The people of Aghoro II community of Idiwuni Kingdom in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have accused the state government of an attempt to tamper with their choice of King.
The community has been enmeshed with a lingering kingship crisis which made the state government, through the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo
to recently intervene to resolve the impasse.
But the people say they have noticed some clandestine moves by the government to subvert the choice of Afro Biukeme as their Amananaowei (King) and warned that it will not work as they will resist it.
According to them, any attempt to tamper with their choice of traditional ruler would definitely lead to another round of crisis in the community, which will not be good.
During a protest in the community, the angry indigenes said information reaching them was that the state government had allegedly concluded plans to bring back the former monarch, King Ojunkonsin Ibamughan whom they had rejected.
While chanting solidarity songs, they also carried placards with various inscriptions like: “We Have Chosen HRH Afro Biukeme as our King”, “No Going Back On HRH Afro Biukeme”, “The People of Aghoro II Community Have Spoken Loud And Clear”, “Bayelsa State Government, Respect Our Choice” and so on.
Leader of the protesters, Chief O. Bousine, who commended the deputy governor for the way he started the process but said they started suspecting foul play the day they were invited by the government to the Government House in Yenagoa.
“What we are hearing now is very bitter. We are not going to allow him or anybody to impose the former king on us. Never!”, he warned.
However, the State Government has directed the people of Aghoro II to remain calm and not take the laws into their hands over the chieftaincy stool.
The deputy governor gave the advice when he met with the chiefs, elders and other community representatives of Aghoro II community over the disputed Amananaowei stool.
While explaining the state Chieftaincy Law, Ewhrudjakpo cited Section 28, which states that no individual or group has the right to either dethrone or install a traditional ruler without following due process as stipulated by law.
He, therefore, directed all the parties involved in Aghoro 2 community leadership conflict to maintain the status quo with His Royal Highness Ojunkonsin Ibamughan still serving as Amananaowei, pending the final determination of the issues raised at the meeting.
He warned traditional rulers not to see their recognition as a licence to oppress and shortchange their people, as the law also provides a window for their removal.
The Deputy Governor also cautioned individuals and communities to resist the temptation of engaging in subversive activities aimed at dethroning traditional rulers whose chieftaincy stools have been recognised by law.