By O. G. Orji, Esq.
Etche ethnic nationality is originally constituted of six (6) clans, namely: Okehi clan, Igbo-Agwuru Asa clan, Mba clan, Ozuzu clan, Ulakwo/Umuselem clan and Omuma clan. Omuma clan which by Divine providence is a Local Government Area (LGA) today is made up of thefolowing major clans or Geo-political zones, namely: Umuogba, Umuajiloke, Eberi, Obiohia, Ofeh and Ohim Oyoro.
Umuru-Ofeh Community is one of the communities that constitute the geographical entity created as Omuma on 1st October, 1996 by the Military Government led by the then Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
By virtue of the hard copy of the Application for creation of Omuma LGA, as approved by the Military Government led by the then Head of State, General Sani Abacha, the geographical territory known as Omuma LGA begins with Umuakali Community and stretches to Umuru-Ofeh Community. Also, by virtue of the Administrative Map of Rivers State as produced from the office of the Surveyor General of the Federation and Surveyor General of Rivers State respectively, Umuru-Ofeh is bounded by Imo State and Abia State on the left and the right side. The Community is made up of a population of about 800 persons.
Economically, Umuru Community is made up of predominantly farmers and fishermen. The fishermen expertly undertake fishing activities at the Imo River, which flows across the community.
Politically, Umuru-Ofeh can boast of a political class that has relentlessly followed the winning train in the politics of Omuma Local Government, Rivers State and Nigeria generally. The two major political parties within Rivers State and Nigeria, namely All Progressive Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Omuma LGA can boast of indigenes of Umuru-Ofeh thriving relentlessly within their ranks. Infact, Umuru-Ofeh has produced, LGA supervisors, Special Advisers (SA), party chieftains, political aides, and various other political appointees and actors.
The contributions of Umuru-Ofeh indigenes to the development of Omuma
predates it emergence as a Local Government Area, as one of the great grand fathers of Umuru-Ofeh, in the person of Late Orji Nwankwoala Imo was among the very first judges that worked and presided at the Ancient Eberi Native Court. The immense contribution of indigenes of Umuru-Ofeh to the overall development and advancement of Omuma and the entire Etche nation of Rivers State is clearly unrelenting.
Interestingly, an Umuru-Ofeh son was appointed as the first Secretary of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee in Omuma Local Government Area, the Secretary of Ogbako Etche and our sons have served as Executives of IOgbako Etche at various times. The former Executive Chairman of Omuma appointed a son, Ven. Okey Orji of Umuru as a member of Omuma Local Government Area Advisory Council. Mr. Arinze Orji an Umuru-Ofeh son was appointed the Honourable Supervisor for Environment in Omuma LGA, he also served as the Vice Chairman of PDP Ward 6 and Youth Leader of PDP in ward 6.
Virtually all socio-cultural organizations in Omuma and Etche have indigenes of Umur-Ofeh as members. Infact an Umuru son, Comrade Lucky Onyeogu was the Ochimba and President of National Union of Etche Students (NUES) Rivers State University Chapter, Comrade Noble Chiwendu Eke and Umuru son was the pioneer President of Ofeh Youth Congress (OYC), Comrade Dandyson Orji an Umuru son was the Vice President of Ofeh Youth Congress (OYC), Comrade Samuel Onyeogu was the Secretary General of Ofeh Youth Congress (OYC), our sons and daughters are members of Omuma Friends Forum (OFF), Ogbako Etche Worldwide, Ofeh General Assembly (OGA), Omuma Progressive Movement (OPM) and many others.
The Chieftaincy stool in Omuma is enjoyed peacefully, like many communities in Omuma. The Ochiala of Umuru is a member of Omuma Local Government Council of Chiefs and Traditional Rulers. Thanks to Late HRH Eze, Sir, Dr. E.O. Amaonwu (JP) whose peaceful disposition while on the throne extended to Umuru-Ofeh. The comfort, peace and good traditional rulership of the present traditional Ruler of Omuma, HRM Eze Barr. Onyekachi Amaonwu has motivated and increased the peace we enjoy today. We commend the Ochiala of Umuru, Chief Godwin Nwuju for managing and maintaining the peace and unity Umuru enjoys.
The creation of Omuma LGA through the proactive efforts of great men such as Late Mr. Maximus Nwafor, Late Sir, Chief H.O. Oluo, Chief Jude Ubani, Late His Excellency, Chief, Dr. D.U. Anucha, Rev. Fr. Donatus Ukaulor, Late HRH, Eze, Sir, E.O. Amaonwu, Late Barr. M. Onyezonwu and many others brought light, better life and infrastructural development into Omuma land.
The former Sole Administrator of Omuma LGA, Sir, Chief, H.O. Oluo, who paved the way for even development in Omuma. He graded the roads from Umuakali to Umuru and other villages that make up Omuma LGA and his successor who are now LGA Chairmen have not failed to provide infrastructure to Umuru.
Thankfully, the Government of Rivers State both past and present have made frantic efforts in providing basic facilities in the form of education, health and other infrastructure such as electrification of Umuru, construction of Umuru/Umuechere road and these have been a blessing to Umuru-Ofeh people.