By Emma Amaize
ENWHE—THE people of Enwhe Kingdom in Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State, have kicked against an alleged plan by the state government to foist a traditional ruler on them.
In a petition addressed to the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, by Chief Patrick Okakor and others, they said that the community had chosen Prince Julius Panama as their king and were dumbfounded at the plan by the state government to impose one Chief Anthony Efekhoda on them, allegedly because of his political influence.
They told the governor: “As you know sir, Enhwe Kingdom, recently was engulfed in communal crises, which we do not want to experience again. But the rumours that Delta State Government is making preparation to impose Chief Efekodha on the people of Enhwe Kingdom as the Ovie is very worrisome.
“It has been the practice of the people of Enhwe Kingdom of Isoko to select their monarch in line with the tenets, tradition and gazette of the kingdom.
“Hence, after the death of the former monarch, HRH B. D. Osha, a regent, Prince David Osha, was installed and he reigned for three years, according to the gazette. At the end of the regency, the people of the kingdom initiated a process to install a new Ovie.
“It was now the turn of Erebo family to produce the next Ovie. A formal message was extended to them to present their candidate, but two candidates emerged for selection and according to the gazette, if there are two candidates, then there has to be an election.
“In the election, Panama emerged the winner and he was subsequently presented to Ogbaide family (the king makers) and he was duly crowned by the kingmakers.
“He was later presented to the whole community and the community equally applauded him and endorsed him as their Ovie. The community subsequently wrote to the governor for his coronation. While the community was waiting for the crowning of Panama by the state government, a surprise rumour emerged that because of his political weight, the government of Delta State has agreed to recognize Chief Efekodha with a staff of office against the wishes of the Enhwe people.”