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peculiar queenAbinitio, Amaudo an ancient kingdom situated in Enugu – the then capital city of East Central Zone, Nigeria was unarguably known for its uniqueness in the whole of Igbo land, especially during early eighties (1980s), based on the innumerable number of respected personalities found in the area in addition to the invariable and rare farming prowess peculiar to its indigenes in their entirety that it obviously became a point of attraction to every rational being that existed within the aforementioned calendar period.
Traders and farmers were frequently touring to the area to purchase their wares and farming materials as the case may be, thereby making it reckoned to be a commercial kingdom to the envy of other neighbouring communities.
Owing to the booming nature of the locality, its Traditional Ruler Igwe Ogadi Nduka – Ama II of Amaudo was recognized by all and sundry as the most influential king across the entire Igbo nation; this remarkable phenomenon attached to the throne made it seemed like what every illustrious son of Amaudo wished to sit on.
The most fascinating scenario was that anyone either indigene or non-indigene who received a chieftaincy title from the kingdom was widely regarded as one of the most important chiefs in existence; thus any personality within the clan whom was yet to bag the title was seen as one who hadn’t arrived, thereby constituting an unending inconsequential controversy among the people especially during occasions or festive periods.
“Igwe..!” the community’s town crier Uzondu saluted Igwe Nduka, head bent as the custom expected right in the king’s palace. “Igwe…ee!!,” the short, dark and plump young man repeated. He was standing about two metres away from the king who was seated on his magnificent and adorable throne surrounded by two palace male servants whom were busy blowing some air on him with native hand-fans made of wicker material.
He had been ordered by the king just a few minutes ago to appear before him in the palace. It was on Friday September 10, 1982 at about some minutes past six in the evening. “Uzondu.” Igwe Nduka called. “Igwe.” He responded, lowering his moderately big skull.
“Summon all the sons and daughters of Amaudo,” the king mandated. “Ask them to be in this palace as soon as the cock crows tomorrow.” “Igwe…ee.” “Go immediately.” The king commanded. “Igwe…ee.” He said, bowing as usual and hastily dashed out of the palace as demanded.
The following morning being Saturday 11th of September 1982 about seven o’clock, the palace was flooded with every dick and harry in Amaudo as requested by the king; the alarming number of people present at the palace was no doubt an indication that Igwe Nduka was highly adored by his people.
An open place at the king’s residence was used as the venue for the gathering rather than the palace due to the intimidating number of persons at the arena.
Every elderly man and woman was comfortably seated while the youth as well as the kids were all on their feet as a result of insufficient seats. “Great people of Amaudo,” Igwe Nduka who sat on his throne commenced his awaited speech in a very high and pleasant tone.
“You are all welcome.” On the king’s right hand was his immediate younger brother Chief Amaechi Nduka while High Chief Amasiri Ogbuehi – the Traditional Prime Minister (TPM) of the ancient kingdom was rightly seated by his left side.
“Igwe…ee!” The people chorused in unison. “Without being told,” Igwe Nduka who dressed in his kingship regalia proceeded. “You already know why we are gathered here.” He hinted. The elders amidst the crowd nodded.
“Of course, a week today September 18 would be our Iri Ji festival,” the king said. “So, I thought it wise to remind you of the formalities involved ‘Iri Ji’ festival, which was an annual event, meant New Yam festival; the remarkable ritual which was celebrated every 18th of September marked the beginning of yam consumption for each farming year in the kingdom.
Thus no one, not even the king, was supposed to consume a newly harvested yam until the ‘Iri Ji’ ceremony is observed. “And more importantly,” Igwe Nduka rode on. “On that very day, the heir to this throne I’m sitting on would be presented to the entire people of Amaudo.”
The elders nodded in appreciation. There was maximum silence among the gathering. Interestingly, the heir to the throne of Amaudo was meant to be ceremoniously presented by the serving king in every fifty years interval, and the ceremony was designed to coincide with the day of the new yam festival of the affected year.
Igwe Ogadi Nduka – Ama the second (Ama II) of Amaudo whom was eightthree years of age was presented by his late father, the pioneer and immediate past king, Igwe Obifere Nduka – Ama the first (Ama I) of Amaudo as the heir to the throne in question fifty years back when he (Igwe Ogadi) was 33-years-old; and he succeeded his late father two years after the event at 35, after his father’s eternal exit. Suffice it to say that he had consecutively spent about forty-eight years on the throne as the Ama II of Amaudo, making him the longest served king in the kingdom so far.
According to the tradition, the kingship of Amaudo wasn’t rotatory rather hereditary. The first son of the serving king was meant to succeed him when he dies, but the second son of the king could be enthroned if the supposed heir to the throne (the first son) dies prior to his father’s departure.
And a situation where the king had no male child to succeed him, his immediate younger brother would assume the throne if he eventually passed on.
“As it stands,” the old but vibrant Igwe Nduka continued. “Ahamefula my son will be officially presented on that day as the heir to this throne.” “Igwe…ee!” They chorused unanimously. Prince Ahamefula, who was 51, was the fourth child and only son of Igwe Nduka whom had two wives; he was begotten by the king’s second wife. The said prince was seated very close to his father – the King, clad in complete royal regalia.
The gathering, which lasted for over one hour, ended successfully after light refreshments. About half past eight, everyone departed for their respective residences.
On Friday 17th of September 1982, less than a day to the proposed New Yam festival coupled with the presentation of the heir to the throne, something very terrible transpired; Prince Ahamefula Nduka – the incoming heir to the throne kicked the bucket unexpectedly. He passed on in the evening of that fateful day in his matrimonial room.
The incident, which generated an unquantifiable uproar in the royal home and among the people of Amaudo interrupted every activity taking place in the kingdom including trading, farming and what have you. Owing to the painful development, Igwe Nduka died of heart attack at the night of that very day. Consequently, in one year’s time after observing all the burial and mourning rites of the late king and that of his late son, on Saturday October 22, 1983, Chief Amaechi Nduka the late king’s immediate younger brother was enthroned as the Ama the third (Ama III) of Amaudo by the Chief Priest of the land as the custom demanded.
Subsequently, Igwe Amaechi Nduka’s reign as the king of Amaudo brought a total hardship to the entire people of the kingdom and its environs; to say the least, he was not unlike a tyrant.
His leadership was completely contrary to the reign of his late elder brother. Amazingly, four months on, precisely Tuesday 14th of February 1984, he mysteriously died on the throne.
Prior to his exit, he confessed that he, alongside Late Igwe Ogadi’s first wife – Ugoeze Obiageri was responsible for the untimely death of Prince Ahamefula; according to the confession, the late Prince was killed via food poisoning with the help of the aforesaid queen. She willingly accepted the offer due to her silly jealousy; she couldn’t imagine seeing the son of her sister in-law recognised as the heir of the throne, or succeeding her husband Igwe Ogadi Nduka when he dies. Two weeks later as nemesis would have it, the peculiar queen was overtaken by psychosis. (Culled from New Telegraph).


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