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Rivers: Eleme Traditional Priest seeks redress in court over chieftaincy imposition



Rejection has trailed the process selecting the Paramount ruler of Eleme Kingdom as some of the people see it as politics infiltrating their culture and tradition with the Land Priest resorting to court for redress.

Some members of the Eleme Chiefs Council and Clan Heads told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Ogale, Eleme Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers, that the peace of the oil rich kingdom may be threatened with the development.

They claimed that it would be so if politicians continue to show direct interest on who occupies the most revered (Oneh-Eh-Eta Eleme) traditional stool in Eleme kingdom.

Elder Godwin Opara, an octogenarian and clan head of Egbe Community, Aleto Clan, commended moves by stakeholders in the area who publicly rejected the selection process of Dr Philip Obele as Paramount ruler of the Eleme kingdom.

Describing the move as an anomaly, Opara said that the traditional priest of the land had also rejected the move via the media and had even sued in the court of competent jurisdiction to ensure that Obele observed sanity and due process in the chieftaincy matter.

“I have witnessed a number of Eleme coronations in my lifetime, never have I witnessed such a high-level desperation as recently displayed by Philip Obele and I stand to condemn such.

“Moving forward, we will adopt the process of kingship selection in same manner as observed by our forefathers, we stand to condemn all political interest and interference.

“We plead with the state government to allow us to choose our King according to our culture which is the responsibility of our Land Priest,’’ he said.

Opara therefore, advised Eleme people to shun greed and unite in accordance with existing laws of the land to ensure that only a credible citizen emerged as the Oneh-Eh-Eta Eleme (Paramount ruler).

In the same vein, Chief Ejii Olaka, Paramount ruler of Ogale community, also condemned the act of chieftaincy imposition and urged the Regent, Obel0e, to respect the laws of the land and avoid parading himself as the selected Oneh-Eh-Eta.Eleme.

Similarly, Chief Apolus Chu, an eligible contestant for the same kingship stool had urged the government not to issue certificate of recognition to Obele to guard against creating loopholes for communal crises in the area.

Chu urged the people to remain calm and advised against allowing the Eleme chieftaincy tussle to contribute to insecurity as the government currently battled to restore peace in some parts of the country.

(Editing by peter Ejiofor)

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