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Paramount Ruler Brews Fresh Crisis in Ini

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Lectures : 19805

 : Posted by
Nuckecy 30 November, 2012
… The people condemn his act, speak out

… LG set up committee to investigate

… I have the traditional authority – Paramount Ruler

By our Correspondent

Ini Local Government Area which has experienced relative peace in recent time is almost being thrown into another fracas. This alarm was raised by concerned members of the area alerting the public and government to wade into it in order to continue in the peaceful atmosphere.

Century Newsfront investigations reveal that the Paramount Ruler, His Royal Majesty, Edidem Apostle Nteong Udo Effiong Akpan who also is the Clan Head of Itu Mbon Uso wrote to the council to permit him relocate the venue of the Children and Independent Day Celebrations from clan school, Nchana Ebua which according to our finding has been venue for the events since 1980 to be taken to St. Patrick’s School, Ananamong (home town of the Paramount Ruler).

Though the council through its secretary replied the Paramount Ruler to allow the status quo to be maintained, the Paramount Ruler went ahead to inform schools within the clan through verbal message to attain the Independent Day Celebration at the new location that led to some schools attending the Independent Day Celebration at Clan School, Nchana Ebua and others at St. Patrick School, Ananamong.

Century Newsfront gathered that the Vice Chairman of Council, Mr. Godwin Usoro Who represented the chairman at that venue (as the Council chairman was at the Council’s Headquarters in Odoro Ikpe for the occasion) was ordered by the command of the Paramount Ruler to stop at Ananamong for the event and the Vice Chairman for the fear of the unknown, consented.

Clan School, Nchana Ebua from our finding was established by the colonial masters in the 1930s and the community thought since the school is the oldest and the first public Institution in the clan given its strategic status choose the school as venue for such events occasioned by poor road network as at then as well as distance to the Council Headquarters.

From our findings, the Paramount Ruler had earlier poured liberation and placed curse at the clan school to whoever will relocate the centre to any other place only to become victim of time and chance.

When Century Newsfront visited the school (Clan School, Nchana Ebua), the Headmaster of the school, Mr. Peter Noah Essien (who also hails from Ananamong) told journalists that he was given verbal invitation from the Paramount Ruler’s aid that the venue had been shifted from clan school, Nchana Ebua to St. Patrick School, Ananamong for the Independent and Children Day Celebrations. The helpless Headmaster added that since clan School had always been the venue, he couldn’t leave for Ananamong but joined other schools to observe the celebration at Clan School.

On our visit to the Paramount Ruler’s Palace, the Royal Father who could not allow journalists to sit down during the interaction period said that the journalists were “sponsored by hungry politicians” and he could not give substantive reasons for the action but roared that he was right to do what he deems fit in his domain and that nobody can stop him, “I have no interest in such issues, the matter is purely a community affairs which does not involves the state”

In their separate reactions when Century Newsfront visited them some by GSM phones, other by physical contact and meeting, a cross section of Ini Local government area of Itu Mbon Uso extraction, the people condemned the action of the Paramount Ruler, called on the governments to wade into the matter to avoid the impending crisis in the area, viz:

By Richard Ekpe: “I am from Nchana Ebua, the Vice Chairman of NULGE, Ini Local Government Area. When that thing happened, I met with the Paramount Ruler and what he told me was that the issue is a family matter and that it would be resolved amicably. I will soon convene meeting between the Paramount Ruler and Chief Ukata who also is from that community so that it will be put to rest. Itu Mbon Uso is one of the most peaceful areas in this vicinity and this little issue can cause havoc to the entire Ini and we don’t want this to happen, we know the Paramount Ruler as a peace loving man, a sound man and we are confident that he will reason with us by returning the centre to Nchana Ebua Clan School. The Clan School happened to be the ALMA matter to almost everybody from that community.”

Hon. Okon Alphonsus, supervisor for education, youth and sports, Ini L.G.A: “such a controversy arose and as a council, we met and it was resolved that the status quo should be maintained until the committee set up by the council to investigate the matter concluded its assignment.  We all know that life is full of conflicts. As a council, we did not want the people who voted us into office to believe that we are dabbling into local political crisis, we decided to be neutral as possible by writing and that letter was conferred to the clan through the Paramount Ruler via the council secretary.  Incidentally, the people still insisted that they wanted it moved from the other side and we said two weeks was too short for a newly constituted government to dabble into that. Unfortunately, they still insisted and the representative of the Executive Chairman who was the council Vice Chairman, Hon. Godwin Usoro who saw the people converged at Ananamong, Itu Mbon Uso instead of conventional Clan School at Nchana Ebua which is now called the PCN School. But as a matter of fact, Nchana Ebua always remains the centre but for one political, traditional reason or the other, the Paramount Ruler decided to change.  But to me, honestly, I had stood by the decision of the council that the status quo Ante should be until investigations are concluded. However, the decision is left for the chairman and the Executive Council to decide.”

Hon. Godwin Usoro – Vice Chairman, Ini Local Government: “What happened was that when I was given the opportunity to go there, I asked the councilor representing the area, (that is Itu Mbon Uso Ward) he told me that the 1st October Match Pass would take place at Ananamong where the Paramount Ruler comes from. Infact, when I went there, I saw that everything was ready there and Ananamong alone had about 12 schools at the event.  Personally, I have not been to Nchana Ebua before, when I went for the 1st October match pass, that is where I was taken to, but my own view would be for everybody to come to Odoro Ikpe to partake in any function of that magnitude.”

Hon. Isaac Monday – Secretary – Ini Local Government Area: “The Paramount Ruler sent a letter to us that the centre should be shifted from Nchana Ebua to Ananamong, while we were trying to see how we can look into the matter, the council wrote back to the Paramount Ruler that the status quo should be maintained pending when we as council look into the matter properly. But since I was not the one who went there, it was the Vice Chairman who represented the council.           However, Committee had been set up to look into the matter.  The council did not send the Vice Chairman to Ananamong per se, the council directed the Vice Chairman to go to the conventional venue.  From whatever happened which am not aware, the Vice Chairman said that he was directed by the community members to go to Ananamong instead at Nchana Ebua.”

Barr. Essien P. Essien: “Most of us schooled there at the Clan School and the centre had been there, I don’t know the circumstances that led to the abrupt change.  I have reached out to the Paramount Ruler and the council, the council had said that the venue should still be there until thorough investigations including the people’s opinion are sought but the man (Paramount Ruler) still insisted. Am yet to reach out to Chiefs and other opinion leaders. My opinion for now is hanging.”

Anonymous: “There were two zones created which Itu Mbon Uso was one of them. By then, that clan head was still there, that school was the oldest school, we all born to see, it was the colonial masters that built it not us, even Okopedi was part of it since then, there was no problem even when Ini was created, we maintained that centre. That St. Patrick at Ananamong came of recent.  It is the Paramount Ruler that collaborated with other chiefs to relocate it from clan school Nchana Ebua to his village claiming that he applied for the centre to be created at Nchana Ebua, now the question goes, if you were the one that applied for the centre to be created, why didn’t you keep it at Ananamong? So he wrote to the council requesting for the relocation of the centre to Ananamong but the council, on their own wisdom wrote back to him saying that it wasn’t them that created the centre that they came to inherit it.  Now out of nine villages, most of the villages did not see the letter he wrote to the council, Ikprom, Mkpu, Nkoresien and others did not see only few that he was able to buy over which some of those people were not village heads. During the 1st October Celebration, the centre was divided, some went to Nchana Ebua while others were at Ananamong.  I want the media to call the attention of the SSS, police and other security operatives including the state government to wade into the matter because the fracas of Nkari started this way.  Itu Mbon Uso had been experiencing peace for a very long while until the present Paramount Ruler came to power.”

Barr. Otu Imo, Lagos: “I want to express my candid opinion. I am here in Lagos and they called me and informed me of the development. I am from Itu Mbon Uso, we were born into recognizing that clan school, infact, that clan school was then known as central school, Itu Mbon Uso, you know in the olden days, primary school hardly had from primary one to three, upon graduation to primary three, we all migrated to that place and my father happened to be a teacher. That place remains a rallying point where all schools in the clan converged there for both 1st October and 27th May Celebrations.  But recently, the clan head who also doubles as the Paramount Ruler comes from Ananamong, I was informed that there is a move to relocate the venue to Ananamong, I have to be very frank here that am not in support of that move of relocating the centre to Ananamong because from its historical perspective, the former Paramount Ruler of Ini came from Nkari that did not move the council headquarters from Odoro Ikpe to Nkari.  I must make bold to say that I did not see any reason why that kind of misunderstanding and confusion should set in now.  Ananamong remains the place where the clan head and paramount ruler resides but St. Patrick primary school had never been a centre, everything had always been in Nchana Ebua.  I think politicians are only trying to be funny there.  As an independent and non partisan person, I do not see how such small thing should be causing confusion in the area.  That place had remained where we all born to see and recognized as central school, so it should not be a place subject to political games.  Assuming tomorrow the paramount rulership moves from his own village to another will the centre be moved to the village of the new paramount ruler? For instance, chief Ukata is from Nchana Ebua where the central school is situated and this Royal majesty, the paramount ruler is from Ananamong and they are chief figures in the communities so I do not see why this small thing should cause problem.  I believe the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, who incidentally was my classmate, would call them and look into the historical perspective and solve this issue ones and for all.  That problem am told had already divided the clan and at this point in time, what we should be focusing should be on how to gender development of the clan and not individual showmanship.  I was reliably informed that when the issue started, the local government chairman issued a directive that the status quo should be maintained, I think that is the proper thing.”

Anonymous: “Itu Mbon Uso had been the center long ago, this was due to distance.  Right from when we are under the present Itu Local government area, from Mbuya, Okopedi, we used to attain children and youth day in Itu Local Government but upon the creation of Ikono Local government, from the former Itu division, because of the long distance from here to Itu Local Government, a centre was carved out to us and that centre was Presbyterian school in Nchana Ebua with a reason that this is the only government institution and everybody in Itu Mbon Uso clan were schooling there by then the name of that school was clan school, Itu Mbon Uso. When we enquired why the clan school was sited there, we were told that they were judging the distance from which is the end of Itu Mbon Uso and the other end argued that this place, Itu Mbon Uso was like the middle (centre).  So upon the creation of this centre, they sited it at the oldest institution then on creation of Ikono Local Government, we continued to maintain the place. Various Chairmen of local government, some elected, some appointed tried to move the centre by force some of them even threatened the headmaster by saying that they used the children to celebrate at unauthorized centre thereby debarring them from hearing the message of the head of state.  Headmasters defended that it was the wish of parents that they do not go there, so that centre continued like that under 2012 children and youth day celebration that there were rumors and counter rumor that the centre would be ejected from clan school by the paramount ruler. This is against the earlier pronouncement by the paramount ruler himself that anybody that remove the centre from clan school, Nchana Ebua to any other place it will not be well with such person.  But few days to that independent day celebration, we heard that there were meetings to relocate the centre. Some people consented while others disagreed to it.  But last independent day celebration was celebrated at two centres, at Presbyterian school, Nchana Ebua and St. Patrick School Ananamong. When we enquired, they said that all celebrations must be at Ananamong where the paramount ruler comes from and some people are saying that this one is not traditional festival that it has government under tone and should remain at the conventional ground.”

Eteidung Stephen Akpabio Udo - Village Head, Ikprom: “It was true that this centre was created in 1980 from Ini Local Government Area.  But far back 1945 or 1940, the whole clan had only that school called clan school where centre about all schools including sports and games were at Nchana Ebua. Now in 2007 that centre was about to be removed by the former chairman, Hon. Emman Ebe and his councilors which made the entire clan to grow annoy with the chairman even with the then clan head now paramount ruler.  But on 1st October 2007 (independent day) the present paramount ruler placed a curse that whoever that will rise to relocation the centre from Nchana Ebua which they all fought for in 1983 that it will never be well with such person and his entire household.  But this year 2012 independent day celebration, we don’t know what gingers the relocation of the centre, but since we chiefs are under him, we went upon his invitation to honour his invitation as the paramount ruler and he suggested the change of venue which some of us rejected. Now, we are calling on the government to caution most of the paramount rulers not to act some times even worst than the politicians because the problem of the former paramount ruler was similar to this.”

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Article publié le lundi 3 décembre 2012
19805 lectures
56ème anniversaire de la Proclamation de la République du Niger

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