Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Delta State Government has approved the appointment of Ifechukwude Chukwuka Okonjo II as the Obi of the ancient Ogwashi-Uku kingdom in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the state.
The approval was one of the outcomes of the State Executive Council meeting held in Asaba and presided over by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Briefing Government House reporters on Tuesday evening at the end of the meeting, Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, said the approval was done in accordance with extant laws and procedures.
Although there were multiple claimants to the ancient throne following the passing on of Obi (Prof.) Chukwuka Ben Okonjo, Mr. Aniagwu insisted that there was no opposition before the government against Ifechukwude.
Ifechukwude who was traditionally coronated last month following his father’s passage, is the younger brother to the former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
According to Aniagwu, “following the death of the former Obi, the traditional rulers in Aniocha South area met and endorsed Ifechukwude Chukwuka Okonjo as the next king. This was also endorsed by the executive chairman of the council.
“Those who should give that endorsement have done so in accordance with the extant laws. And at the moment, there is no injunction or law prohibiting the exco from approving the appointment of Ifechukwude.
“We did not coronate him, he was coronated since September 13, and since that time we have not heard any protest in terms of judicial decision stopping the exco from taking this decision. So we took this decision in line with the law.”
According to the government’s spokesman, the meeting approved Christopher Uzu Diji as the Obi of Onicha-Olona in Aniocha North Local Government Area, while Johnbull Kolokowei Ogonla I was approved as Pere of Ogbolubiri Kingdom in Burutu council.
He said the exco further approved the recognition of Beneku in Ndokwa East LGA as a clan, in preparation for the appointment of a traditional ruler should the state House of Assembly give its nod to the recognition.
Aniagwu stated that Governor Okowa frowned at the situation where commissioners sit in the comfort zone of their offices without moving out to inspect projects and programmes relevant to their ministries, adding that such would no longer be tolerated.