during the encounter.
“Efforts are being made to ascertain the origin of the motorcycles and how they were smuggled into the Lake Chad Islands while the rescued young men are being profiled in the Sector Headquarters before further processing,” he said.
MNJTF spokesman further said that a total of 70 terrorists surrendered to troops of Sector 4 MNJTF (Niger) and troops of Sector 1 (Cameroon).
He said the surrendered terrorists would be treated in line with standard procedures for such surrenders which would include interrogation and profiling by the relevant authorities.
He added that the Force Commander (FC), Maj.-Gen. Abdul-Khalifah Ibrahim, had enjoined the troops to continue to maintain resilience and offensive posture until the criminals surrendered totally or are defeated completely.
According to him, the force commander reaffirmed the fact that the terrorists have been severely degraded and there is need to finally finish them off.
“He reminded the Force of the obligation they have to observe international humanitarian laws and to be professional at all times.
“The FC praised the courage and determination of the troops of the MNJTF and their commanders and paid tribute to the fallen hero and passed his deep condolences to the soldier’s family.
“He called on the people of Lake Chad basin region to continue to support the MNJTF and other security forces with useful information to help bring this conflict to an end.
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