The Delta State Government has warned Chief John Ossai or any other person or group of persons against parading selves as Okpala-Uku (King) in Obiaruku pending determination of who is senior between contending parties.
This was contained in a statement signed by Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Communication and Press, Mr. Bulou Kosin, on Tuesday.
According to the statement, following a meeting last week in Government House, Asaba, with the Deputy Governor who was represented by a Committee led by Chief Edwin Uzor, Special Adviser on Peace-building and Conflict Resolution, the Chairman of Ukwuani local government area of the state, was directed to “investigate and identify the senior between the two claimants to seniority and hence Okpala-Uku-ship title.
The Chairman of council was directed to “report finding of who is most senior back to the Deputy Governor’s Office within the next one month with effect from 20 April 2021”.
The position of government which was read out to the parties noted that the Council Chairman “should suspend forthwith stipend paid to the present Okpala-Uku and such monies kept in a dedicated account” till further state government directive.
The Deputy Governor reminded parties that it would invoke Section 20(6)(b) of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict 1999 on all recalcitrant persons. The section states that “any person who not being a traditional ruler assumes any title purporting same to be a traditional ruler within any local government area shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for two years or a fine of twenty thousand naira”.
“In view of the aforesaid pronouncements, parties are warned to go home quietly and be of good behaviour, refraining from any act capable of causing breach of the peace”, the government decision read.