By Our Reporter, Delta state
The traditional ruler of Uzere kingdom, Isoko south local government Area of Delta state, Isaac Udogri 1, has been deposed by the people of the kingdom in a well attended emergency conference held weekend at the community’s town hall.
Moving the motion of deposition which was unanimous adopted, Prince Israel Akiri hinged it on alleged high handedness, pride, greed autocracy, falsehood and frivolous petition which subsequently led to the arrest of some of kingdom’s leaders who spent the last Christmas in police custody.
In addition the people also alleged that since the embattled monarch has abandoned the throne for more than twenty-one days, he is no longer fit to be king as the community laws and customs has been breached beyond bounds.
The people condemned the role played by the Ovie and his cohorts in inviting soldiers which led to the killing of some of some youths as well as burning of about 50 motorcycles belonging to youths. The Ovie was also blamed for his hasty actions in arresting innocent persons when the Delta state government had promised to set up a panel of inquiry into the matter.
Consequently upon the resolution to depose, Isaac Udogri, the conference directed the Idiagbo family to seek for an immediate replacement; failing which the next ruling house (Oke) will be asked to nominate the next king.
However neither the Delta state government nor the State ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs are yet to react to the development. But very reliable source close to government revealed that the state government is being careful in handling the matter because the deposed Ovie and one of his special advisers (a controversial politician from the community) had earlier on defied the state Security Council directive that dialogue be allowed to prevail on the matter.
Community leaders who attended the emergency conference where the deposition was adopted include all members of Uzere executive committee, quarter Iletu, chiefs, youths and women leaders as well as representatives of Uzere branches.
It could be recalled that a peaceful demonstration against SPDC’s marginalization and failure to sign an MOU with Uzere last November had turned away with property worth millions of naira destroyed while the Ovie fled into exile in Warri. Historically, Uzere is the second place in Nigeria after Oloibiri where oil and gas were discovered. It has 39 oil wells. Two (2) oil fields and an average daily output of about 56,000 barrels of crude per day.
The conference which was well attended by a cross section of Uzere indigenes both from home and Diaspora, x-rayed the happenings in the community since November 29, 2011, when a peaceful protest against SPDC turned violent leading to killings and burning of property including the monarch’s palace.
In an interview, President General of the kingdom, Chief Emeakpo Owhe, who presided over the meeting, stated that he had no option on the matter since the people have spoken their minds on the issue at hand adding that the wish of the people is always supreme and that the Uzere tradition must be respected as there are laid down rules and guidelines regulating the kingship.
In a press statement signed by the kingdom’s secretary general, Mr. Genesis Ominabor and made available to newsmen stated that other sacrilege alleged committed by the deposed monarch include telling lies against the community leaders in press interviews to other traditional rulers and government/security agents as well as what they termed allegedly enriching himself from SPDC at the detriment of his subject and community, saying the people have completely lost confidence in the exiled monarch as such can no longer accept his rulership in the oil rich kingdom.
When contacted the embattled monarch, Isaac Udogri who maintained that he still remains the king of the kingdom, berated the extend his subjects are going about the issue without regard for the committee of enquiry set up by the state government.