Tension in Okpai Community, as Traditional Ruler Gets Two Days ultimatum for Being Dictatorial

ABOH/Nigeria: The Okpai Community, home to the largest deposit natural gas in the Sub Sahara African is at the verge imminent communal crises, with the stool of authourity in the community under serious threat, except there is an urgent intervention from the relevant offices in the country.

This from information gathered is coming baring twelve years after a major communal crisis claimed the lives of about six youths and twelve buildings razed.

According to source,  the oil rich Okpai Kingdom, in Ndokwa East local government area of Delta State, ruled by, His Royal Majesty, Goldring Ugbome II, who is being challenged by some of his subjects who are accusing him of dictatorship with a two-day ultimatum to rescind the decisions taken concerning the composition of a new Community Development Committee, CDC or face the consequences of his action.; A situation the monarchy waved off, in an exclusive with The Guardian at his palace, as dissenting voices from some fame seeking subjects.

Just like the avoidable three years mayhem of 2007 through 2010 that saw the Igwe on four year exile at Asaba, the issue of succession to the leadership of the CDC, is the born of contention as monarch was said to have allegedly hand-picked some people into a constitutional drafting committee with the national Vice Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Amaechi Asuguni, as chairman. As the people were objecting to the composition of the Asuguni led committee, the monarch accepted the draft wholesale, reviewed it without any input from the people and went on to make it a working document for the kingdom.

According to a concerned indigene, Mr. Chinedu Ofulu, who addressed the media yesterday at Kwale, “Another bone of contention is one of the clauses that empowers the king to own twenty percent of whatever that is accruable to the oil rich kingdom that hosts the multi billion dollars Okpai Gas Plant. We plead with our governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to step in before it goes out of hand, as threat of arrests have led the youth leader, Comrade Alex Okwuezoru, the former CDC chairman, Ik Ofulu and a host of others to go underground,” adding that the dice is cast as, “We have been marked for arrest. This have  led concerned elders and women to continue seeking audience with Igwe who has remained adamant leading the youth to occupy the market square here in Oluchi with a two-Day ultimatum for the King to rescind the autocratic decision or face the consequences of his action.

In the words of the regent of the kingdom, Uko Nzefili Adone, who spoke with the media at his hideout, “The problem in Okpai is that we resolved to have a constitution to guide the kingdom at the end of the tenure of the last CDC executives. Igwe went on and chose those he wanted against those the people decided on. While the people are yet to come to terms with the unilateral decision to on the composition of the constitutional committee membership, As if we do not matter any longer, Igwe on Monday against all opposition, again single handedly pick leadership of the CDC with same Comrade Asuguni as chairman, the present DESOPADEC board member, Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi who was also chairman of the constitution drafting committee.

Uko Adone also pleads with the state governor to help avert a major crisis. “We plead with Governor Okowa to look into these issues and help avert a time bomb that is ticking so fast. Instead of the one person per each of the 13 communities that make up the kingdom, Igwe decided that two has to come from each community while he alone will provide three candidates, which the people are yet to agree on before he went ahead to inaugurate the CDC. Our worry is that the same CDC issue led to the unfortunate war that tore our once peaceful kingdom apart. The totality of Okpai youths have pleaded for him to expunge the annoying clause that cedes twenty percent of our commonwealth to himself. We are insisting on one person per community, and that the king cannot solely decide who gets into key positions in the CDC. That he is the king doesn’t bestow a dictatorial power on him.

Speaking with The Guardian at his palace, the monarch who celebrated his 55th anniversary on the throne and ascension as the Okpala Uku of Oluchi, last weekend thinks differently. The monarch who spoke through his son, Prince Emeka Ugbome, said, “Like you can see, those (protests) are pockets of dissenting voives. We know those behind them. And I can assure you that the CDC as inaugurated have since started work.”


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