The oldest man in Iwevbo Community in Orogho dukedom of Orhiovwon Local Government Area, Edo State, Chief Papa Uvo Eyimofe, has debunked reports that said the Eku Traditional Council in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, yesterday barred anyone henceforth from referring to the community as Iwevbo Community and that the right name is Ovre Eku.
An earlier report published according to a source from the palace, said that in an enlarged meeting of the Eku Traditional Council of Eku, in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State yesterday, presided over by the Ugbe N’Eku (Prime Minister), High Chief Godwin Aganbi, at the Palace of the Okarorho, after due deliberations and resolution reached by the entire Chief in Council, agreed and announced that Ovre Eku belongs to Eku, and it’s name is Ovre Eku and not Iwevbo as called and addressed in some quarters.
The said report also added that Eku Traditional Council barred anyone from addressing Ovre Eku Community as Iwevbo Community.
But, in a swift reaction, some leaders of the community, said that the claim was untrue, adding that the only decision taken was to direct Chief Joseph Ukueku to stop parading himself as the President General of the area and also made efforts to broker peace between the warring factions in Iwevbo Community because the fighting always snowballed into Eku where lives and properties were always destroyed.
Speaking through a phone conversation, Chief Eyimofe said: “This is not the time to change the name that has been there for many years. The primary school founded in 1914 bears Iwevbo Community; just the same way my Primary School Leaving Certificate does too.
“We are not arguing the fact that our origin is from Eku, but we want the records straight. To set the records straight on the Iwevbo/Ovre Eku matter, no one was barred by Eku Traditional Council not to address the place as Iwevbo. It was Chief Joseph Ukueku who was asked to stop addressing himself as President General.
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“The reconciliation meeting was presided over by the Prime Minister, Chief Godwin Aganbi to find a lasting peace amongst the people who have been fighting over the years. At the meeting, reference was made to the origin of Iwevbo which we the Urhobos address as Ighweworo and the name Ovre as is commonly used is to describe a place where people cross through a river for farming activities. Such as Igun, Abraka, Okpara etc have Ovre. But each has a name such as Igbigun, Ekigbe, Otefe of Abraka. Our fathers from Eku founded the place and have been known as history has it as Iwevbo as the original name.
“At the meeting, Chief Ojo was asked who founded the place and he said their father from Eku founded it and no one has come to ask us to leave. Chief Papa Ovu Eyimofe said I was born in that place and the name we all know as history has it is Iwevbo. It is not at this time the change should occur because I am not the first elder who has acted as the head of the place.”
He continued: “But, the lawyer to Chief Joseph Ukueku, Barrister Etaghene advised that the name Iwevbo should be changed that even when your father gave you a name that you don’t like, you can equally change it to suite yourself.”
According to him, this fight has been on before 2015 immediately after the arrival of PRESCO PLC.
He alleged that the name Ovre Eku was the brainchild of Chief Joseph Ukueku to cause disaffection among the people of Eku and lure the Delta State Government into boundary issues.
On his part, Chief Stephen Atavwigho said that Urhobos have communities all over the country in places like Bayelsa State where an Urhobo indigene is the Deputy Governor, adding that Iwevbo is an Urhobo Community in Edo State. Furthermore, he said that peace should reign for the sake of development.
“History will not forgive us if we lay a curse on ourselves by hiding the truth,” he averred.