———By Ovasa Ogaga————
The people of Umuekum sub-clan in Amai kingdom in Ukwuani, LGA, Delta State, have threatened to break away from kingdom following the lingering kingship tussle and what they described as an undue interference from the other four communities and the state government.
In a communiqué signed by representatives of the community after a one day conference held on the 6 of February 2017, they resolved that any attempt to impose any candidate, and neglect the decision of the community who selected High Chief Andrew Ikogwe as the king designate about five years ago, will not be accepted.
The communiqué which was signed by the chairman of the 2017 conference, Mr. Dom Okpochine, Chief J. Ifeakanwa, the Onotu-Uku of Umuekum, and Chief Alfred Onyewonsa, the Odeniosa of Umuekum, stated among others that; “Umuekum has suffered several unfairness in handling of its issues by the other four Amai quarters, stating that it is the turn of Umuekum to present candidate to be king of Amai kingdom.
The communiqué further stated that the Umuekum community will not accept any imposition of any candidate to the stool by any other quarter, as the community stand by the nomination they earlier made where High Chief Andrew Ikogwe, was selected as their nominee and candidate.
It further stated that any attempt to impose any candidate to usurp the turn of Umuekum will amounts to deliberate effort to force her out the Union of Traditionally Administrative Autonomous five quarters of Amai, and this will force her to evolve into an Autonomous community, if any declaration is made by any one on the kingship stool, as the case is already before a competent court of law.
In other to enforce its decision, the conference proclaimed High Chief Andrew Ikogwe, as the Okei of Umuekum, and the King designate of Amai Kingdom.
According to information gathered, the crises started five years ago, when after the election of who will take over from the Late King, Igwete Monday Ossai, High Chief Ikogwe won his closest rival, Chief Paul Ifeneziuche, but some people refused the candidate of High Chief Ikogwe, without any tenable reason.
Our investigation revealed that the law of the Amai Kingship stool stated that in a situation of rejection, the eligible quarter must be given 14 days to represent another candidate.
This threat of secession is coming when the government’s white paper to settle the kingship issue is yet to be released.
In other to get the side of the committee on the lingering issue, a telephone call and sms sent to the Executive Chairman of the Ukwuani LGA, Barrister Benedicta Osakuni-Izuegbu, was not responded to as of the time of this report.