Tension In Delta Community As Women Reject New Monarch
Palpable tension has enveloped the ancient Ewu-Urhobo kingdom in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, as the womenfolk in the kingdom, embarked on a peaceful protest in condemnation of what they tagged ‘forceful imposition and planned installation of one Clement Ikolo as their king.’
The protesters maintained that Ikolo is not an indigene of Ewu-Urhobo kingdom, just as they despatched strong words to the state governor, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori.
The aggrieved women in their numbers on Monday carried placards with different inscriptions, such as: ‘Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, do the right thing;’ ‘Ikolo is not from Ewu;’ ‘Ewu is a Peaceful kingdom, we don’t need crisis;’ among others.
They also called on the Orodje of Okpe kingdom to urgently wade in and use his offices to advise the governor, who they described as Orodje’s subject, to do what is right in the circumstance and halt the wrongful imposition of a non-indigene on the people as king.
Vowing to resist with the last drop of their blood, the imposition and planned installation of Clement Ikolo, whose presentation of staff of office by Delta State government has been scheduled for Thursday next week, the protesters also threatened to undermine the forces and powers that will be used by Ikolo and the Delta State government in the matter.
A statement circulated by the protesters partly reads, “We will resist the installation of Clement Ikolo as our king, because he is not the chosen person and he is not the right person to occupy the throne.
“The Delta State government is being misled through the influence and connection of Clement Ikolo, who believes he can buy the throne with his money.
“We have a crown King in the kingdom of Ewu and he is His Royal Majesty Awarieta Bernard, but not Clement Ikolo.”
Spokesperson for the protesting women, Chief Mrs. Christiana Ofuedje, who is also the Okobaro of Ewu-Urhobo kingdom, told journalists that with the demise of the former king five years ago, the kingdom, through a due process had installed Awarieta as the king, but was astonished to hear an announcement of the name of Clement Ikolo to be presented staff of office as a king, “when he is not the one chosen by the people.”
She disclosed that the community had earlier protested against Ikolo in February this year by barricading the roads, “during which Ikolo mobilised security agents to beat and brutalize us and in the process, one of our illustrious sons in the kingdom was shot dead.”
She added that while they were still mourning the deceased, who is yet to be buried, they got wind of the presentation of staff office to Ikolo by the Delta State government.
She asked rhetorically, “Is he trying to cause crisis and war in the kingdom?”
She spoke further, ”Oborevwori should not present staff of office to Ikolo as our king, because he, Clement Ikolo, is not an indigene of Ewu kingdom, but an indigene of Olomu kingdom.
“He shouldn’t be forced on us, we have the right to choose our king according to age-long tradition.
“We have come to see His Royal Majesty, the Orodje of Okpe, who is the Chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, to prevail upon, and advise the governor to shun the presentation of staff office to Clement Ikolo as scheduled, to avoid the breakdown of law and orders.”
Responding, the Unukpe of Okpe Kingdom, Okakuro Michael Afe told the protesters that the Orodje, who they had come to see was not around, but appealed to them to remain calm, promising that their message would be relayed to the monarch as soon as he returned to the kingdom.