Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –By Albert OGRAKA:
It may take the gods to decide who becomes king among two contending heirs to the vacant throne in Idumuje Ugboko kingdom in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, as the Nwoko hereditary royalty is presently facing challenges that may throw the sleepy, ancient kingdom into a theater of war.
Blank NEWS Online can disclose that the royal family of Nwoko, traditional chiefs and kingmakers in Idumuje Ugboko are now divided over the rightful choice for the vacant stool of Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko, following the demise of the king and former occupant, Obi Albert Nwoko III, early this month.
But while 18-year old Prince Uche Nwoko, a final year secondary school student, is gaining popularity as a rightful choice, a section of the palace has installed Prince Justin Chukwunonso Nwoko as king, thus generating what community watchers described as a set back to the customs of the people as the requisite formalities and notification of relevant authorities were not followed.
Blank NEWS Online learnt that while the war rages between the camps of Prince Nonso and that supporting Prince Uche, the palace has been virtually deserted as indigenes await the outcome of the war, while the Traditional Rulers Council in Aniocha North Local Government Area will begin investigation into the matter on Saturday.
Those in support of Prince Uche are holding him out as more qualified because his both parents are from Idumuje-Ugboko.
“Any crowning should wait until after the three months burial rites for the late king. A desecration of the tradition occurred when Nonso was put on the stool by only one man as against the six required by tradition”, a family member told journalists.
The family source said “that protests against this were shoved aside by “Prince Mbanefo Nwoko”, who insisted that Nonso should sit on the stool the same night that the Obi passed on. The haste is simply to frustrate the young prince who is in command secondary school in far away Ebonyi State”.
The source recalled that a notable professor in the family, Prince Somayina Nwoko, who died late last year had raised an alarm more than a year before he died, in his now famous write up in which he unequivocally stated that Nonso was not qualified to be king. The late professor will be turning in his grave to see what Nonso is doing to force his way into the throne.
It was learnt that fearing for the safety of the young prince his lawyers are asking that he be made a ward of the court”
“By the standing order and rule in Idumuje-Ugboko, the said Prince Justin Chukwunonso Nwoko is not qualified to succeed to the throne of Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko”, Mr. Ikhide Ehigheliua Esq, of Ikhide Ehighelua and Co., Asaba, wrote in a petition to the chairman of Aniocha North Local government area, on behalf of Prince Uche and others.
The petitioners alleged that Prince Nonso has many impediments against him, including that his mother is not from Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom as prescribed by the tradition, but from Ubulu-Uku, adding that he is currently standing trial in the Magistrates’ Court, Asaba, for the alleged offence of forgery and conspiracy in case number CMA/420c/2016 Commissioner of Police Vs Chukwunonso Nwoko and two others.
The petitioners also cited other cases in addition to a case of false information against him in police case file number CR: 17/2017, alleging that he is of unsound mind, having suffered from a mental problem as an early stage of his life when he suffered brain fag leading to his withdrawal from the University of Benin.
They called on relevant authorities to ensure that Prince Uche is presented, installed and crowned as the Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom.
The Chairman of Aniocha North Local Government Area, Mr. Chuks Oseme, in an interview, confirmed the kingship tussle in Idumuje –Ugboko, saying that he received the petition and that the Traditional Rulers Council, Aniocha North chapter, will investigate the issue on Saturday.
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Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –
E.I.C: Albert Eruorhe Ograka