Delta state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa may be on course to explode the chieftaincy crises that had been raging in Amai Kingdom, Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State, if information made available to newsmen, suggesting that the Delta state government in on the verge of issuing a staff of office to its traditional ruler, turns out to be true.
Information received indicate that, barring any last minute change, the people of Amai will have a new king after many years of court cases challenging the assumed selection of Chief Paul Ifenezuchie, as the king elect.
To forestall the issuing of staff of office as had been planned, sections of the community had been embroil in protest, and sporadic gun shots have been heard in rapid bursts since the news of the purported coronation filtered into the community .
A community leader who spoke during the protest, stated that the government of Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, in going ahead with its intention to issue the staff of office, is doing all it can to garner votes in the forthcoming 2019 election, at the detriment of the people, he is supposed to protect.
It wass gathered that as at June 20, 2018, the issuing of staff of office to Chief Paul Ifenezuchie as the King of Amai, tops the schedule of the Deputy Governor, Barr Kingsley Otuaro, whose office is in charge of the activities of traditional rulers in the state, and who is expected to move from Igbo-Uku, where he is to perform his constitutional duty of issuing staff of office to the King Elect there, before travelling to Amai, to perform same function
Ndokwa Leaders, Okowa Put on Notice of Looming Danger
Meanwhile, a letter by the Scribe of one of the quarters of Amai Kingdom, Umuekum, Chief Alfred Onyenwosa, and addressed to the Ndokwa Ethnic Nation and the Delta State government, drew the attention of the state government to the existing court injunction, restraning the issuance of staff of office to anybody as the paramount traditional ruler in the kingdom.
The release which calls the attention of the state government and the leadership in Ndokwa nation to the issue, says that disregarding the court injunction in the Amai kingship tussle, is nothing short of incubating tension in the community.
According to the release, available information indicated that the decision to issue the staff of office stated at the state Executive Council in a meeting on 12 June, 2018 and the surprising thing about the so called executive council meeting was that it took a decision on the said date to issue staff of office on the 20 of June, 2018.
The scribe of the Umuekum quarter described the action of the state government and the entire EXCO as unjust to the Umuekum Ruling House.
“This is an obvious injustice to the people of Umuekum Ruling House, who are known to be very peaceful without a single history of community violence,” the letter noted.
The statement further querried the decision of the EXCO, under the watch of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who recently was widely quoted as saying that gazetted procedures must be followed in kingship succession, stressing that the government’s decision to “wrongly” back someone who not only lost the Kingship election, but was never duly presented by the appropriate authority (the Onotu Uku, or Ugo of Umuekum Ruling House) at “Isu Asua”, is inconsistent with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s stand that gazetted procedures must be followed in Kingship succession.
The letter then warned of the dire consequences of such action to muscle the people against their will, as it will do no good but only generate tension in the community, even as it also accused some politicians in the area of fuelling the problem.
“The recent interest to bypass truth and tradition and to foist an individual sponsored by inordinate politicians who believe in muscling people can only generate tension,” the letter stated clearly.
The statement appealed to the people of Ndokwa nation and the state government to allow the law to go its full length and to allow peace to reign.
“Umuekum Ruling House is therefore alerting all concerned people of Ndokwa ethnic Nation in particular, and Delta State in general on the foregoing development, and to appropriately guide the powers that be to allow status quo to remain pending the full determination of the case in the Court of Law.”
Meanwhile, supporting evidence available on the matter, indicates that the court sitting in Kwale on the 7 of May, 2018 restrained the government from issuing staff of office to any party in the dispute pending when the case is decided by the court.
It was also revealed that during the next sitting date which was on the May 31, 2018, the counsel representing the state had tried to vacate the injunction, but the trial judge had over-ruled the request, and the case had been fixed to hold on Wednesday 20, and Thursday, 21, of June 2018.
According to an insider into the matter, there is a high political under-tone to undermine the judiciary in the case.
Reported sources claim that efforts to get a response on the issue from the government angle, through a call and SMS to some relevant spokespersons, including the Delta state commissioner for Local Government Affairs did no yield any result.