Ovie Okpare, Warri
Crisis has enveloped Nsukwa Kingdom in the Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State over the purported removal of its monarch, Obi Kenneth Ezegbunem I, by some community chiefs.
The crisis, which has been on since August, escalated when notable chiefs in the kingdom led by Onyemeli-Eze of Nsukwa, Chief Thomas Nwozubu, and Ojuwe of Nsukwa, Chief Innocent Okofu, alleged that the king’s enthronement did not follow the custom of the community.
The PUNCH also learnt that the monarch and his palace chiefs also disagreed over who should pick the date for the annual Ujeh festival, a major celebration in Nsukwa Kingdom.
It was gathered that the monarch went ahead with the festival under tight security, a situation that angered some of the chiefs.
Months after the Ujeh festival, a section of the chiefs in a joint statement signed by Nwozubu and Okofu said the king had been deposed at a meeting held on October 7, 2016 at the Ogwa (a meeting hall) of the Diokpa of Ogbe-Onicha quarter, Mr. Lazarus Mebumbu.
They said Ezegbunem I’s removal was done because the king’s coronation fell short of the traditional rites and was performed in the absence of the kingmaker (Onishe).
The statement read in part, “Coronation fell short of and did conform to the traditions, rites and custom of Nsukwa people. Worst still, the coronation rites were not performed by the designated authority, which is the Onishe (kingmaker).”
But the monarch dismissed his alleged removal as the traditional ruler of Nsukwa Kingdom, stressing that those behind his purported removal were bent on creating crisis in the community.
He said, “I have no Onishe in Nsukwa and I was not crowned by Onishe. The man who crowned me was the Diokpa of Ogbe-Onicha and custodian of the Onishe title. The young man claiming to be Onishe is not the Onishe; he is just parading himself as Onishe.”
He alleged that Nwozubu and Okofu were fighting him because they wanted the old order of sharing community money to continue.
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Ovie Okpare, Warri