HRM Simpson Obruche 11 completes Epho Ceremony

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HRM Simpson Sapele Obruche (ACG), Obruche 11, Odio R’Ode of Uwheru Kingdom

By Emuesiri Obah

HRM Simpson Sapele Obruche (ACG), Obruche 11, Odio R’Ode of Uwheru Kingdom, has completed the sacred ‘Epho’ ceremony that confers full authority of the Throne upon him.

The Epho Ceremony, which was held on March 19, 2023, at the Palace of the Odio R’Ode was the climax of the traditional processes initiated by the Elders of the Ukoro Society and those of Erovie Ruling House as soon as ascertained that the Monarch was eligible and Senior Man in the Ukoro Society that is entitled to the Throne of Odio R’Ode of Uwheru Kingdom., and after going through all the selection processes. ‘Opho” is a branch from a giant tree, which is of great significance to the Uwheru monarchy. The Opho is the insignia/symbol of the full authority of the Odio R’Ode of Uwheru Kingdom.

It is gathered that soon after ascertaining that HRM Simpson Obruche is entitled to the Throne, the elders handed over the ancient box containing the Epho of previous Uwheru Monarchs to Simpson Sapele Obruche, the then Odio R’Ode designate.

In completing the process on March 19, the elders received the ‘Opho’ of HRM Obruche 11, tied it to the collection of Epho of his predecessors (agba Epho ke), placed them in, and handed over the box to the Monarch after showering him with prayers and blessings. This indicates the handover of the final authority of the Odio R’Ode Throne to HRM Obruche 11.

After the presentation, following the Uwheru Custom, the first duty of the, HRM Obruche 11 is to register a young man/child of his choice into the Ukoro Society. The newly registered child/young man becomes the first Ukoro man under the reign of HRM Simpson Sapele Obruche, Obruche 11. 

Elders and other personalities at the Epho Ceremony include Olorogun Ohwogbeni Ohwovbiogo, Chief Paul Ovieba, Chief Emesharenena Ohwovbiogo, Olorogun Akporukevbe Obruche, Chief Okomo Umukoro, Elder Meeting Orhorhe, and Elder Upriver. Others are Chief Abel Eroni, Mr. Unuyoro, Mr. Jeffrey Omonigho, Chief Peter Idiasa, Chief David Obruche, Mr. Augustine Igberedjor, Chief Andrew U. Obruche, Prince John E. Obruche, Prince John Obrutse, Mr. Esekose Emonena, and others.

It is recalled that HRM  Simpson Sapele Obruche was installed as the Odion R’Ode of Uwheru kingdom on September 20, 2022. 

A renowned cultural activist and educationist, HRM Simpson Obruche was conferred with an award for outstanding service and contribution to the Urhobo Nation by the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide in December 2022, during the recent Annual Urhobo National Day Celebrations organised by the immediate past administration of Olorogun (Dr.) Moses Oghenerume Taiga, JP, immediate past President-General, UPU, Worldwide.

A staunch member of the Urhobo Historical Society (UHS), and a  recipient of the UHS’ Agbontaren Udih Diaspora Service Award but, for many years, HRM Obruche 11 coordinated the activities of the historical body in the United Kingdom and Belgium for many years, until recently.

Culled from The Urhobo Voice

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