From Ben Dunno, Warri
Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs has resolved not to accept a golden royal sword which served as the traditional authority to the kingdom, allegedly stolen by the military, during the May 28, 2016 invasion of the community.
The Counci arrived at the resolution at an emergency meeting held in Oporoza, headquarters of the kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State at the weekend.
The body hinged its decision on expiration of time given to the military high command to return the royal sword to the community.
In an eight-point pronouncement signed by Chief Godspower Gbenekama, traditional spokesman of the kingdom, the Council noted that the decision became imperative after efforts towards retrieving the sword within a specified period of time failed to yield result.
“The Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs wishes to bring to the attention of the kingdom, Nigerians and the international community, the failed appeals, entreaties and efforts towards retrieving the stolen golden royal sword, the traditional symbol of authority of the Pere of Gbaramatu kingdom by the Nigerian military, at the Egbesu inner shrine, in Oporoza town, headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom on May 28, 2016.
“Since the unwarranted aggression, the kingdom has lived without this well-revered traditional symbol of authority.
“The Pere-In-Council, after a careful evaluation of the incident and the attendant uncertainty, the absence of the traditional symbol of authority have thrown the kingdom into, hereby, make the following pronouncements: The time frame for the return of the stolen golden sword has lapsed and no compensation, monetary or otherwise would be necessary; as such cannot be accepted from the Nigerian state or the military.
“It is our utmost belief that the stolen symbol of authority can and will avenge its desecration and that the traditional council, in line with Egbesu tradition and practice, shall replace the stolen sword for effective governance of the kingdom.
“The rites of cleansing and processes to replace the golden sword have started in the kingdom and (we)advise all who had and are still making efforts at retrieving the stolen symbol of authority to stop forthwith as its return is no more necessary,” the statement said.
Pleading with sons and daughters of Gbaramatu kingdom to keep the peace during and after the process of the rites of replacement of the golden symbol of traditional authority, the Pere-In-Council thanked Ijaws and Nigerians for their support and efforts “while the ordeal lasted.”