Professor Demas Nwoko, an architect and a designer, is not happy with the situation of Idumuje Ugboko, a sleepy agrarian community in Aniocha North local government area of Delta state. The community has been in turmoil over the past four years following the kingship tussle that is tearing the community apart.
According to The Pointer Newspapers, Professor Nwoko said the government of Delta state has not done well for abandoning the community for the past four years. Nwoko told the newspaper that the community that was once thriving with the name known in Northern states and Lagos, has lost its fragrance and flamboyance.
He said such things only happens in states that is reminiscent of a government that has lost it essence. He explained that the solution to the community crisis is in the hands of the state government, hence he faulted no one among the names being mentioned by indigenes of the community.
He is very unhappy over the lingering crisis dividing the people and hitting their heads against one another. He said the issues could have been resolved in their formative stages, but the government kept mute, hence the matters have escalated, leading to deaths, ostracizing community members, counter accusations and the fall of traditional values.
Professor Nwoko, an 84-year-old man, told the newspaper that Delta state government reportedly allowed the issues to degenerate and the matter has escalated. He said: “What is happening in Idumuje Ugboko is not supportable. Whatever the issues are, they should not continue. It shouldn’t happen.
“It can only happen in a fractured society, a society without value and effective governance. Such society is incapacitated and impotent. The society here is disintegrating systematically. Every people of the world have their own culture from where they manufacture their governance system and rules.”
Professor Nwoko heaped the blame on Delta state government. He insisted that the state government abandoned the crisis in the community and allowed it to blossom. “The government left the matter to fester. I haven’t seen the hand of government in this matter, in trying to either right it or stop it.
“There must be a reason why this thing has lasted so long. What I’m saying is that the government of this state has not done anything about the matter. That is why it has lingered for many years,” Nwoko observed.
He noted: “We have a system that when a king dies his eldest son takes over. It’s a very peaceful process. It’s automatic. The king was already over 90 years. So, it was inevitable that he must die. Why has the successor not been recognized by the government and given staff of office?
“The same day a king dies, another king is enthroned. Why has it become a problem for the government to give staff of office to the Obi. Until that is done, nobody should talk about any other civil problem in this town. Whether anybody likes it or, he is the king of the kingdom. The whole matter lies squarely in the hands of the head of this state.
He said there is a system of succession in the community and it is in the records of Delta state government, noting that the government cannot shy away from its responsibilities.
For him, it is not a subject of debate on who should ascend the throne after late Obi Albert. He posed series of questions to Delta state government, thus: “Do they want to change the system? Do they need us to tell them what to do? Do they have to come and ask us who is going to be the next king in this town? It’s not an issue of opinion. Does it mean they don’t have records?
“That shouldn’t arise at all. We don’t have a succession problem. You can’t ask me, ask government. Ask ministry of chieftaincy. If they cannot answer it and they depend on me, then something is wrong. They are irrelevant. They don’t exist. So, anything that happens or continues to happen in this community lies in the hands of the government.”