From Ben Dunno, Warri
Egbeba Leader of Thoughts (ELOT) has discredited the claim by the Warri North Council Chairman, Hon. Smart Asekutu, that he was presented two different lists of contenders to the Egbema traditional stool, stating that they only have one list where all the contenders from the various ruling houses have been screened by the kingmakers.
The community leader who made the clarification in a statement signed by Elder Edmund Tiemo and E. Mawari, ELOT Chairman and Secretary respectively, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Warri, yesterday, noted that the traditional council were very thorough and objective in carrying out the exercise in the interest of the kingdom.
It therefore urged members of the public, particularly state government, International Oil Companies (IOCs), private firms and other stakeholders to discountenance the name of anybody currently being forwarded as the traditional ruler pending the official announcement by the authentic traditional council members duly recognized and mandated by the community to do so.
According to the statement; “Following a resolution of the meeting at Ofunama, on September 24, 2022, the Ogbudugbudu Ruling House was mandated to produce a suitable candidate for consideration as Agadagba of Egbema kingdom”.
“The Ogbudugbudu Ruling House accordingly convened a meeting of the entire community where twelve (12) prospective candidates, including Barr. Napoleon Egin, were screened. After a rigorous and well documented screening process, three of the twelve candidates were adjured to meet the minimum qualification of having a none-Egbema mother”.
“Barr. Napoleon Egin and eight others were screened out by the Ogbudugbudu Ruling House based on the requirements of the gazette. The meeting in question was well attended by the Elders and young people, including the Ama-Okosuwei of Ogbudugbudu Community. The screening process was peaceful and transparent and its outcome was generally acceptable to the entire community”.
“The Chairman’s reference to the existence of a second list is in fact turning the truth upside down and putting a spin on the process of choosing the Agadagba-Elect”.
“He said that a second list was prepared as a result of the announcement of Saturday, 24 September, 2022, for Ogbudugbudu people to produce a candidate and that his findings showed that the Ama-Okosuwei of Ogbudugbudu community was not willing to sign that document but to allow peace to reign, he allowed the second list to be included.
“Incidentally, we were at that meeting held on Saturday, October 01, 2022 and I make bold to say that there was no such thing as the second list.
The only authentic list was the one submitted by the Ogbudugbudu Community openly on Saturday, October 01, 2022, containing the following three names: Solomon Sapele, Eddy Abonojie, Meshack Ubabiri”.
The so called first list being referred to by the Warri North – LGA Chairman was a fake list clandestinely smuggled in through the back door by the LGA chairman in connivance with his faction of the chiefs”.
“That list was roundly condemned and rejected by the generality of the people present. The list was secretly and fraudulently prepared since August 24, 2022. In spite of the loud opposition to this list, the LGA chairman overruled and ordered that the fake list should be accepted, presumably because the list contained the name of his preferred candidate”.
“This was the main reason the LGA chairman came to attend the October 1 meeting with security gun boats to act as a ramrod for his mischief-making Chiefs to force down the fake list against the people of Egbema Kingdom.
The meeting of September 24, 2022, rose with a unanimous decision calling on Ogbudugbudu Ruling House to produce a candidate within one week to be considered as the next Agadagba”.
“There was great excitement and jubilation to the extent that the Ogbudugbudu Ruling House expressed their appreciation by presenting kolanuts and drinks to the Egbema Kingdom”.
“It was expected therefore that the next meeting to accept the candidate of Ogbudugbudu would be peaceful like the one of the 24 September, 2022.