The Itsekiri Leaders of Thought (ILoT), has called on the Delta state government to quickly intervene in the escalating leadership crisis in Ugborodo before it goes beyond control.
The call which was made through statement signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Chief Edward Ekpoko and Sir Amorighoye Mene, respectively, called for the immediate arrest of the Olaja-Orori (Spiritual Head) of Ugborodo community for alleged violation of the state’s laws and impersonation.
Ugborodo, where the oil multinational, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), has its largest operations field and facilities, which is also host to the Gas Revolution Industrial Project (GRIP), has been transiting from one local leadership problem to the other in the last few years. The Olaja of the community, Benson Dube Omadeli, was reported to have declared himself independent of the throne of the Warri Kingdom and addressed himself a royal majesty. However, the ILoT, in its statement, laid a background to the alleged rebellion of some elements in Ugborodo, leading to a legal matter, which was effectively decided in favour of the Olu throne in 1921.
The body charged the state government to quickly take a step to stem the brewing crisis in Ugborodo, pointing out its importance to both the state and the nation’s economy. It also warned non-Itsekiri neighbours of Ugborodo not to further stoke the embers of the crisis. “We call on the Delta State government to intervene in the crisis in Ugborodo. Those behind the so-called Ugborodo Kingdom/clan brain-wave are in violation of Itsekiri native law & custom and also, the extant law. Mr. Benson Dube Omadeli who is parading himself as His Majesty, Olaja-Orori Suo VI of Ugborodo Kingdom and some others have since on the 24th November 2017, been declared wanted by the Nigeria Police for various criminal offences.
“Ugborodo community is the host to major oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta. The Delta State government and Federal Government must act now to check the excesses of this few misguided elements in Ugborodo. A stitch in time saves nine. From history and the case of Dore vs. Olue (1921), it is settled that the Olu has overlordship rights over all Itsekiri lands including Ugborodo and that the Olu of Warri by the 1st Schedule to the Traditional Rulers, Council and Chiefs Law Cap. T2, Vol. 5, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria 2008, is the only Prescribed Authority in Itsekiri in Warri North, Warri South and Warri South West Local Government Areas of Delta State.