The Delta State Government has been accused of encouraging crisis in Ogwashi-Uku with the endorsement of a faction of the Okonjo royal family.
The state government had last week confirmed HRM Ifechukwude Okonjo II as the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, saying all relevant traditional rites by those concerned have been concluded. It based its decision on a Supreme Court judgement, saying the state has no reason to stop the presentation of staff of office to the monarch.
The oldest member of the Okonjo royal family and claimant to the throne, HRM Obi Nathan Okonjo, in a chat with The Guardian in Ogwashi-Uku at the weekend, wondered why government hastened to made the endorsement when it was aware of existing factions, courtesy of his letters to relevant state institutions, and the state is a defendant in an ongoing litigation with suite number 0/39/2018, which has been adjourned to October 28 this year.
He said: “We are already in an Ogwashi-Uku High Court and the state government is the sixth defendant on the perpetual injunction restraining Ifechukwude and anybody from the lineage of my late cousin, Prof. Ben Okonjo, from ascending to the throne of Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, as they are not favoured to become the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku by virtue of the judgement in suit number 0/5/85.”
“The matter came up on Wednesday at Ogwashi-Uku High Court, and their lawyer, Dr. Nwabuoku was there to represent the family of the late Prof. Ben Okonjo. That is a preemptive suit we filled last year, to prevent what is happening today.
“It is a declaration that a fraction of Umu Obahai, to the exclusion of others, including the claimants, cannot, by virtue of election, overrule the Order of Court in suit number 0/5/85 mentioned above and the age-long tradition of succession by primogeniture of the Ogwashi-Uku people.”
“We are taught not to confront the Government, but we are definitely taking this case to its logical conclusion. Because what they are trying to do is to instigate crisis in Ogwashi-Uku, and we will not honour them with that, as we are very civilised people.”