By Cletus Opukeme, Warri
Meinbutus federated communities new executive was sworn-in weekend amidst controversy and tight security as monarch of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri kingdom, HRM Couple Oromone had earlier threatened to disrupt the ceremony over rumour of Meinbutus coronating a new monarch, King Jerry Prebor within his domain and vowed to stop it with every force.
Information getting to the Ogbe-Ijoh traditional council earlier is that Meinbutus was inaugurating a monarch, a person of King Jerry Prebor, the Amananaowei of Meinbutus federated communities was to be sworn-in as formal traditional ruler of Meinbutus federated communities .
The Ogbe-Ijoh Warri kingdom as a swift move to stop the rumoured installation of a monarch within a kingdom, they sent a press statement signed by the traditional council of Chiefs to the Delta state government owned radio station, Delta Broadcasting Station (DBS) appealing to the public to ignore or shun the Meinbutus invitation for the inauguration of a new monarch. The DBS radio announcement added that Ogbe-Ijoh kingdom denied existence of Meinbutus in Warri South Local Government area in Delta state.
Daily Watch visited the Palace of Ogbe-Ijoh traditional ruler at Ogbe-Ijoh kingdom, His Royal Majesty, (HRM) Couple Oromone-Mobene and asked what happened between the Ogbe-Ijoh kingdom and Meinbutus federated communities in Warri.
The Olotu of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri kingdom , Chief Lucky C. Oromone who defended the kingdom’s action in the presence of other palace Chiefs who were listening attentively, said ” We have a problem with the Meinbutus. These boys have seized our lands and sold the whole portions of lands without the input of Ogbe-Ijoh kingdom. Two, they are planing to install a king in Ogbe-Ijoh kingdom which we vowed it will not happen as our kingdom will not be the first to produce two kings in one kingdom. Three, they have seized the lands and built illegal structures everywhere without the approval of the Ogbe-Ijoh kingdom.
”Four, the boys are making illegal collections from both Ogbe-Ijoh and other Ijaw speaking communities market women who came to buy stocks in Ogbe-Ijoh market. Most importantly, we don’t want illegal occupants in the Ogbe-Ijo axis in Warri. Therefore, we want to carry out a mass action to retrieve all lands, sold, illegally acquired and built by these boys .
” Finally, the seven sub-communities under Meinbutus would be renamed with their original ancient street names and that is to say, when we are done, there will be no MEINBUTUS, Olabrakonpre, Ogbokone in the locality. Etc. That is the stand of the Ogbe-Ijoh kingdom” he revealed.
The Chief Priest of Meinbutus, General Godday Smith aka (Bounanawei/King of the forest) while reacting to the Ogbe-Ijo kingdom radio announcement, expressed disappointment on the part of the Ogbe-Ijo kingdom which he said making public denial of Meinbutus is an aberration and self-mockery before the public. Saying that Oge-Ijo denying Meinbutus is as the same thing as denying themselves as not part of the descendants of Mein children.
According to him, Meinbutus is not Ogbe-Ijo and that Meinbutus represents the entire Ijaw ethnic nationalities in Warri whose representatives from various communities and kingdom established the historical Meinbutus federated communities. He said that after the inauguration of the present Meinbutus executive, there would be an enlarged general meeting to be convened by the Meinbutus elders to deliberate the burning issues on ground where Meinbutus would be redefined for peace to reign in Warri.
According to the king of the forest and Meinbutus Chief Priest that the meeting would comprise all Ijaw traditional rulers, Chiefs and leaders of thoughts, youths leaders, women representatives cut across Ijaw ethnic nationalities to deliberate way forward.
As the rumour goes in Ogbe-Ijo kingdom, the Meinbutus federated communities of seven autonomous communities would be converted to kingdom whereby the Meinbutus elders council would press further the Delta state government to grant staff of office to the Meinbutus monarch, through their influential members in both state and federal government. The hot controversy between Ogbe-Ijoh was stemmed from such fears of the future.
This development sparked off cold war between the Ogbe-Ijoh traditional council and Meinbutus federated communities as several personalities, including Ijaw national leader, Chief E.K Clark and Chief (Dr) S.Y Mamamu have cautioned Ogbe-Ijoh kingdom to thread with caution to avoid crisis between the Meinbutus communities and Ogbe-Ijoh kingdom.
Daily Watch independent finding is that from existence of Meinbutus, the Amananaowei title had existed before and that the title is a mere administrative title which King Jerry inherited from his predecessor, blessed memory of His Highness, John Paebi (late Amananaowei of Meinbutus) the traditional title was marked out to settle disputes and other cases to make peace in the Warri Ijaw enclave.
Meinbutus on their part vowed that nobody can stop them from maintaining the statequo existing in the their communities over the years.
However, Meinbutus elders council led by General Godday Smith aka Bounanawei, King Jere Prebor, Chief Ebis Moni, High Chief Andabofa Opunama, High Chief Richard Enarede, Mr. Mike Loyibo, aka (Bain ke de best) Denco Moni, Afore Powede, Amb. Dibi Yinkore and others have maintained that they are not inaugurating a new monarch. But they are inaugurating the new Meinbutus President Comrade Joseph Enieyekebi and his exco members who would manage the affairs of Meinbutus untill their tenure expire for another executive to take over.
They said that the Ogbe-Ijoh traditional council was misinformed and that Meinbutus federated communities has an existing Amayanabou who goes by the name King Jerry Prebor to settle dispute and other matters. That the Amananaowei title is not intended to compete with the Ogbe-Ijoh monarch which has been independently operating over the years.
They advised the Ogbe-Ijo traditional council not to heat up the polity in Ijaw Warri as they had no problem with the Ogbe-kingdom. They said that the seven sub-communities under Meinbutus are autonomous communities and therefore they should be allowed to govern or manage the communities without external interference for the peace and unity among other ethnic nationalities as brothers and sisters. They maintained that Meinbutus communities are not isolated from the Oge-Ijoh kingdom and they condemned in totality the steps so far taken by the Ogbe-Ijoh traditional council over nothing.
National President Ijaw youth council (IYC) Barr. Eric Omare applauded the youths and elders of Meinbutus federated communities. He said the Meinbutus communities should pursue peace agenda and development, saying that Meinbutus should change their analogue method to digital system as the 2019 era should be more of intellectual advocacy and not combat and militancy.
He admonished that Meinbutus should direct their actions on how they could benefit from the system to empower themselves economically. Saying that through the Meinbutus armed agitation, Niger Development Commission (NDDC) was created, Niger Delta ministry was created, amnesty was also created, DESOPADEC was created and Ijaws had Presidency. These agencies, if better tackled through negotiation and diplomacy, they could better the lots of Ijaw youths in Niger Delta region.
Amb. Dibi Yinkore who administered the oath of office and alliegiance on behalf of the Meinbutus elders council. New executives sworn-in include, Comrade Joseph Eniekebi (National President) Peter Akuna,( Nat, Vice President) Awiki Esanma, Nat. Secretary, Ayetan Daniel Godstime(Nat. Ass.Secretary) Akantuwa Christopher Perezimor (Nat.Spokesman) Demeatede Nana (Woman leader and others.