By Dave Okpogadie, Asaba
The royal stool of Ogwashi-Uku kingdom is currently enmeshed in serious conflict following the crowning of a new Obi of Ogwashi-Uku in the wake of the demise of the former monarch, Obi Chukwuka Okonjo.
Recently, a member of the Royal family, Patrick Okonjo claimed the new Obi was crowned in error but, the Royal family of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom has faulted that claim of Patrick that the newly crowned Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, HRM, Obi Ifechukwude Chukwuka Okonjo, was installed in error.
Patrick, who is also a contender to the stool, said succession to Ogwashi-uku throne is by primogeniture, which the late Prof Chukwuma Okonjo was not in line of succession and his son Ifechukwude cannot succeed him.
In a statement countering Patrick jointly signed by the Acting Diokpa; UmuObhai Royal family, Prince Emmanuel Nwokolie Ohei, Ozoma of Ogwashi–Uku , Prince Okolobi Nkemjika Lawrence and Palace Secretary, Prince Ifeakanachukwu Emordi, they urged the general public and the people of Ogwashi-Uku to disregard any misinformation making the rounds, being peddled by “some disgruntled individuals who have a determined effort to bring the community’s royal institution to ridicule.”
The seven paragraph statement reads in part: “It has come to our attention that one Patrick Okonjo , a renegade and serial petition writer has issued a statement in which he claims to be speaking for the Umu Obi Obahai Royal family .
“We want to make this known: Patrick Okonjo does not speak for the family; he speaks only for himself as he has always done.
“We urge our people, the public, media and all stakeholders to ignore the reckless comments of Patrick. He has been issuing such frivolous statement and filling frivolous court cases in pursuit of his selfish interest for over a decade.
“The Umu Obi Obahai Royal family is united in its decision which produced Obi Ifechukwude Chukwuka Okonjo. And this decision has been endorsed by Agidiehe and Ikelike, the kingmakers. The successful installation, enthronement and the joy of the people last Friday (13th September 2019) knows no bounds and goes to show that the people of Ogwashi-Ukwu are happy with this decision.
According to the statement, the new Obi is rounding up the rest traditional processes and set to begin his reign, adding that, “we thank him he God for making the process smooth and we also ask the people of Ogwashi-Uku to pray for the progress and development of our great kingdom”
There is chaos in the Okonjo Royal family of Ogwashi-Uku following the unauthorized announcement of the death of their 91-year-old Obi, Professor Chukuka Okonjo, and naming of a successor by his daughter and former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
It was further gathered that the main crux of the anger of some members of the Umu Obi Obahai Royal Family as they are formally known is her anointing of her younger sibling as successor to the throne without the approval of the ruling council.
A contender to the stool, Mr. Patrick Okonjo, a lawyer and brother to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s father had claimed in a press statement purportedly on behalf of the Umu Obi Obahai Royal family, accused the former minister of usurping the functions of the Royal Family and men who should traditionally announce the death of the traditional ruler as well as his successor.
The statement by Patrick, who is already im court challenging the developments reads: “We observe, with sadness and pity, the despicable ploy by a renegade faction of the Umu Obi Obahai royal family of Ogwashi-Uku, to desecrate the Ogwashi-Uku traditional institution, following the passing away of Prof. Ben Chukwuka Okonjo”.
“In furtherance of this devious plan, one Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has purported to announce the transition of an Obi of Ogwashi-Uku and proclaimed the ascension to the same throne by her brother, Ifechukwude Okonjo (Chude).
“I wish to point out for the information of the general public, particularly Ogwashians, as follows:
“*It is sacrilegious of Ogwashi-Uku custom and tradition for a Princess to announce the transition of the monarch or proclaim another. It is a purely traditional function.
“*Prof. Okonjo was never an Obi of Ogwashi-Uku under our tradition but a mere Regent. Accordingly, his first child cannot be Obi, as deceitfully inferred by Ngozi.
“*Succession to the traditional stool of Ogwashi-Uku is strictly by PRIMOGENITURE. Prof. Okonjo was never in the line of succession and therefore only served as a REGENT. His 3rd son, Chude, consequently can never be Obi.
“*The Obiship of Ogwashi-Uku does not go to the highest bidder, it is rooted in an ancient custom and tradition which is inviolable. Prof. Okonjo, in effect, usurped the throne. These issues form the bedrock of Suit No: A/159/2019, Prince Patrick Okonjo v. Prince Nathan Okonjo& 8 Ors, now before the High Court of Justice, Asaba.
“Accordingly, I enjoin the peace loving people of Ogwashi-Uku not to be perturbed, but to discountenance and pay no heed to the statement made by Ngozi, or for that matter, the charade we have witnessed in Ogwashi-Uku in the past few days.”