May 26, 2022

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Why We Reject Ejekwu’s Chieftaincy Coronation -Family Head

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The coronation of Godspower Cheruka Owhornda Ejekwu on Saturday, April 30, 2022, as the substantive chief of the Rumuowha Community, that is, the Eze Owha 1, (Orchi-Eli Rumuowha) in Eneka Clan of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State has been declared baseless, null and void. 

Though installed by the paramount ruler of the clan, His Royal Highness, Eze Roland O Woko, yet elders, youth leaders and family heads of Rumunkweze, Rumuikeolu, Rumukaraka, Rumuowuta, Rumuworlu; five out of the six families in Rumuowha, has collectively, in a document, refuted the process which they described as a kangaroo coronation. 

Speaking with EDITH CHUKU in this exclusive interview, the secretary, Rumuowha Elders Forum, Hon. Friday Kinikanwo Owhor explained the processes to the installation of a chief, among other issues.

Excerpts: 

My Coronation As Eneka Trado Ruler Divinely Ordained. I’m Not Ready To Surrender The Crown –Ejekwu

Let’s meet you, sir.
Thank you. Good morning and thank you for having me. I am Kinikanwo Friday Owhor, the Rumuowha Community Elders Forum secretary.

An uneasy calm has trailed the coronation of Mr. Godspower Cheruka Ejekwu as the Chief of Rumuowha Community. What’s the issue?
As far as Rumuowha community is concerned, particularly the five families, except that of Rumuekporlu, there is no coronation.
We have laid down procedure for selecting or choosing a chief for the community. That so called coronation did not take that path, nobody was consulted, the processes that were to be taken for a chief to be coroneted was not followed at all. The five families, apart from the Rumuekporlu never knew, we just woke up on the 30th of April 2022 and heard noise of cannon gun, and everybody said, what was going on? Some people went, I personally went to find out what was going on, low and behold, what we saw was a kangaroo coronation of Cheruka, which is not in line with the standard laid by the Eneka Town Council and that is in total disagreement with the people and the laid down rules, therefore, that action is of no effect, null and void. That is why the elders of the community flung into action by ensuring that the youths did not rise up, if we had kept quiet, by now, the trouble that would have ensued would have escalated. Thank God for the elders in the community, for their timely intervention.

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As expected, he was crowned by the paramount ruler, the Eze in-charge of the entire clan, which I think is very significant in such coronations?
No, it is not at all, there are procedures.

What are these procedures?
One of the procedures that will be fulfilled for a chief to be installed or coroneted is: the community will set up chieftaincy selection and coronation committee who will entertain requests or applications from eligible citizens and after screening, they will now provide the result of their screening to the community and their recommendations. Once their recommendation meets the requirement for a chief to be coronated, they will take the person to Eze Igweakwa11, Eze Mbam 11 of Rumuigweakwa, in Eneka, Eze Promise Okechukwu Amadi, he will be the first person that will bless the choice of the community and then, it is the Eze now that will fix a date that both the community and Eze Igweakwa will take the choice of the people to the paramount ruler who will now coronate him as the chief of the community. But these procedures were not followed at all, nobody, no other family in Rumuowha was informed, was consulted. So there was nothing to suggest that a person was selected to be inaugurated or installed as the chief of Rumuowha and that is why you see the five communities, we are in unity, we are all in unity to say no, this one will not be our chief, and that is the position of the family.

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And don’t forget that the paramount ruler’s seat belongs to Rumuowha people, it does not belong to Rumuekporlu alone because it is a seat that was for the first son of Eneka and when the paramount ruler was selected, it was Rumuowha people that selected him and then took him to Eneka who finally endorsed him for coronation. So, if he passed through screening by the committee at that time and he passed through the screening and was selected, what stops him from doing the same thing? That’s our argument and that is why everybody is saying no, that is not how to coronate a chief for a people, nobody is a slave, that is what the people are saying. It is not my own view, it is the view of the people, because, I am the secretary of the elders council, that’s why I am speaking. I am not speaking on my own volition, that’s the decision of the community, and the timely intervention of the elders is what have saved this community from been exploded with crisis.

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Chief A A Chuku, the former chief of Rumuowha passed on and has been buried years ago. Over three years down the line, a successor is yet to be coroneted till recently, which is still been refuted. Is it that the families do not want a chief or what exactly?
Severally, the five families in Rumuowha have gone to the paramount ruler and Ojiowhor for a new chief to be selected, but each time they go there, the paramount ruler will turn it down, and don’t forget that the late A A Chuku was selected by the community, screened and all the requirements for him to be coroneted was given to Rumuowha community. In fact, in two separate occasions, but because of this attitude of the paramount ruler not wanting any other family to be heard in Rumuowha, that was why he did not coronate Chief A A Chuku before he died. So, he has shown the reason why he refused to accede to the community selecting somebody that will be generally accepted by all the families in the community.

Is it that the newly coroneted chief is not qualified or that the process was not duly followed?
The process was not duly followed. Cheruka is a citizen of Rumuowha, so if he is nominated he should pass through screening, the coronation committee should screen him, there are certain things that a chief should possess, certain qualities, he has to pass through the screening, and if he qualifies then he will be coroneted, that has to be done first, yes.

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What then is your appeal to the paramount ruler, Mr. Godspower Ejekwu, youths, and the entire people of Rumuowha community, in a bid to encourage peace and stability in the community?
By the grace of God, you can see, Rumuowha is at peace. The reason is that the elders intervened and the youths are disciplined, they respect the views and opinions of the elders. They were called and advised not to rise and then our appeal to the paramount ruler is that he should jettison what he has done and allow the right thing to be done. If he wants Cheruka to be a chief, he should allow Cheruka and other people in the community to be screened and the best candidate will be selected by the community, and let the person be the choice of the entire six families in Rumuowha community. Once that is done, that’s the only thing the people are saying, that you cannot go home, pick your brother, not even your palace, in your house. No elder of the Rumuowha community was invited, there are family heads, there are family elders, there are opinion leaders, very important personalities in the community and you want to install a chief for them and those people will not know who becomes their chief, ah! In which society does that happen? That’s what we are saying, let him do the right thing, just the right thing.

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So, for us in Rumuowha, he has not coroneted anybody to be Rumuowha Chief, we don’t know, if he want us to do the right thing, there are processes, let’s follow it, once that is done everybody will be at peace with one another, we will not have problem with him, just let him go and do the right thing, allow the laid down procedure to be followed, Cheruka is a young man, let nobody tarnish his image and subject him to this type of ridicule, I love him, but he shouldn’t allow anybody to mess him up.

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