Administration

ANCIENT ADMINISTRATION( PRE -COLONIAL ERA)

Prior to the advent of Europeans in Umueri, the town was governed by the various Head of families( Called Ndichie) who are responsible for the day to day administration of the town and a ruling elite age grade called  (Umu Otu) who are responsible for the implementation of the laws and decision of the Council of Elders. The Ndichie made Laws for the town, formed court to adjudicate over cases and delegate decision to any age grade for Execution. Here the Eldest man (Called Diokpara or Onyeisi) played important roles as Head of the clan as he led the Ndichie in various meetings since the town recognizes the essence of age and wisdom. Despite the advent of westernization that brought Igwe Dynasty, the trace and evidence of ancient umueri administration are still in practice unto this very day

Legislation - In ancient Umueri, laws and decision are made through the Ndichie(council of elders) or a ruling age grade that are in charge of the town administration. They formulate law, decision, projects for the entire town. Issues that are of major interest of a given clan are treated squarely by the affected Ndichie from that Particular areas while issues that concerned Umueri as whole are also looked into by the entire Ndichie of Umueri.

Implementation: Formulated Policies and laws of the Council of Elders (Ndichie) are delegated to the ruling Elite Age grade for Implementation. Project such as Construction of road, Building, Vigilantism etc are delegated most often to a youthful age grades for Execution. These Age grade would be coordinated by a Special elder(s) from the (Umu Otu) who would make sure that the Age Grade would not deviate from Implementing the decision or law to the satisfaction of the Community. In time for war or issues on Security matters, the Council of Elders (Ndichie) reserves the key whether to go to war or not.

Judiciary Issues: Judiciary related issues are also deliberated by the Council of Elders(Ndichie) But where the issues were too difficult to settle, it may be referred to a Great Deity in the area for consultation, Oath taking(Iwu iyi) or rituals or convenant of securing life ( Igba ndu). its here that the priest of the following Deities like "Ana Umueri" at Nneyi (Mother of all deities), Oviammili at Umunagu Adegbe , Dabawor , Ajani, Ogwugwu, Iyioji and many others hold great Importance.

EVOLUTION OF TRADITIONAL RULER SHIP SYSTEM.

With advent of Colonialism, there was need for a system that would make their Power of the colonial Masters legitimate to the Populace since Umueri and some other Igbo Communities did not embrace them nor of their new "religion". Hence, the British then Introduced "Indirect Rule System"- a System of Government in which they would implement the law and decision through a local or native Chief. Here a Great man or a noble of great Influence were chosen as "King" to govern the community. In Umueri, Ogbuefi Okoye Odili of Irueke Adegbe,Umueri became the first Warrant Chief. He works along with group of noble and Great men as his cabinet. The District Commissioner ( Nwa DC ) of Otucha District then rules in proxy through the Warrant Chief (king) System.

After the demise of Chief Okoye Odili, Umueri reverts back to the rule of Ndichie. It was not until in 1960 that one of the Great philanthropist of the time, Chief Nelson Ugume Okoye was crowned as Igwe Okebo 1 of Umueri to assume the responsibilities and position of His Royal Highness of the land. He rules the town along with a strong Cabinet known as "Igwe Cabinet" or "Igwe in Council". The council represents the various segments and sphere of the town. The Igwe and his cabinet along with Ndichie makes law and decision for the well being of the town. The council adjudicates over all cases concerning Umueri whereby the case that was not properly settled by the elders of a given or affected clan can be appealed for settlement through the Igwe. In the present Traditional Council System includes Powerful traditional Institutions that have long revolves into a dynasty on their own. These Includes the Onowu(Traditional Prme Minister), Ajie (of Great Aro dynasty) and many more other Important titles holders. Below is the Structure of Present Umueri Administration:

  1. Igwe in Council - The Traditional Ruler and his Cabinet (Igwe Cabinet)
  2. Council Of Elders(Ndichie) - The Elders of the Community
  3. Umuotu - An Elite Age Grade that helps in Implementing laws in the town
  4. Town Union - Umueri General Assembly (UGA)
  5. Policing Age Grade - An Age grade in charge for enforcement of local laws made in the town
  6. Sanitation Age Grade - Age Group that’s in charge of clearing and maintenance of rural road, Village Square and of Public Utilities

ONOWU DYNASTY :

This Institution is one of the greatest and the oldest traditional Institution in the land. It has revolves into a famous dynasty as the ascendancy to the throne is restricted to Mgbago Village of Umutchezi Umueri. The Task of Protecting the culture,Custom and tradition of Umueri falls squarely on Onowu who acts as the Prime Minister . In Umueri, the Selection of Onowu is not based on Politics or popularity. The Decision of appointing Onowu is divine as it falls on the gods of the land whom the elders of the village must consult at the demise of previous Onowu.

The Duties of this highly profiled traditional stool includes the announcement of new Yam Festival(Alo Mmo)- the Alo mmo feast falls squarely on the Onowu as he would be the first to sight the moon and celebrate the New Yam Festival before any other person. In absence of Igwe due to death or deposed, the Onowu acts as regents until the emergence of the new Igwe. The Onowu is also expected to be the person to crown a new traditional ruler during the Igwe Coronation. During major traditional festivals the Onowu come out in colourful regalia to add beauty to the occasion. Since the Institution holds enormous Power, Onowu are expected to be man of Integrity and high sincerity who cannot be influenced or gauged.

THE INFLUENCE OF TOWN UNION (UMUERI GENERAL ASSEMBLY)

The Umueri General Assembly (formerly known as Umueri Development Organization) is an umbrella Organization of all Umueri natives both home, abroad and outside Nigeria . In administrating of Modern Umueri, the Association plays a major and vital role of uniting the various Umueri indigenes wherever they found themselves. It also engages in a lot of developmental projects that geared towards growth of the town. For instance Umueri General Assemby were instrumental to the building of Umueri Town Hall , Umueri General Assembly (built by the Youth wing of Umueri Development Organization) and many other similar projects. The effort of this Association was also instrumental that Peace was restored back to Umueri following the crisis that erupted after the Aguleri Invasion of 1995/99

The Leadership of the Organization is made up of Executive Organ of which the President General (Oftenly referred as PG) is the Head. It has various branches in almost all the Nigeria cities and towns and even abroad (Such countries like UK , USA , Australia , Germany , etc). Most of the branches also carried out programs and policies that would better the lots of the homeland and also ensure there is peace and tranquility existing between its members. The appointment to the National Executive or branch Executive are done through democratic means and each executive are elected for a specific terms of three (3) years through rotational presidency in which powers rotates amongst the various Quarters of Umueri

 

THE TOWN PROFILES

Name:
Umueri(Mispronounced Umuleri)

Location:
Anambra East LG of Anambra State.

His Royal Highness
(Traditional Ruler)
 


H.R.H Igwe Nelson U. Okoye
Igwe Okebo 1 of Umueri

His Majesty
(Traditional Prime Minister)


HRM Mike ekweonu
Onowu Iyasele  of Umueri

P.G Umueri General
Assembly (UGA)


Hon. Pius Okonkwo
(President General, U.G.A)

Title(Male):
Amanwulu,Ivejioku,
Oba,Asammuo
Ogbuevi,Ogbuanyinya

Title(Female):
Ekwe, Iyom,Nne-
Mmanwu,Okomme

Population:
Est. 155,000.00

Occupation:
Farmers,Fishers,trading
business,Crafts & Arts etc