The traditional ruler of the oil-rich Okpai Kingdom in Delta State, Igwe Goldring Ugbome II, has dissociated himself from the proposed conferment of the highest chieftaincy title of Ochiagha of Ndokwa Nation on Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who represents Delta North.
Igwe Ugbome II, an octogenarian and king of Okpai for 53 years, cited “the controversy generated by the chieftaincy and need to ensure peace and unity in Ndokwa Land” as his reason for withdrawing from the event slated for tomorrow.
The Igwe of Okpai, who is also the Chairman of the council of traditional rulers in Ndokwa Nation, comprising Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West and Ukwuani, said in his letter to the Directorate of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Asaba that the proposed title had become too controversial and unacceptable to major stake holders of Ndokwa extraction.
Two apex bodies in Ndokwa Nation, the Ndosimili Development Union and Ukwuani Foundation Union, had earlier rejected the conferment of the Ochiagha title on the senator, by the Oduosa of Utagba-Ogbe, HRM Isaac Obi.
The groups argued that the title of Ochiagha, meaning the “General Officer Commanding (GOC)” is reserved exclusively for illustrious sons of Ndokwa.
The proposed event equally drew the flaks of notable Ndokwa indigenes, including retired and serving military generals because it was done without due consultations with political leaders and other traditional institutions in the area.
Of the 14 traditional rulers in Ndokwa East, only one gave full consent to the deal while two of the four traditional rulers in Ndokwa West and Ukwuani endorsed the project.
The highest socio-cultural body in Ndokwa Nation, the Ndokwa Neku Union (NNU), suggested more consultations with major stakeholders and any other title, aside the controversial Ochiagha.