By Okofu Ubaka Omamuli
The annual general meeting of the people of Koko has come and gone. Regrettably, the august meeting failed to calm frayed nerves. The annual meeting had in attendance such names as Prof. Benson Bafor, Dr. Alex Ideh, Tony Akiya Ejoh, Dr. Martins Ogharandukun, Dr. Ayu, Dr. Edema Okonedo and this writer.
There is no doubt that the AGM was a success. However, I make bold to say that the meeting failed again to foster oneness of the descendants of Iweroko and Ameren, Ugogomeje family. One of such markers was the emotional blackmail some small family stocks suffered during the meeting .
Koko is an heirloom of two sisters who sacrificed matrimony for love and unity. Even though Iweroko had six children, namely; Eburu, Abiwanye, Akeko, Egbele, Olomu and Omawumi, there was no disparity between the foregone and Mebaghandun, the lone child of Ameren. For Eburu, Abiwanye, Akeko, Egbele, Olomu and Omawumi who were children of Iweroko, Mebaghandu was not a cousin but a full blooded brother.
Life does not deal equal chunk to all. Olomu, the fifth child of Iweroko, was prosperous as a merchant. Indeed, 104 children is a sign of prosperity and that was what Olomu was! I am sure he attained that feat because his siblings were praying for him.
History has it that in spite of his success in life Olomu was humble and caring, a quality Chief Ereomala Nanna inherited from Olomu, his father. Other family stocks had acknowledged the numerical strength of the Olomu in the administration of modern Koko. Following the Consent Judgment of 1986, the Olomus were accorded four extra potions as a sharing formula amongst family stocks of Iweroko and Ameren, Ugogomeje fraternity. I ask the Olomus, what can be more equitable than fairness?
The question on the lips of very many is; what has brought Koko to this sad and unfortunate state? The problem with Koko is not unconnected with the woes plaguing mankind. I am Eburu maternally, and l see every Olomu, Abuwenye, Akeko, Medu, Omawumi and Egbele as a brother. God forbid that l should be threatened by the prosperity of any of the former. If we had this understanding that the prosperity of Olomu is also that of the Eburus, even the Medus, I am sure the present animosity between the Olomus and the rest of Iweroko and Ameren, Ugogomeje family would not have climaxed to what it is today.
I take offence in the conduct of some members of Olomu family during the AGM. First, they staged a walk out on the six other families at the tail end on the first day of the meeting when it was obvious that they had loss focus because of ill-preparation for a meeting.
The Olomu stock of Koko, like other stocks has all it takes to lift Koko out of the doldrums. It is in the domain of history that Olomu is the 5th in a roll of seven (7) children. Equally, in the domain of customary tradition, the youngest does not dictate to the eldest. But, in the case of Koko, six family stocks humbly sacrificed seniority to recognize the prosperity of Olomu. Yet, the Olomus are not reciprocating by giving peace a chance.
The Olomu hegemony has caused Koko the much desired peace. As enlightened as some members of the stock are, as a family stock they have failed to realize that they are only “a part of a whole and not a whole of a part”. It is not as if members of other stocks are saints in the crusade to build a new Koko. It is not a time to trade blames but the time to compare notes with a view to build a Koko where equity, justice and peace thrive.
*Omamuli, is a social critic, is based in Koko in Warri North L.G.A of Delta State.