HRH Friday Abaja of Umukwata
LAGOS/Nigeria: The recent suspension of the King of Umukwata Kingdom, in Ukwauni Local Government Area, Friday Abaja, the Ukwata 1 by the Delta State Government, and had attracted condemnation by many supporters of the traditional ruler, has continued to drew attention, as the suspended monarch had said the state government has not giving any reason to back his suspension as the traditional ruler of Umukwata Kingdom in Ukwuani Local Government Area of the state.
The monarch, in a press conference on the issue, had however called on the government to properly investigate what happened so that the truth would prevail at the end of the day.
“I do not know why I was suspended. For a man that makes peace to be labelled a troublemaker, I can’t understand the whole episode. I committed no offence inimical to the peace of the community.
It would be recalled that Delta State Government on April 2, 2019, on allegation of “acts inimical to peace, order and good governance,” handed Abaja a six-month suspension with immediate effect.
On what might have resulted to the suspension, Abaja said: “There was crisis involving two communities of Amai and Ezhionum, which led to the death of 27 people.
“It was an age-long war for a reason not known to me; when the various communities tried to make peace to no avail, I went in to intervene and they gave me conditions to rebuild all the damaged houses to end the crisis. So within three months, I rebuilt all the houses razed down during the crisis and renovated the damaged ones.
“I went as far as compensating the families of the deceased. I went to all the communities and I was mandated to release those who were in detention. I went there, spent my time and money, and got the people released.
“After doing all these, I don’t know what went wrong. The peace accord broke down. So I was frustrated and I left.
“I have been bringing peace to different warring communities, including the times of war between Amai/Umuebu communities; Amai and Ezhionum war and Umuaja and Obi Obeti war, all in Ukwani Local Government Area. So I was surprised when I was told that my suspension was due to ‘acts inimical to peace, order and good governance’.
“I hereby urge all my indigenes to be calm. Nobody is above the law. We are working hard to see how the government will resolve the issue. We will do all it takes to cooperate with government to conclude its investigations. I also urge the government to properly investigate what happened so that the truth shall prevail at the end of the day.”
The monarch enumerated some of the developmental strides he had brought to his Umukwata kingdom, even without government’s assistance to include 63 flats of three-bedroom; a 7.5km Umukwata road project, a modern market of 64 shops and a 50-bed free medical centre.
According to him, “In the next five years, Ndokwa would move to the next level of development. Currently, I am building a modern market with 400 lock-up shops, 232 houses and 40 warehouses and a 4km road to link the market with the main road in Umukwata kingdom. The project will be completed in December this year.”