Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, HRM Obi Ifechukwude Aninshi Okonjo II, the brother of Director-General of World Trade Ogranisation , Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has stated that Otulu town never belonged to Issele-Azagba as claimed by HRM Agbogidi, Obi Francis Jideuwa.
The traditional ruler had claimed that the town which is located in Aniocha south belongs to them. Obi Jideuwa had during a press conference on Thursday in his palace claimed Otulu which is under the territory of Ogwashi-Uku belong to his kingdom and won’t cede the land to Ogwashi-Uku.
Newsbreakers had reported an incident which occured last week when some thugs attacked the convoy of Obi Okonjo II. One of them who was trying to snatch a rifle from the military attacje to the traditional ruler got injured in the process.
In defending his claim, Obi Jideuwa cited an instance where Otulu market was commissioned in 1990, adding that he was the one who went to receive the military governor then that came to commission it.
“There was no other person that came. If Otulu did not belong to Issele-Azagba, why was it that it was only me that was mandated to come for the commissioning ceremony? We from Issele-Azagba were the only ones who welcomed the military governor on the day the market was commissioned, if others owned the place they would have been there, but they were not because it was not their territory,” Obi Jideuwa said.
Issele-Azagba is geographically in Aniocha North while Otulu is Aniocha South.
Reacting to the claims made by Obi Jideuwa. Obi Okonjo II in statement sent to Newsbreakers on Friday by Greg Okwumbu, his media aide, gave an historic and political background of the town, backing it up with several documents, court injuctions and government gazettes that showed that they are the community was ceded to Ogwashi-Iku, which is Aniocha South.
For easy reading and understanding, read the full statement from the Palace of Obi Okonjo II below
Dear members of the Press.
RE: ISSUES SURROUNDING OWNERSHIP OF OTULU OGWASHI-UKU AND THE POSITION OF THE LAW REGARDING MANAGEMENT OF OTULU-OGWASHI-UKU ESPECIALLY WITH REGARDS TO RECENT INCIDENTS IN OTULU OGWASHI-UKU
The Obi of Ogwashi-Uku HRM Obi Ifechukwude Aninshi Okonjo II wishes to clarify the ownership issues as it pertains to Otulu Ogwashi-Uku which has apparently become a hot topic as a result of the recent incident in Otulu Ogwashi-Uku
Otulu Ogwashi-Uku historically is a farming settlement under our Agidiasei Quarters. Otulu Ogwashi-Uku, was separated from its sister community Edo Ogwashi-Uku when the current Lagos-Benin Expressway was built effectively putting both communities on either side of the expressway. Otulu has always been part of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom and has always been managed by an Okwabani appointed by the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku. Please review the INTELLIGENCE REPORT ON THE OGWASHI-UKU CLAN, ASABA DIVISION, BENIN PROVINCE dated 9th April 1936 by Mr J.E Jull. It clearly indicates that Otulu is part of the Ogwashi-Uku Clan. I will refer you to an attached Bendel State of Nigeria Gazette Dated 23rd June 1983 No 29, Vol 20. In the schedule under Ogwashi-Uku clan, you will clearly note that The Okwabani of Otulu Ogwashi-Uku is very clearly indicated as being part of the Chiefs under the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku and managed through the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom. Lastly, please find reports from the Western Region Local Government Law 1952 which clearly include Otulu Ogwashi-Uku as part of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom. The reports are all attached for your reference.
Please also find attached a judgment given by Justice T.A Smith (Suit No O/38//90) between Chief C.N Anumonwo & I.O Rafua (for themselves and the Ogwashi-Uku Clan vrs Robert Ogboli & His Highness Obi Osemene 111 of Issele Uku Kingdom ) regarding the management and ownership of Otulu Ogwashi-Uku. In this specific case, the Obi of Issele Uku appointed a Chief called the Odoziani of Otulu to manage the affairs of Otulu Ogwashi-Uku. In his judgement, Justice TA Smith rejected the Chieftaincy of Ogboli and stated that Otulu Ogwashi-Uku belonged to Ogwashi-Uku kingdom. The full judgement is attached for your review. Also attached to this is a letter dated 10th January 1992 from the Aniocha South Local Government (doc ref No.C.551/139) which clearly states in its contents that Otulu Ogwashi-Uku is owned and managed by Ogwashi-Uku through the Okwabani of Otulu Ogwashi-Uku.
POLITICAL & GEOGRAPHIC
Otulu Ogwashi-Uku politically is Ward 1 in Aniocha South Local Government. A review of the geographical map of Delta State drawn up by The Delta State Government shows and establishes the local government boundaries which clearly puts Otulu Ogwashi-Uku inside Aniocha South Local Government. So from a historical, geographic and political point of view, Otulu Ogwashi-Uku is and will remain part of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom.
We are aware that some communities are rushing to make claims about Otulu Ogwashi-Uku in light of the unfortunate incident which happened last week. We are very prepared to defend our communal land to ensure that no outside community interferes with the land handed to us by our ancestors. We will not permit any distortion of the facts or the truth which is why we have not only outlined a summarized background of Otulu Ogwashi-Uku, we have also attached relevant legal documents to back up our claims.
Let us end by responding to a story we heard from HRM Agbogidi Obi Francis Jideuwa the Obi of Issele-Azagba claiming ownership of Otulu. We have a great deal of respect for His Majesty and we are sure he is misquoted and the stories supposedly from him about Otulu Ogwashi-Uku are false. If you go through the 1936 intelligence reports which we provided to you, you will note that the reports clearly state that the boundary Ogwashi-Uku has are with Okpanam and not Issele-Azagba. We know the history and relationship between our Azagba Ogwashi-Uku Community and Issele Azagba. We provided farmlands to them which metamorphosed to the present Issele Azagba community. We are a very respectful community and we desire to live in peace. We do not want any unnecessary provocation from our neighbours. We wish to request that our neighbouring communities who we have tried to live in peace with for decades respect our boundaries.
Media Aide to the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku
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