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Delta community seeks state government’s assistance over kingship tussle

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The people of Oyede Community in Isoko North Council Area of Delta State have appealed to the state government to assist them in averting looming anarchy in the community, lamenting that a group is bent on disrupting its gerontocracy system.

Insisting that the group has been making provocative moves through some influential persons to alter their culture and tradition, as well as the resolutions of their December 2019 National Conference resolutions, they vowed to defend their traditional system to the later.

Speaking to The Guardian at Oleh, headquarters of Isoko South Council Area, President of Oyede Development Union (ODU), Bishop Kingsley Okodhi, said they had endured enough troubles from the regent and were determined to return to gerontocracy.

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He said, “The issue needs to be attended to urgently so that it will not create anarchy among my people. It is about some individuals seeking some selfish interest in kingship and trying to impose an anomaly through what they called founding families, which has never been our custom.

“Our community has never been known for kingship because, since the beginning, our ancestry had decided a system of governance, which vests the oldest man in the clan as our traditional ruler. That is why we have an acronym, Okpako Oyede Ovie Oyede, meaning, the eldest man is the king of Oyede.

He also noted that the peaceful arrangement of the community’s progeny was being threatened by a few individuals who are making attempts to bypass the community and came up with a contraption in a gazette, claiming to be founding families of Oyede.

Insisting that these were targeted towards fomenting trouble, he added, “When we found out that some elements are trying to introduce a strange tradition to Oyede, we had a national conference from December 18 to 21, 2919.

“On the last day of the conference, we resolved to ban anything that has to do with kingship or founding families and opted for our age-long gerontocracy system of governance.

“We are not trouble makers and so we will go about it legally and not take the laws into our hands. We had shifted grounds enough, even when they mooted the idea of a regent for the traditional ruler due to age, we cautioned against it and have tried it and seen the danger in it, we opted out.”

He specifically mentioned Chief Jonathan Idiare, who he said, arrested his father, unleashed mayhem on our once peaceful community, adding that the last straw was making efforts to sideline the traditional ruler and intimidating all dissenting voices.

“Also, Kelly who resigned before Idiare took our traditional ruler and his uncle who nominated him to court for eight years. The man died in the process without any benefit and that is why we rose to say, enough is enough. And we mean every word here,” he added.

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