There is crisis brewing in Ogwashi-Uku in the Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State, following the unauthorised announcement of the death of the town’s 91-year-old monarch, Obi Chukuka Okonjo, and subsequently naming of a successor allegedly by his daughter and former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
It was gathered that the main anger of some members of the Umu Obi Obahai Royal Family was that Okonjo-Iweala anointed her younger sibling as successor to the throne without the approval of the ruling council.
A contender to the stool, Patrick Okonjo, a lawyer and brother to Okonjo-Iweala’s father had in a press statement accused the former minister of usurping the functions of the royal family and men who should traditionally announce the death of the traditional ruler as well as his successor.
The statement read in part, “It is sacrilegious of Ogwashi-Uku custom and tradition for a princess to announce the transition of a monarch or proclaim another. It is a purely traditional function.
“Late Okonjo was never an Obi of Ogwashi-Uku under our tradition but a mere regent. Accordingly, his first child cannot be Obi as deceitfully inferred by Ngozi.”
But the royal family of Ogwashi-Uku faulted the claims that the newly crowned Obi Ifechukwude Okonjo, was installed in error.
In another statement jointly signed by the acting Diokpa; Umu Obi Obahai Royal family, Prince Emmanuel Ohei, and others, on Monday, the family said, “We want to make this known: Patrick Okonjo does not speak for the family; he speaks only for himself as he has always done.”
The statement noted that the new Obi was rounding off traditional processes and would soon begin his reign.