By Azu Akanwa
A group, Egrangbene Patriotic Forum, has asked the Delta State Government, Nigerian Agip Oil Company and other multinationals, including the general public to disregard in its entirety, a publication in the Vanguard of June 26, 2009, in which one Henry Okirikpa claimed to be a traditional ruler of Egragbene Kingdom.
In a statement signed by Mr. Biukeme Benibo, President of Egrangbene Patriotic Forum, the group described the authors of the publication as â€œbusinessmen who want to deceive Delta State Government and Nigerian Agip Oil Company for recognition to extend their businesses.
â€œWe want the public to know that Egrangbene community is made up of decent and intelligent people who will never allow their history and character to be rubbished by few greedy and selfish individuals.
We, Egrangbene people are of the Operemor traditional kingdom gazetted by Delta State government and the stool is on rotational basis by each of the communities that make up the kingdom and the present king is from Egrangbene, his place of birth, making him bear the title Egran I on behalf of Egragbene people while his predecessor was from Ojobo community and any other person from the same Egrangbene claiming to be a king now is to cause anarchy in Egrangbene,â€ the group warned.
The group recalled that these same people paraded another old man of over 70 years as King of Egragbene at Asaba sometime ago.
“In other words, within a period of one year, they have paraded two persons having realized that the first person they paraded was not young enough for their dubious plan ahead in the name of Egrangbene.
â€œWe are happy that the Delta State Governor has warned that mushroom and fake traditional rulers emerging in various parts of the state will be dealt with by the law.â€
The group has alerted the Inspector General of Police and other security agents to save lives of those opposed to the imposition of fake kings on their people, including Egragbene.
â€œThose of us opposed to the fake king and his sponsors are under threat especially the Pere (King) of Operemor Kingdom and we have asked the Police to stop them from establishing terror camps along Egragbene waterways,â€ the statement said.