By JAMES EZEMA
Former President General of Idumuje Ugboko Development Union ( IUDU), Prince Walter Eziashi has called on Prince Justin Chukwunonso Nwoko to stop parading himself as the king of Idumuje Ugboko kingdom and threatening the peace of the community.
Prince Eziashi who made the statement in Idumuje Ugboko at the weekend said” the people of the town have a process of selecting their monarch, which is not the exclusive right of the first son of the king and a few members of the royal family but that of the entire Umu-Ologbo royal family comprising of both Nwoko’s children as well as his brothers in consultation with the Iyese and the Obi in council.
He said “Prince Justin Chukwunonso Nwoko must respect the tradition and institutions of the people by subjecting himself to the due process of selecting of the king in Idumuje Ugboko kingdom “
Said Eziashi:”our position is consistent with that of the Aniocha North Council of Traditional Rules which refused to admit Prince Nonso Nwoko to its meeting in Issele-Uku last week when he appeared fully dressed as a king.
“The state government has not given him the staff of office, on what basis is he carrying on as the king,?”
According to Prince Eziashi, the culture of Idumuje Ugboko kingdom requires that when a King joins his ancestors, “he must be interred within 24 hours of his passage but the rites must be initiated by the Iyase.
“He alone has the power to summon the council of chiefs, consisting of the Iyase, the Odogwu, the Isama and the Uwolor.
“These are four high ranking Chiefs who oversee their various four quarters of the town namely Atuma, Ogbe Ofu, Ogbe Obi and Onicha Uku respectively. “
Making a new King
He said “during this period, the administration of the kingdom falls into the hands of the Iyase for a period of three months, being the next most powerful chief after the monarch.
Traditionally, the Iyase is the first person to be contacted when the Obi, joins his ancestors. Thereafter,” the Iyase will inform the Diokpas in the four quarters when he invites them to the palace to meet and perform the necessary rites as well as pay their last respect.
It is after this that the death of the Obi is made official to the entire town. His burial rites will then commence immediately.”
The Iyase presides over the meetings in the palace and directs the Onotu and/or the Omu to ensure that the town’s market is closed when required, and that the men shave their hair as a mark of respect to the departed Obi. It is only after the burial ceremonies that the process for the coronation of a new Obi commences.
After the burial, the Iyase holds his first meeting with the Council of Chief to announce the process period to select a new king. This must be religiously followed as the culture and tradition clearly demand.
He said “from all available records, Prince Nonso has circumvented the due process.We are opposed to Palace coup in Idumuje Ugboko.”
He said Prince Nonso Nwoko with a few of his supporters crowned himself king and expect the entire Idumuje Ugboko people to accept that. He has been threatening those who oppose his usurpation plan with sanctions, fines, banishment and ostracison.
He has made the allocation of land for the Star University project his propaganda tool while he conveniently ignores the fact that the tradition of Idumuje Ugboko requires that the person who is to be the king is someone whose mother is an indigene of the town.
He said ” there is the issue of Prince Uche Stephen Nwoko whose mother is from Idumuje Ugboko and was born after late Obi Albert Nwoko III was coronated.
“Prince Nonso Nwoko was advise in 1981 to marry from Idumuje Ugboko since to enhance his prospects of becoming the king since his mother is from Ubulu Uku, but he refused.
“His father whose mother was from Ugbodu, was given a similar advise and he accepted.
“This was condition that made it possible for him to be king in the first place. Prince Uche Stephen Nwoko is a product of this arrangement which the elders contrived then to end a 26 year reign of regency in the kingdom.”
The former IUDU president said Prince Nonso Nwoko’s attempt to impose himself on the people has created an atmosphere of insecurity and uncertainty in the kingdom.