It was jubilation galore across the length and breadth of Ikabigbo in Uzairue clan, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State following the installation of Chief Ibrahim Alegeh as the new king of the community on March 2, 2021.
Ikabigbo is one of the 21 communities in Uzairue clan, located along Auchi- road.
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The installation of Alegeh followed the death of the traditional ruler of the community, Chief Zibiri Ogeyemhe, in August 2020.
Elders of the community had piloted its affairs for six months before the installation of the new leader.
Chief Ibrahim Alegeh was born in 1961 at Ikabigbo community, He attended Ikabigbo primary school and Institute of Continuous Education (ICE) Auchi and upon graduation he moved to Bauchi state where he set up his welding fabrication company.
He later moved to Abuja after over a decade in Bauchi where he also spent over a decade before joining Heartland land construction company where he resigned to become the king.
He is married to a teacher with five children.
After his education, Chief Alegeh moved to Bauchi State, where he stayed for over a decade before moving to Abuja, where he also spent over a decade. He worked in the Heartland Construction Company but resigned after his people beckoned on him to become their traditional ruler.
Both men and women trooped to Jattu, the headquarters of Uzairue clan to witness the coronation of their new king by the clan head, a first class traditional ruler in the state, HRH Kadir Omogbai, the Ogeineni of Uzairue kingdom.
After he was crowned, it was pomp and pageantry as the king was led from the palace of the Ogeneni to Ikabigbo community in a convoy, accompanied with traditional dance.
The youth were not left out in the celebration as they accompanied the new king to the community with music.
It was gathered that installation of a new king in the community has never been in dispute as it is rotated between the two ruling houses as dictated by their constitution.
Once a king passes on, the throne automatically goes to the second ruling house.
For the king to be crowned, the entire community must certify the candidate, while the elders of the community must be present during the coronation to also certify that there is agreement on the chosen king.
Installing the new king in his palace, the Ogeineni of Uzairue said Ikabigbo had fulfilled the necessary requirements, with the presence of four most senior citizens of the community.
“Today, I crown Chief Ibrahim Alegeh as the traditional ruler of Ikabigbo community. He is now your king,’’ he declared.
In his speech, Chief Alegeh sought the support of the people in moving the community forward.
“Today is a new dawn for Ikabigbo community. We are going to start afresh in building a new community for ourselves and our children. We must support one another to succeed.
“The development of my community is my priority; therefore, both youths and elders should support me to achieve my mission for the community. I thank the elders of the community who had been piloting the affairs of the community before my enthronement. I also want you to support me to succeed.
“This is the reign of the youth and I want you to join hands with me so that we can develop and achieve a united community,’’ he said.
Alegeh assured that he would be a listening king while ensuring justice for all in the community.
Elder John Asokomhe said the entire village was in support of the newly installed traditional ruler.
“There was no opposition to the new chief, which is a testimony that the entire community is in support of him. Since he was chosen as our king, there has not been any quarrel in the village,’’ he said, and urged the people to support the new king.
Also, Elder Shaibu Tijani urged the new king to always listen to wise counsel from his subjects.
“Remember that you are to take care of your people now that you have been crowned. Don’t listen to bad advice because many may want to mislead you. If you listen to wise counsels you will be a good king.’’
Again, Diriu Fatai, an engineer, noted that the reign of the new king would be very peaceful as there was no issue or argument against his candidacy.
“As you can see, everything went peacefully. Right from his nomination to installation, there was no agitation. The family actually chose a credible person and the entire village rallied round him and gave the necessary support.
“With the joy and happiness I saw in people’s faces today, I think his reign is going to be very good, with the support of God, because the king himself is a believer in God,’’ he said.
Furthermore, the president of Ikabigbo Aloaye Development Union, Hassan Adaba, noted that the way the community united in choosing their king was a testament that there would be progress.
“I am quite happy today because God has answered our prayers. The coronation of the new king is a source of joy to every member of the community. The warm reception accorded the king by the youth, women and elders tell us that his installation was divine,’’ he said.
Adaba prayed to God to guide him for the good of the community.
He said his enthronement was a new development in the community as he is still considered a youth, going by his age. He prayed that God would give him the wisdom to toe the right path.
He called on every member of the community to support the new king for the needed development.
Sani Anofokhai said the coronation of the new king signified progress for the community.
“He listens to advice before taking decisions, and I can say he is a youth. I see him as a person whose reign would be good for the community.
“He will bring development to the community. And from his address you will know he has travelled wide and acquired with experiences,’’ he said.
Also, Mallam Usman Bello noted that installation of a new king has always been peaceful in the community as they believe that God gives power.
He said the community would give him the needed support to succeed and change the community for good.