Obiaruku: The last may not have been heard on the lingering crisis over the kingship stool of Amai Kingdom, in Ukwuani LGA, Delta state, as the people of Umuekum, who according to a section of the Law recognising the monarchicaly system of Amai Kingdom, are threating secession due to what they claim as interference from the other four communities and the state government.
In a communiqué signed by representatives of the community after a one day conference held on 6th February, 2017, the people resolved that any attempt to impose a candidate as King and neglect the decision of the people where they selected High Chief Andrew Ikogwe as the monarch designate about five years ago, will not hold.
The communiqué which was signed by the chairman of the 2017 conference, Mr. Dom Okpochine, the Onotu-Uku of Umuekum, Chief J. Ifeakanwa and the Odeniosa of Umuekum, Chief Alfred Onyewonsa, stated among others that; Umuekum has suffered several incidences of unfair treatment in the handling of it’s issues by the other four Amai quarters, emphasizing that it is the turn of Umuekum to present a candidate to be the king of Amai kingdom.
The communiqué further noted that the Umuekum community will not accept any imposition of any candidate to the stool by any other quarter, as the community stands by the nomination they earlier made of High Chief Andrew Ikogwe, as her nominee and candidate.
According to the communiqué, any attempt to impose a candidate to usurp the turn of Umuekum will be regarded as an indication of a deliberate effort to force her out of the Union of the Traditionally Administrative five Autonomous quarters of Amai and this will compel her to evolve into an independent Autonomous community of its own, if any declaration is made by any one on the kingship stool, as the case is already before a competent court of law.
In other to enforce its decision, the conference proclaimed High Chief Andrew Ikogwe, as the Okei of Umuekum and the King designate of Amai Kingdom.
Information gathered from competent sources within the community indicate that the crises started five years ago, when after the election of who will take over from the Late King Igwete Monday Ossai, High Chief Ikogwe defeated his closest rival, Chief Paul Ifeneziuche, but the people rejected the candidature of High Chief Ikogwe without any cogent reason on that same day of the election.
Further investigations revealed that the law of the Amai Kingship stool states that in a situation of rejection, the eligible quarter must be given 14 days to represent another candidate.
This protest of secession is coming when the government’s white paper to settle the kingship issue is yet to be released.
In other to get the side of the committee on the lingering issue, a telephone call and sms to the Executive Chairman of the Ukwuani LGA, Barrister Benedicta Osakuni-Izuegbu, who is also the Secretary of the peace committee set up by the state government to address the crisis, was not acknowledged as at the time of going to the press.