Monday, June 13, 2016

Endless Stalemate Bedevils Emergence Of A New Odogwu Ahaba

• As Community Opposes Palace Verdict, Directives

Okonta Emeka Okelum, Asaba, Delta State

It appears there are zero possible ends to the controversies surrounding the emergence of a new Odogwu of Asaba.

As we earlier reported last week, accusations and finger pointing towards sharp practices as well as many petitions from contesting aspirants to the Odogwu stool had badly bedeviled the process.

It will be recalled that the Asagba In Council, had earlier this year mandated the Umuonaje Quarters to identify, screen and select an Odogwu elect and present same to the council in two months time.

The council also sent to the quarter a well spelt out guideline, requirement, qualification and criteria to be followed for the emergence of an Odogwu elect.

With more than three months already spent with zero aspirant selected, as well as the many cases of reported and petitioned unwholesome practices by aggrieved aspirants to the palace, the council was forced to roll out a new wave of counter arsenal at the community recently.

Information reaching us had it that with the community’s failure to produce a palace acceptable aspirant with zero complaint of sharp practices, the council had ruled against the community’s selection of Mr. Nwanze Oduah, as the Odogwu elect.

Earlier, the council in a letter sent to the community and copied to all the five quarter heads, as well as the Otu-Ihaza’s leadership and her joint secretaries, rejected Oduah’s nomination as Odogwu elect.

The letter read in parts ‘from the reports and oral evidence received by this council, in respect to the entire process/procedures adopted by your community in the selection of Odogwu elect, the council’s decision is that the selection process was faulty, fraudulent and corrupt and not in accordance with the council’s guideline for the selection of an Odogwu elect’

We have being reliably informed that the Umuonaje community through their secretary had written the council challenging the council’s position and stressing that their final choice of an Odogwu elect is Mr Nwanze Oduah.

You are informed that your selection of an Odogwu elect, as sent to the council is unacceptable, hereby cancelled, declared null and void and of no effect, the council wrote to the community.
During a mobile phone conversation, our reporter had with Mr Nwanze Oduah, he shared that he is his people’s most preferred aspirant and currently enjoys their support and blessings.

You are requested to start all over again the selection process, with strict compliance to due process, absolute transparency, providing a level playing ground for all aspirants and adhere strictly to the guidelines, the council ordered the community.

Opinion shapers in Asaba are of the view that the community stand to lose a lot should they go on with their current position contrary to the palace’s verdict and directives.

An Asaba Alor title holder and some opinion leaders our reporter engaged over this matter, who prefer to be anonymous, pointed out that the community will suffer sever sanctions or have their turn to produce the Odogwu Ahaba transferred to another quarter who are more ready to stick to the guidelines of the council.

You are directed to submit the names of your three nominees selected in order of merit, to reach the secretary, Asagba In Council on or before Monday, 13th June, 2016, the council’s letter instructs the quarter.

The above directive has already been jettisoned, ignored and rejected in its entirety by the Umuonaje quarters, as contained in the letter they forwarded to the palace yesterday.

Interestingly, the other two aspirants to the stool (Ogbueshi Eluaka Onochie and Ogbueshi Eugene Umunnah) do not see anything wrong in appearing before the council for screening and approval.

As at the time of going to the press, the whole town and all traditionally minded opinion leaders are lost with respect to the way forward.

Between the community and the council, who blinks first?

Will Umuonaje gladly cut off her ties with the rest of Ani Ahaba and stick with their son, Mr Nwanze Oduah?

Or will they with arms folded, watch another quarter, this time, Umuezei Quarters, cart away the Odogwu stool that rightly and timely is theirs today?

Will the council’s directives ever be followed? If never, what becomes the public image the council will command in the land thereafter?

Till June 13th, the already and heavily charged heat of the current stalemate and the who blinks first stance, remains an interesting episode in our traditional Ani Ahaba daily drama and possibly soon to be registered reality, if ever, depending on what side wins at last, at any rate, the heat rages on.

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