Delta Community Under Attack Over Kingship Tussle As Indigenes Live In Fear

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……Traditional Chiefs, Royal Family, Kingmakers Divide, Fight To Finish

Idumuje Ugboko agrarian community, Aniocha North local government area of Delta state is currently under severe attacks by persons suspected to be paid assassins and hoodlums to terrorise the indigenes following kingship tussle that has bedeviled the community.

It would be recalled that five months ago, a family of five, including an octogenarian grandmother, were murdered in cold blood in Idumuje-Ugboko by yet to be identified persons.

The current crisis is not unconnected to who should succeed the former 91-year-old monarch who died in February 2017, Obi Albert Nwoko III, which has already divided the community traditional chiefs, kingmakers and the Nwoko royal family over who among the deceased children, Prince Nonso Nwoko and an 18 year old final year Secondary School student, Prince Uche Nwoko, should ascend the throne.

The crisis has led to break down of law and order culminating into kidnapping, killing, maiming, robbery and terrorising of the community by hired hoodlums allegedly working for a faction in the kingship tussle, thereby forcing residents, elders, school children, market women to be running for protection cover.

The Nwoko royal family of Idumuje Ugboko has late Prof. Demas Nwoko, formerly of the University of Ibadan and Ned Nwoko, former member of the federal house of representatives as some of its notable illustrious sons.

HardReporters gathered that a section of the palace chiefs allegedly installed Prince Nonso as king against what some indigenes of the town described as a set back to the customs of the people as those against the installation of Nanso claimed that some requisite formalities and notification of relevant authorities were not followed as such the installation is null and void.

Addressing a press conference in Asaba, the capital city of Delta state Thursday, the community Iyase, Mr. Chris Ogwu, flanked by former president general of the community, Mr. Eziashi Walters; Mr. Kennedy Chuks Iloh, secretary, land allocation committee and one Mr. Henry Chike Okolo, bemoaned the current crisis ravaging in the community, and appealed to governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the security agencies and well meaning Nigerians to intervene so as to restore peace and unity that have since eluded to the once peaceful and happy community.

“Life has become bad to us in the community, the kingship tussle has instilled fear and horror in the minds of the community dwellers. Following the death of our Obi, Albert Nwoko 111 in February 2017, the situation of the community has degenerated to the extent that we all lived in panic, every now and then you see thugs, hired assassins and hoodlums invading us.

“At a time the thugs broke into my compound. Hoodlums are been imported from other kingdoms to unleash terror on the community, some came in the afternoon while others besieged the community in the night. Till date we are yet to unravelled the circumstances that led to the sudden death of the king. However, we all know that our king was murder. There are series of court cases in the court against Nanso following his numerous questionable antecedents in the community.

“The whole town is in violence. Only yesterday (Wednesday), a gentleman was killed, market women were chased from the market, youths chased children from school. There is violence and shooting everywhere. For some days now I have not been to my house. The kingmakers have followed all due process to communicate the governor There has been information to the governor. Issues like this, we first petition the local government chairman, we have done that and as such the governor is aware.

“By the standing order and rule in Idumuje-Ugboko, Nonso is not qualified to succeed to the throne of Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko. Nonso’s mother is not from Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom as prescribed by the tradition, but from Ubulu-Uku, not only that, he is currently standing trial in the magistrates’ court, Asaba, for the alleged offense of forgery and conspiracy in suit number CMA/420c/2016.” the Iyase said.

Also speaking, Mr. Kennedy Chuks Iloh, secretary, land allocation committee, narrated how he was allegedly kidnapped and kept in custody for a period of time by the hired hoodlums.

“The imported hoodlums from other communities are fighting youths of Idumuje Ugboko, the chairman of the vigilante group in the community, one Peter Bama, was mercilessly beaten and dragged round the community and as we talk he is critically ill and taken to an undisclosed hospital in the state.

“Ned Nwoko, one of the community illustrious sons was attacked, following threats from hoodlums who have put the community under tension with no immediate solution in sight. Anyone who saying Ned Nwoko has hand in the crisis that is tearing the community apart is doing that as a diversionary approach. Ned meant well and is working in the interest of peace and development of the community.” Mr. Iloh stated.

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