INSIDE STORY: Why Idumuje-Ugboko is at War!
Idumuje-Ugboko in Aniocha North Local Council of Delta State is at War! One person is dead, 10 people are seriously injured and property worth millions of Naira have been destroyed.
Media speculations are rife that the feud is over the rightful choice for the vacant stool of traditional ruler following the demise of the former occupant, Obi Albert Okwuwadiegwu Nwoko, aged 111, early this year.
The allegation against Obi Justin Chukwunonso Nwoko is that his mother is not from Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom as prescribed by the tradition, but from Ubulu-Uku, plus that he is currently standing trial in the Magistrates’ Court, Asaba, for the alleged offence of forgery and conspiracy in suit number CMA/420c/2016. And because of that his half brother, 18-year-old Prince Uche Nwoko, a final year secondary school student, is more qualified because his parents are from Idumuje-Ugboko. A purported rape of 15-year-old princess in the palace has also been thrown in media frenzy to spice up and sensationalise the feud.
A family insider source, who spoke to XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, dismissed these media speculations as “distractions.” The reliable insider source insists that the fratricidal war raging in Idumuje-Ugboko has nothing to do with kingship tussle, neither is the successor to the throne in any way in contention.
He then went further to poo-poo the argument of Obi Justin’s mother not being from Idumuje-Ugboko, by revealing that even the late Obi Albert’s mother is also not from Idumuje-Ugboko but from Ugbodu. Also, that the mother of Prince Uche who they claim is more qualified is from Esan in Edo state. “Her parents came to farm in Idumuje Ugboko and eventually settled,” he revealed.
The family insider source then said: “The age old customs of the people were followed to the letter. Obi Albert died in the morning, he was buried at night and by next morning Obi Albert was installed because it’s assumed that Obis don’t die. And Obis are not made but are born.”
“Look at the alleged rape of a 15-year-old in the palace. They can’t pin that on anyone since the late Obi had no grown-up son staying in the Palace at the time. Even an allegation that the Obi may have been killed is also false,” our family insider insists.
The insider source then explained that Idumuje-Ugboko is at war because of alleged injustice meted out to Prince Ned Nwoko, former member of House of Representatives and Delta North Senatorial aspirant. In 2015, Prince Ned had alleged that Obi Justin revoked his ownership of some parcel of land, purportedly allocated to him (Ned Nwoko) by late Obi Albert to build a new university.
“Ned had taken Obi Justin to court in August 2015, accusing him of forgery by procuring Obi of Idumje-Ugboko, His Royal Majesty Obi Nwoko III, to sign a document which he ought not to sign. His argument in court was that their father would not have so easily reversed himself on the plot of land he gave to him. The matter had been in court since until the death of late Obi Albert and accession of Obi Justin in January 2017.”
Another source, an elder in the village, told XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE that “majority of idumu people are of the view that having been crowned, that Ned should have dropped the court case against Obi Justin and seek amicable resolution, but instead he continued with the case and even went ahead to get a bench warrant against Obi Justin while he is still mourning the late father, and tradition would not allow him leave the palace until after a particular period of time.”
It is as a result of Ned Nwoko’s impunity that the new Obi decided to use his powers to ostracise and subsequently banish Ned because “Ned is a love child of late Obi Albert’s sister.”
XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE understands that it is this attempt to ostracise Ned by the Obi that is being resisted by Ned, who wants to make it impossible for the community to hold a meeting where the new Obi will make a pronouncement to the effect that Ned should be banished. “That is how and why the fratricide started,” he said.
XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE gathered from crisis management experts that the rate at which the fratricidal struggle is going, it would only take the immediate and swift intervention of the Delta State government to prevent it from developing into a full scale war that may destroy a hitherto peaceful Idumuje-Ugboko community.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had on a visit to the council on Wednesday said it was not the responsibility of the state government to interfere in royal tussle. But the rate at which the violence in Idumuje-Ugboko is going, Okowa cannot afford to take his eye off the ball for too long!
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