The ancient Ewu-Urhobo kingdom in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State is currently experiencing heightened tension as women from the kingdom engage in a peaceful protest against what they perceive as the ‘forceful imposition and planned installation’ of Clement Ikolo as their king.
The protesters, asserting that Ikolo is not a native of Ewu-Urhobo kingdom, directed strong words towards the state governor, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori. On Monday, the aggrieved women, carrying placards with messages such as ‘Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, do the right thing,’ ‘Ikolo is not from Ewu,’ and ‘Ewu is a Peaceful kingdom, we don’t need crisis,’ among others, expressed their dissatisfaction.
They called on the Orodje of Okpe kingdom to intervene urgently, using his influence to advise the governor, whom they described as the Orodje’s subject, to act appropriately and prevent the wrongful imposition of a non-indigene as king.
The protesters, vowing to resist the imposition and planned installation of Clement Ikolo, scheduled for next week, threatened to counteract the forces and powers that Ikolo and the Delta State government might employ in the matter.
A statement from the protesters emphasized their determination to oppose Ikolo’s installation as their king, asserting that he was neither the chosen nor rightful person for the throne. They accused the Delta State government of being misled through Ikolo’s influence and connections, alleging that he believes he can purchase the throne with his wealth.
The spokesperson for the protesting women, Chief Mrs. Christiana Ofuedje, the Okobaro of Ewu-Urhobo kingdom, informed journalists that following the demise of the former king five years ago, the community had installed Awarieta Bernard as the king through due process. She expressed astonishment at the announcement of Clement Ikolo to be presented the staff of office as king when he was not chosen by the people.
Chief Ofuedje revealed that the community had previously protested against Ikolo in February, resulting in road blockades. She accused Ikolo of mobilizing security agents to beat and brutalize them, leading to the unfortunate death of one of their sons.
While still mourning the deceased, news of the presentation of the staff of office to Ikolo by the Delta State government surfaced. Chief Ofuedje questioned whether Ikolo was attempting to cause crisis and war in the kingdom.
She urged Governor Oborevwori not to present the staff of office to Ikolo, emphasizing that he is not a native of Ewu kingdom but of Olomu kingdom. The protesters believe they have the right to choose their king according to age-old tradition.
In response, the Unukpe of Okpe Kingdom, Okakuro Michael Afe, informed the protesters that the Orodje, whom they had come to see, was not available. He appealed for calm and assured them that their message would be conveyed to the monarch upon his return.
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