Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –By Hon. Chijioke Nwanze–
The recent publication in The Pointer Newspaper of Tuesday, September 20, 2016 on Pages 18 and 19 captioned “Chief Nwacheli Installed Okpala-Ukwu Of Abala kingdom” has drawn the anger of the people of the kingdom. As an indigene, former councilor and an enlightened personality, one would have ignored the story as portrayed, but for the fact that the newspaper is a government mouth piece and the public may be swayed by the complete misrepresentation of facts by the publishers.
The position of Okpala-Ukwu is common among the Anioma people of Delta State and it is traditionally occupied by the oldest man in a community. The oldest man is chosen by God and not man. The said Chief Nwacheli is neither the oldest nor second-in-command in the kingdom. In addition, regency is foreign to Abala kingdom as the people have no monarchial rulership but the king is selected from among the three ruling houses in Dukwenze Quarters of Abala-Uno. At the demise of a king, the eldest man presides over community traditional meetings.
A little revelation suffices at this juncture. Presently the oldest Okpala of Abala-Uno is Chief Daniel Uzolie Nwaefulu of Diakpulu Quarters, followed by Chief Odozie Ugulu, the Okpala of Umu Iyasele-Oje, followed by Chief Jacob Ezeobi, the Okpala of Umuoshele Quarters before the said Omordi Nwacheli Ikeopia Nwadishi as Okpala of Umu Nkini. He is fourth in command. He is not the Okpala-Uku of Abala, and not a regent as portrayed in the report.
In recent years, some mischievous individuals have arrogated to themselves, powers to distort the history and tradition of the people. Such actions have reflected in the fractionalization of the traditional institution and the leadership of the town’s union.
This development has cast a clog in the development of Abala kingdom as individuals with strong desire to either invest or execute developmental projects were forced into their shells.
The recent kangaqroo and purported installation of one Chief Nwacheli as Okpala-Uku of Abala kingdom is one of the gimmicks of these individuals to further cause disaffection in Abala kingdom.
Abala kingdom is made up of three communities namely: Abala-Uno, Abala-Oshimili and Abala-Obodo (not Abala-Ugada as falsified in the publication). Ugada is just a Quarter in Abala-Obodo.
Abala Oshimili and Abala-Obodo migrated from Abala-Uno.
Abala-Uno is made up of four major quarters namely: Dukwenze, Diakpulu, Ishubom and Umuoshele/Ugada quarters. It is a fallacy to state that all four quarters are sons of one parent – Abalam Ala and his wife Akuba. It is only Dukwenze descendants that are addressed as Umu-Akuba. Diakpulu descendants are addressed as Umu-Ekwe, Ishubom as Umu-Oma, while Umu-Oshele and Ugada are addressed as Agidi and Obo Amilekwe respectively. There are proofs that the different quarters in Abala have no common feast, all feasts are specifically owned by different quarters.
It is a lie that Diakpulu is the second son of Abalam-Ala, Ishubom third and Umu-Oshele/Ugada fourth. If they were all children of one parent, why are only Dukwenze descendants crowned as kings of Abala.
It is also not true to say that Abalam-Ala and the wife, Akuba arrived in the town called Abala today. Abalam-Ala and his wife Akuba never saw Abala land before their death. That is the reason why the gods of Abala land is exclusively served by Umu-Iyasele Ojeh royal family. So also the gods of the only river of Abala (Ezute) which encouraged all citizens to settle in Abala is exclusively served by same Umu-Iyasele Ojeh royal family of Dukwenze. What is the meaning of having such exclusive right – it is an ownership right.
The origin of this distorted history was from late Odua S.O. Egbunkonye and aided by late E.F. Ogbukaa when the entire Abala were virtually asleep.
Dukwenze Quarter is made up of three royal families namely: Umu-Odume family, Umu-Iyalsele Ojeh and Umu-Nkini. The traditional ruler of Abala exclusively comes from Dukwenze and the three families are equally eligible to be enthroned as Igwe of Abala, if unanimously selected by the three family heads.
The issue of regent is foreign to the tradition of kingship in Abala kingdom. The Traditional Rulers and Chiefs’ Edict Of 1979 section 16 (1) and (2) states the appointment of a regent.
16. (1)”Where a traditional title which is hereditary by primogeniture is vacant and the hair-apparent to the title is a minor or does not ascend the throne immediately after the title becomes vacant, the executive council may approve the appointment of a person or persons as request….
2. Any appointment made and approved under section (1) of this section shall cease to be effective on the date on which the hair-apparent to the traditional ruler title attains the age of eighteen years. This is the position of regent.
Abala kingship is not hereditary and therefore cannot have a regent and that has never happened in the history of Abala. If a king dies in Abala, nobody can predict who comes next because it is by selection not hereditary.
ORIGIN OF OKPALA-UKWU OF UMU NKINI
The three royal families in Dukwenze are headed by three eldest surviving men called Okpala. But a time came, out of greed, the Nkini family alone split into seven Okpalas representing family lineages and each busied himself crowning their children as kings indiscriminately, until a powerful king, Eze Egbunkonye of Umu-Nkini was crowned and he decreed to families that all deities being served by all the seven Okpalas should be handed over to the eldest Okpala of the family. He further directed that the eldest should be addressed as the Okpala-Uku of Umu-Nkini. This is evidenced in a letter addressed to the Director of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mid-Western Nigeria dated July 14, 1964 and signed by Ngwei Nwoji as Okpala-Uku of Umu-Nkini, Adigwe Ngechi also signed as second Okpala-Uku of Umu-Nkini. None signed as a regent.
It is important to point out that the position of Okpala-Uku of Umu-Nkini is now contrived to be imposed on Abala people. Every right thinking indigene should resist this imposition
Many Okpala-Uku of Umu-Nkini existed when no kings were reigning, yet none was installed as regents. Okpala-Uku Agbedi of Umu-Nkini was alive for years before Igwe Ezefili came onboard as a king. He was not a regent. Igwe Ezefili died in 1994 and Chief Ochia became the Okpala-Uku of Umu-Nkini and was never installed by the “wise” Umu-Nkini sons and daughters as regent. Okpala-Uku Omeyi of Umu-Nkini lived also when there was no king in Abala and also was not installed as Regent.
Things in Abala started to change when a few power-drunk from Umu Nkini family sponsored Okpala-Uku Richard Nwanachi of Umu-Nkini into assuming the post of a regent but was shocked after he was rejected by the Ndokwa East Local Government Area Traditional Council Committee, citing section 16 of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs’ Edict Of 1979. The said Okpala died recently, less than two months after the embarrassment.
As if the death of the last Okpala (Nwanachi) was not enough lessons, the same persons deceived the next Okpala-Uku of Umu Nkini – (Nwacheli Ikeopia Nwadishi) and purportedly installed him as regent. They addressed him in a language he never understood that was why in his address, he thanked Abala citizens present for “Choosing Him”. He realized he was addressed in borrowed robes. Ironically, Okpala-Uku is not chosen by man but God.
Presently the Okpala-Uku of Abala-Uno is Chief Daniel Uzolie Nwaefulu of Diakpulu Quarters, Abala-Uno, followed by Chief Odozie Ugulu of Umu Iyasele Oje, followed by Chief Jacob Ezeobi, of Umuoshele Quarters before Omordi Nwacheli Ikeopia, who is the Okpala-Ukwu of Umu Nkini, presiding over the other family Okpalas. He is fourth in command in Abala kingdom. He is not the Okpala-Ukwu of Abala kingdom and not a regent.
In the event that a reigning king dies, the entire community shifts all meetings to the eldest man in the community (Okpala-Uku). Examples were Okpala-Uku, Uzor Uku of Umu-Oshele/Ugada Quarters, Oshele Anukwu of Umushele/Ugada, Udawai of Umu Iyasele Ojeh, Nwaebichi of Umu-Nkini, Ebili of Umu-Odume, Nwabueze of Umu-Odume and Ezeatu of Umu-Odume, among others.
These people were Okpala Uku of Abala when no kings were on the throne and the entire community assembled in their compounds, peacefully, for meetings.
None of this Okpala-Ukus was addressed as His Royal Highness (HRH).
To show the level of power drunkenness of these persons, the Iyase Onowu (Traditional Prime Minister) of Abala kingdom, Chief Uche E. Nwadialor, was recently written that he is subject to the Okpala of Umu-Nkini. When will this misinformation and misrepresentation of facts end.
Finally, it is not true to say that the Okpala-Uku of Umu-Nkini installed all past kings and Ofor Nze always returned to the Okpala of Umu-Nkini after an Igwe’s death. The Okpala-Uku of Umu-Odume installed Eze Onyeamali, the OKpala-Uku of Umu-Iyasele Ojeh installed Eze Adimone, the Okpala-Uku of Umu-Iyasele Ojeh installed Eze Uzorka, the Okpala-Uku of Umu-Iyasele Ojeh installed Eze F.C. Iyasele. The Okpala-Uku of Umu-Nkini installed Eze Ezefili also the Okpala-Uku of Umu-Nkini installed Eze Ogbukaa. Who gave Eze Adimone of Umu-Iyasele Ojeh the Ofor Nze with which he ruled? Who gave Eze Onyeamali of Umu-Odume the Ofor Nze with which he ruled? Who gave Eze Uzorka of Umu-Iyasele Ojeh the Ofor Nze with which he ruled? Who gave Eze Iyasele of Umu-Iyasele Ojeh the Ofor Nze with which he ruled? Who in Umu-Iyasele Ojeh or Umu Odume returned Ofor-Nze to any Okpala of Umu Nkini?
These facts are verifiable and the people of Abala can attest to these facts.
Copyright © Blank NEWS Online.
All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce, publish, broadcast, rewrite or redistribute in whole or in part is only granted subject to appropriate credit being given to Blank NEWS Online as the source.
***Read Blank NEWS Online for regular news updates…Also like us on Facebook & follow us on Twitter @blanknewsonlin1
Advertise in Blank NEWS Online.
Visit Us @:
Phone: +234 8037 644 337
Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –
E.I.C: Albert Eruorhe Ograka