Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Delta State Government has rationalised its decision to approve the appointment of Ifechukwude Chukwuka Okonjo II as the new Obi of the ancient stool of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom in Aniocha South Local Government Area.
Ifechukwude, younger brother to the former minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is one of those in contention for the throne following the passage of his father and former Obi, Prof. Chukwuka Ben Okonjo.
Addressing Government House reporters in Asaba on the outcome of the State Executive Council, Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, said the approval was done in line with extant laws guiding the emergence of traditional rulers in the state.
He insisted that there was no petition before the government against Ifechukwude. “Following the death of the former Obi, the traditional rulers in Aniocha South council 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 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.”
He said the meeting which was presided over by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa also 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 exco also 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.
Aniagwu stated that the governor frowned at the situation where commissioners sit in the comfort of their offices without moving out to inspect projects and programmes relevant to their ministries, adding that such would no longer be tolerated.