THE people of Ushie in Ndokwa East local government area of Delta State, has debunked claims that they have a King.
In a rejoinder to a news report titled, “Excitement as the Uloko of Ushie Returns,” the people observed that the sponsored story was designed to cause intra-communal crises and gave newspaper houses that published the news item seven days to publish a retraction or face legal actions.
According to the rejoinder which was signed by Goddy Emeli, the Okpara-Uku of Ushie, Mr Felix Opute, President-General of Ushie community, Chief Jacob Okpufe, the Odogwu-Ebi of Ushie, Chief John Igoni, Speaker of the Palace, Chief Kenneth Osedeme, Secretary to the Palace, among others; the people of Ushie practice gerontocracy and are not ready to practice kingship.
The rejoinder reads: “Re: Excitement as the Uloko of Ushie returns
“Our attention has been drawn to a news report captioned “Excitement as the Uloko of Ushie returns.” Ordinarily, we would not have bothered to make this rejoinder, but for obvious lies told in the piece which if not responded to, are capable of deceiving the general public.
“For one, Ushie Clan in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State is not a Kingdom.
“Secondly, Ushie Clan does not have a King but an Okpara-Uku. The community had never toyed with the idea of its conference and in April, 2012, the issue of kingship was roundly and overwhelmingly rejected and consigned to the dustbin.
“Let it be known to the world that Ushie Clan does not have a King and is not ready for such.
“It is laughable that an educated individual with good exposure can arrogate to himself a Kingship. It only shows the character of such an individual who has contested for political office and lost. Power, whether political or otherwise is given by God and in Ushie, ours is such that we practice gerontocracy, so, it is the oldest man that is recognized as the Okpara-Uku.
“The process of getting a King is well spelt-out and understood by every Deltan. It should not be abused especially in this present situation where our Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is working in harmony with the traditional institution to ensure a stable society. If you are a King, who crowned you? At what forum? Do you have staff of office? Do you attend meetings of traditional rulers at the local government or the state levels?
“Ushie Kingdom is peaceful and the peace we presently enjoy should not be abused because of personal desire for power – ‘if the wider society believes that I cannot be elected into positions of authority, I should lord myself over my community.’ This is a civilized society and things should be done through due process. Government officials, the State Traditional Rulers’ Council, Security Agencies should do the needful to forestall breakdown of law and order due to selfish ambition.
“It is unfortunate that the writers of the article, failed to ask pertinent questions. If there was a Regent, who did he take over from? On whose behalf was he acting? We have never had a King in Ushie and we are not ready for such.
“The writers of the said article should as a matter of urgency, apologize to the people of Ushie for publishing material that is capable of causing intra-communal crises. The era of publishing unsubstantiated news items is over and journalists should verify and re-verify every claims made by individuals.
“News houses who published the fictitious item, “Excitement as Uloko of Ushie Returns” are by this rejoinder, given seven days to publish a retraction or face legal action.