(Obi of Umunede Kingdom)

His Royal Majesty Agadagidi Ezeagwu Ezenwali 1, (JP) was crowned the  17th Obi of Umunede kingdom in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State in 1993, the day his father HRM, Obi Nwachukwu Gbenoba 11joined his ancestors. His reign began when he was about 40years old.

The monarch who is a current member of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, is the 17th Obi of Umunede from the line of succession of Ede, (a Benin prince), the founder and the 1st Obi of the kingdom. He was variously educated at the Lubo Comprehensive High School, Ijebu-ode in Ogun State, Ede Grammar School Umunede, Ika Grammar School Agbor, and Bauchi State School of Arts and Science.

Agadagidi, a highly respected monarch is an astute Administrator, a good manager of human and material resources with a sound knowledge of customs and traditions of his Umunede kingdom and Anioma nation at large. No wonder  he is continually bestowed with various honours and awards.

He is a fellow of Human and Natural Resources (FHNR), Honorary Doctorate Degree in Communication Arts and Public Administration. He was bestowed with a Merit Award as a respected monarch by Edo legacy Foundation; Golden Award of Excellence by the Journal News Magazine; Community Leader Award by Onu-Ika Nigeria; Merit Award by Umunede Youths Association. He was also honored by the Command Secondary School, Mbiri, National Waves Organization with Community Developer Award and Diocese of Ika Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) amongst others.

Dr. Ezeagwu Ezenwali I, who is a Justice of Peace (JP), is a man of amiable personality; of an open social disposition and cosmopolitan character. He speaks all the three major Nigerian languages of Ibo, Yourba, and Hasua and is married to two wives; Her Royal Highness Queen Anthonia Obiageli Ezeagwu, the lssor of Umunede kingdom and Her Royal Highness Queen Florence Ezeagwu the Ogezeh of Umunede kingdom and they are blessed with children.

The Agadagidi of Umunede Kingdom is presiding over a kingdom that was founded by a Benin Prince, called EDE and his wife, IYE who migrated from Benin and settled in the present location, later known as Umunede. HRM is a descendant of Ede.  The exact date of migration of Ede and his wife from Benin was not recorded but generally, historians put the approximate period as the Thirteenth Century A.D., during the reign of Oba Ewedo The Great (1250-1280 A.D.)  Thus, the Kingdom is over seven hundred years old and many historians believed that Umunede Kingdom is one of the oldest kingdoms east of the Benin Empire.

Historians had contended that during Oba Ewedos reign, the Oba had two battles to fight:  a diplomatic battle against the great nobility led by the Ediommehan and military battles against Ogiamien III in order to destroy once and for all this anti-royalist movement.  As a result of these events, many princes and noble men fled with their families to different safe locations.

The second wave of migration to Umunede probably took place under Oba Ewuare The Great (1440-1485).  During his reign, an attempt to eliminate members of the nobility who were threatening the monarchy gathered momentum and brought about another wave of migration out of the Benin Empire.

Historians also believe that there were other settlers before and after Ede and Iye arrived at the present location but no one was sure when those earlier settlers arrived at this same location.  However, later migrations to Umunede were well documented.  For example, there were other immigrants from Ishan, Benin-speaking areas and Yoruba areas of the west between the 16th and 19th centuries and their quarters are well known in Umunede.  Also, there have been large number of immigrants from the Eastern Igbo-speaking area since the last quarter of the 19th century and, since the civil war;  Umunede has also been witnessing a large number of immigrants from neighbouring towns and villages.

 


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