…Says It’s A battle For SupremacyEdevbie Emmanuel
A grandson of Atavwigho of Eku in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, Edevbie Emmanuel, has condemned attempts by some community leaders to change the name of Iwevbo to Ovre Eku.
Iwevbo Community is a settlement of Eku indigenes in Orohowon Local Government Area of Edo State.
Edevbie who spoke to journalists recently, added: “The whole crisis is an issue of supremacy and greed.”
He continued: “What is special about change of name? Isiokolo in Ethiope East has been in existence for a long time. But it got to a point the people said let us change it. They changed the name of the place to Otorho-Agbon, but even till date, everyone knows that place as Isiokolo. The government still calls it Isiokolo.
“You can change someone’s name but not the character of the person, where he lives and all that. Even when you go to court and change a name, the character of the person does not change. Name change does not deprive anyone from benefitting what he or she wants to benefit.
“This whole matter is one of supremacy and disrespect for constituted authority and not just that but a natural position given by God to the oldest man in the community. The oldest man of the place is not there by magic. God placed him there.”
He alleged that the idea of “Ovre Eku as a name came into existence the moment Uncle Joe fell out of favour with the Onogie of Orogho.”
He added: “Even when the former Enogie was alive, Chief Joseph Ukueku paid allegiance to him because he was doing contracts and many things with him. Also, when the said Enogie died he (Ukueku) participated in the burial and headed the committee for the burial in Iwevbo.
“The name change came up in 2016 when we were fighting during the arrival of Presco PLC, and during the seismic operations of the oil company, Chief Ukueku singlehandedly appointed the CLO, Odedede to represent Iwevbo Community. All documents signed then are still safe in the archive.
“Joseph Ukueku’s elder brother who ought to be playing the role of Chairman was overseas and so Joseph Ukueku was acting in that capacity. Then, Chief Uvo was second in command and now ought to be acting in his absence.
But because Ukueku has money, he suppressed the oldest man and he has been acting in that capacity till date.
“Now, because he has money, he does not want to respect the oldest man.
“This is the 7th time the issue has been taken to the Eku Traditional Council.”
He said: “I am shocked that the likes of the present Prime Minister in Eku, Chief Aganbi, who was a member of the committee that sat over the crisis of Iwevbo then with Bishop Ichofeh as head is silent and coming up with autocratic decisions. Then, no resolution was reached that name should be changed. They only called for peace.
“Aganbi is not the first Prime Minister that we have had in Eku. Chief Aganbi is learned and he knows that trying to change the name is usurpation to a legal order and aberration to the smooth running of the place.”
“After Joseph Ukueku benefited from Iwevbo Community in terms of scholarships and in other ways, now that it is Pa Eyimofe’s turn as oldest man they want a name change. This is oppression and they are just trying to intimidate the oldest man because they have the money to throw around.
“It was four years ago that this whole crisis started. We are trying to place a curse on ourselves by attempting the change of name,” he said.
He said further: “Those days when you crossed from that side to Eku they will call us Iwevbowowo. I have never heard of Ovre Ekuwowor. Ovre is a common name used by everybody when you are crossing a river.
“Is it now that we have a bridge constructed by our loveable brother and leader, Chief Kenneth Okpara, a former Commissioner of Finance in the state that they want a name change?”
According to him, they are not faced with any boundary dispute because no one is troubling them, nothing that they are even surrounded by a desert.
Speaking further, he recalled that he was born in Iwevbo, grew up and schooled there, saying that Iwevbo Primary School has produced many prominent Nigerians.
“If they succeed in changing the name, will they also go and change all our certificates,” he quizzed.
“Changing the name of a place is the responsibility of the National Assembly. Eku must be wise so that we do not throw away what we have laboured for after many years.
“James Aberhire was trained with scholarship slot from Orogho Community which he is using to work in Delta State Water Board till date, and even the one representing Iwevbo to the Enogie then and I am surprised he is determined to deceive many as he stated in a recent Vanguard newspaper publication.”
“This move is an act of greed and selfishness of the highest order. No one is fighting us. We are the ones trying to fight ourselves now.
“Barrister Etaghene should know better and not be misleading the community leaders to come up with that agreement that he wants us to sign. He is doing so because of greed,” he opined.