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INVESTIAGTION: GOVERNOR UDUAGHAN, IBORI BEHIND OGHARA MONARCHY TUSSLE SHIP

By TEGA OGHENEDORO
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When Governor Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan unfolded his three point agenda, top on the list was 'peace and security'. But if the recent development going on in Oghara Kingdom, Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State is anything to go by, then he may just be paying mere lip service to his acclaimed peace and Security agenda. The Oghara Kingdom whose King, HRH Oreki II passed on to great beyond has been without a king since 2011, a situation that made the vacant seat contestable by a ruling family. This kingship tussle has been the fight of three candidates which were narrowed down to Chief Christopher Ejeyabu Erijitomah, a 53 year old founding principal of Orefe Secondary School, Oghara, and Chief Noble Oyibo Eshemitan, a Chartered Accountant and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD- CEO) of Hotel Charles David Lot, Effurun, Delta State.

Since then, Oghara has known no sleep as forces outside the kingdom, our investigation has revealed were bent on hijacking the selection process from the Joint Council of the Ogwedions. Prior to the crowning of the new king, Emmanuel Uduaghan, acting under the influence of Chief Williams Ibori, Chief James Onanefe Ibori brother, who is currently serving jail term in London, has indicated plan from onset to impose a candidate on the Oghara People. Following the report that Andrew Ibori, another James Ibori brother was dead, Uduaghan was reportedly have gone to condole the family, where he was allegedly pushed down. This media report, our search light has found to be untrue. Rather he had gone to meet with the elders to discuss the possibility of installing his candidate, a move the youths rejected. An argument ensued where he kept shouting on top of his voice that he was the Governor, and thus he should be allowed to decide.

This statement infuriating the youth prompting them to call him an ingrate, who had drank the water of Oghara soil from childhood, schooled in Oghara and now turn round to stab Ibori, who he could not help to get out of jail. Visibly angered by the youth statement, he made to lock the door, where he slipped and fell. His aides noticing his fall began to shoot sporadically in the air, an act which made one of the youth who feared that they may be shot to grab the Governor, insisting that he be killed with his Excellency. Sensing the danger, Uduaghan told his aides, 'Don't shoot, don't shoot' Left off the hook by the youth he was bundled into the vehicle and driven off. Message was reportedly sent to the Governor that the Oghara youths have banned him from coming to their community again. Chief James Ibori birthday which was due to be celebrated few days after the incident happened was called off by the Governor, since he was the Chief host.

This embarrassing incident the Governor, swore would make him impose his choice of king on the people. Speaking to selected crew of journalists in peemos, Warri, he quipped that Oghara does not have a King yet and when they have, he would know. With the war drum beaten, the battle for Kingship begun, with the indigenes firing the first shot. After a careful scrutiny of the two candidates, the anointed choice fell on Chief Christopher Ejeyabu Erijitomah. According to the Urhobo custom the Unugbrodo of Oghara kingdom, who is the head of the traditional council of Chiefs is the only one permitted to pronounce a new king. A report by Delta voice newspaper on their March 21-April 01, 2011 Edition, page 5, with the title, 'OGHARA POLY MGT CONDOLES COMMUNITY OVER MONARCH'S DEMISE' and we quote "…the visitors were received in accordance with Urhobo custom by Traditional council of Chiefs led by Chief Samuel Erubami, the Unugbrodo of Oghara kingdom. Also speaking, the Secretary to Oghara traditional council, Chief Duncan Ewhere said, 'God giveth, God taketh. I thank the Rector and his management crew for the visit''

This position of Chief Erubami has not been contested, until the Governor threw his hat in the ring, prompting Williams Ibori to rise up and began parading himself as the Unugbrodo of Oghara Kingdom. Knowing the Governor plan to use the state security apparatus to disrupt the crowning of Chief Christopher as the people choice, the Oghara traditional council led by the Unugbrodo of Oghara kingdom and Chief Duncan Ewhere, Chief Christopher was crowned the new Ovie of Oghara kingdom as early as 5am, with the traditional title of HRM Orefe III Uku Oghara – Na ovo. A trace of his genealogy revealed that they had no migration history as both parents till their 6th generation were from Oghara. In a brutal show of executive might, soldiers were packed to Oghara some days after the first coronation was done, but this time, it was to crown the choice of the Governor, Chief Noble Oyibo Eshemitan.

Attended only by few elites, he was crowned the Ovie. The venue of the coronation cordoned off by security operatives and community vigilante betrayed the rejection of Chief Oyibo as the new Ovie, as the people went about their normal duties. Our trace of the Uduaghan choice revealed a trace of Itsekiri in his genealogy. A follow up after coronation to the palace of Oyibo showed that his throne has the symbol of the Itsekiri monarchy. A few of the indigenes who had a glimpse as he was driven by during the coronation to his house where only three canopies, scantily filled were put to entertain his guest asked "why e no wear the real crown wey the former king wear?".

A visit to the two Ovie palaces was like two side of the Coin. While HRM Orefe III Uku Oghara Na Ovo was a beehive of activities with women cooking, foods served and people paying homage, the palace of HRM, Noble Eshemitan was like a graveyard, with no subject paying homage. If pictures are actions that speaks louder than words, then let these pictures from these two coronation speak. NOTE: the long crown is worn by the authentic king during coronation and thereafter is removed and kept in sacred custody.

Where is the crown of Uduaghan's candidate head or the royal beads worn on the neck? =




GOVERNOR UDUAGHAN