The battle for the throne of Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State, recently headed by late Professor Chukuka Okonjo, is unravelling as a faction interested in the stool has tacitly come out to stake an interest.
And for announcing the passing of her father and naming a successor, former Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been thoroughly upbraided by a section of the community’s leaders under the aegis of Umu Obi Obahai Royal Family.
His Royal Majesty Obi (Prof) Chukuka Okonjo died at the age of 91 in the United States of America.
The late monarch, who was a professor of mathematics, ascended the throne in 2007.
Following the completion of traditional rites, a new monarch was crowned in the person of Ifechukwude Chukuka Okonjo, who is a financial management expert and CEO of Chevy Chase Consulting.
The processes included the new Obi’s endorsement and presentation by the Umu Obi Obahai Royal Family of Ogwashi-Uku and the traditional chalking and crowning ceremonies conducted by the Ikelike and Agidiehi Kingmakers in Ogwashi Uku.
But a member of the Umu Obi Obahai Royal Family, Mr. Patrick Okonjo, issued a scathing statement against the former Minister.
The statement 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.”