By Basil Okoh
The attention of the people of Agbor has been drawn to a public statement issued as communique by signatories purporting to be speaking for the Council of Traditional Rulers of Delta State. May I respond as follows:
- That the Council of Traditional Rulers of Delta State does not have an executive Council at the moment. No one should therefore purport to speak for a body that is presently headless.
The tenure of the Obi of Owa, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor as Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers of Delta State has long elapsed and can therefore no longer act or speak for the body. The communique issued by persons claiming to speak for the council is therefore invalid, out of order, null, void and of no value or effect whatsoever. It should be discounted and ignored by everyone.
The Obi of Owa, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor has ceased to be Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers of Delta State and is presently in breach of the laws setting up the body.
- That Agbor Kingdom is not a creation of the laws of Delta State and our king cannot be named by it. The statement signed by the Obi of Owa and his collaborators insults and denigrates our revered king by referring to him as the Obi of Agbor “as properly and legally known”.
The Dein of Agbor is the occupier of the throne of Agbor before whom the forebears of the Obi of Owa knelt in greetings and supplication as their king and overlord. They were the Ayuwè of Agbor Kingdom whose descendant should not be permitted to denigrate his overlord, the Dein of Agbor.
- That Dein is the title of Keagborekuzi Benjamin Ikenchuku the First, Dein of Agbor Kingdom, the present occupant of the throne of Agbor and inheritor of the bloodline of Dein Eborka, founder and progenitor of the present dynasty of Agbor Kingdom since AD1270. Agbor kingdom does not need Government laws or gazette to name our king.
- That any traditional ruler who was not a member of the Western Nigeria House of Chiefs cannot be called a first class Traditional Ruler today in Delta State. That is the truth as expressed by the Dein of Agbor.
Obika Gbenoba, the Obi of Agbor as he was then addressed and Olu of Warri were both members of the Western Region House of Chiefs.
Obika Gbenoba, the king of Agbor was also a cabinet Minister of the Western Region of Nigeria who was honoured and cited as a first class Traditional Ruler during award to him of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR). He received the award along with His Highness O. Onyetenu, Asagba of Asaba on the 1st of October 1965.
- That any king whose throne and claim to Kingship did not predate colonialism cannot be truly called a king as he is a creation of the British Colonial Government. Such “king” can only be in the mould of the Warrant Chiefs appointed by the British Colonial Government in the Eastern Region and other British Colonies.
There cannot be kings without kingdoms. The Obi of Owa throne was self-declared in 1951 during the last decade of colonialism in Nigeria to break away from Agbor kingdom.
- That the facts of history cannot be revised or changed to suit the fancies of current politics. The Council of Traditional Rulers of Delta State should be a custodian of the history, culture and traditions of the people of the state and should not be run to suit the politics of the times.
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