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Crisis rocks Okere Urhobo in Warri as traditional council rejects king-designate


Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State Governor

There was pandemonium yesterday in Okere Urhobo Kingdom in Warri, Delta State over the purported installation of a new Orosuen (King).

The development, which did not receive the blessing of the kingmakers and the traditional council of chiefs in the kingdom, caused tension in the community.

Consequently, the spokesman of Okere Urhobo, Wilson Eboh, had convened an emergency meeting of the traditional council, elders and the people of the kingdom to deliberate on the matter.


He had drawn the community’s attention to a publication in a local newspaper alleging that Chief Christopher Okumagba from the Idama Ruling House had been crowned as king and with requisite documents signed by Chief D.B.O. Opoggen and addressed to the Deputy Governor of Delta State.

The former Orosuen of the kingdom, Benjamin Okumagba, died in 2012 and since his demise, succession disputes over which ruling house should produce the next king had led to several litigations that have stalled the selection of a new king.

The Guardian, however, learnt that a programme of activities to select a new Orosuen had begun and that he would be unveiled on Sunday, October 22, 2017.

“On behalf of the traditional kingmakers council, the traditional council of chiefs, elders and the entire people of Okere Urhobo Kingdom, Warri, I wish to make it abundantly clear that nobody has been selected, appointed, installed and crowned as King of Okere Urhobo Kingdom, Warri.

“It is the duty of the kingmakers headed by me to select, appoint, install and crown a king and no other person can do that.

“The selection process has since commenced and the programme of activities has been announced publicly to the entire kingdom by the Kingmakers,” Eboh said.

He added that Opoggen, who allegedly installed the king, was not a member of the Kingmakers Council and, therefore, had no right to select Okumagba or any other person as king-elect.

“This illegal action has been reported to the Nigeria Police for appropriate action,” he added.

He assured the people of the community that at the end of the selection process in line with the Okere Urhobo Kingdom traditional chieftaincy declaration, which has been affirmed by the courts in suit W/525/2014 and W/197/2012, the Kingmakers will formally announce a new Orosuen for the kingdom.

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