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Andoni: Okoloile Kingship: The Installation and Coronation of King Ikwut (VI)

OKOLOILE FLOWINGKingship coronation in this path of the world is usually known to be volatile occasion on many litigation, blood letting, affluence and influence probably perpetrated by those not in the right position to claim any stool.

Okoloile town a community in Andoni Local government area was once embroiled in such mess, when at the wake of 2003 during New Year celebration the people woke and found that the community was gone by the evil hands of destroyers.

Okoloile like the scriptural story of two women dragging a child, while the biological mother of the child pleads for time to justify the true mother, the intruder demanded for the slaughter of the child. The once deserted community which later came on had gotten her fair share of the biblical experience.

Few years later after the mess, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Bori had given a verdict on the rightful ownership, kingship and birthright of the community called Okoloile in favour of Ikwut Royal House. Since then there was no challenge or appealed whatsoever in any court of law till date.

Like the king Solomon’s weighty judgment, where the child grows up to identify his mother, Okoloile community through the high court judgment delivered on Tuesday 30th day of march 2006 had not only identified but recognized her kingship and birthright.

Since after the unchallenged judgment, the community has been in peace though with incessant noise and rumours of pockets of troubles but without further destruction and litigation on the right of ownership.

Following the judgment and peaceful coexistence between the two warring divides; Ikwut-Royal House and Karibo family the winner of the high court battle and paramount stool of Okoloile, the Ikwut-Royal House has now taken their turn to formally fill the vacant stool of “King Ikwut” after the demise of the former occupant two years ago, late king John Osunju-Ikwut V.

The ceremony was the official installation and coronation of the paramount ruler-(Okaan-Ama) of Okoloile community.

The installation of the successor to the throne of Okoloile community, Chief Mathias Stanley Ikwut VI took place at the Obolo Hall, Ngo town, headquarters of Andoni local government area on Saturday 11th day of May, 2013 by the Ngo clan council of Chiefs with other members of Andoni chiefs council in attendance as the tradition demands.

Though the event coincided with the PDP wards meeting across the eleven wards of Andoni, attendees were better watched than imagined. It was indeed a celebration for the citizens of Okoloile as they came out in their numbers to honour their new king.

At the installation, after several questions by the paramount ruler (Okaan-Ama) of Ngo and acting Ngo clan head, HRM King Job William Okuruket Nnabiget XIV King S.M.U. Ikwut was charged on peaceful reign, love, forgiveness and passion for the community growth.

As it is the tradition, victory rally and procession commenced immediately after the installation at Ngo through the major road and enroute the river to Okoloile community, where the elders and people joined the rally and with cannon shorts to herald the entrant of their new king.

The Okoloile community was agog for peaceful celebration though there was earlier threat of violence by the opposing family. The event was better watched than imagined as the new King Mathias Stanley Ikwut VI was corronated at the community square.

The new king, HRH King Mathias Stanley Ikwut VI on arrival at the community was taken to the community shrine where he was formally corronated as tradition demands in the present of indigenes, visitors, kings and chiefs as well as security operatives.

By the official coronation he is now known as HRH King Mathias Stanley Ikwut VI, Okaan-Ama of Okoloile Town, VI.

He took over the throne as a result of the demise of the former, HRH King John Osunji Ikwut V few years ago.

During the ceremony, the People of Okoloile were enjoined to maintain the peace they were enjoying in the community and especially from the beginning of the installation at Ngo headquarters of Andoni local government to the formal coronation at the community square or shrine.

Chairman, Ngo clan council of chiefs, and Okaan-Ama of Oron-ija, HRH, King Bartholomew Egopyork handed the charge in his vote of thanks to the entire people of Okoloile town.

According to him they have witnessed the coronation of King Matthias Stanley Ikwut VI as traditionally approved by the Obolo people. “We only install chiefs but not Okaan-Ama; it is the community that coronate their king, our duty is to witness, confirm and affirm any coronation by the community and Royal House as traditional approves, and that we have done, may God be with you”. He prayed.

In a similar development, the traditional prime minister of Ngo, HRH Ubong Elijah Elebe Ogodo JP while speaking to The Newswriter corroborated the claims of HRH Bartholomew of Oronija that they were in Okoloile to witness the coronation of HRH king Mathias Stanley Ikwut VI as Okaan-Ama of Okoloile. “We come to witness the coronation of the Okaan-Ama of Okoloile”.

On the situation of the ceremony he said “It has been a fine one, he was installed at the Obolo Hall, Ngo Town, by the Ngo clan council of chiefs. He becomes a chief in the Ngo clan council of chiefs. On their visit to Okoloile from Ngo, Chief Ogodo has this to say “We were invited to come and witness the original coronation of the Okaan-Ama, we love the occasion, it was a nice one”.

Answering question on the procedure of corronating an Okaan-Ama, he said “The procedure depends on places but what happen is that, there is always a cow being slaughtered at the community square or shrine by the king and that was done. We, the council of chiefs witnessed it, it was a nice one”.

He explained further that it is Ngo clan council of chiefs affairs but other members of Andoni chiefs council are not restricted. “This is Ngo clan council affairs but other members of Andoni chiefs council can also come and some of them came.

Chief Ogodo enjoined all communities Andoni to emulate the Okoloile saying that, as chiefs they are embodiment of peace. “If things should be like this, we expect all communities to emulate this type of peace, we expect peace in the communities because as chiefs we are path and parcel of peaceful resolution in the country and expect that every community will be peaceful and what was done today was peaceful”.

The traditional prime minister of Ngo used the occasion to admonish HRH king Mathias Stanley Ikwut VI, Okaan-Ama of Okoloile to be considerate, loyal and obedient to his people and above all imbibe the fear of God.

Chairman, community Development Committee, CDC of Okoloile, Mr. Egop Ogor Charley Harold, who also double as the secretary of Ikwut-Royal family who spoke to The Newswriter, described the event as peaceful and first of its kind, calling on indigenes of the community to rally round the new king for the development of the community.

The CDC chairman further call on the opposing family to accept in good faith the coronation of the king as headship and kingship exist anywhere in the world.

The CDC chairman, Mr. Charley Harold recalled that while on his oath of office as chairman he promised to lead the community in peace and to a greater height.

He said his reign as community chairman had brought the peace so far enjoyed in the community and enthronement of the paramount ruler HRH king Mathias Stanley Ikwut VI.

While expressing his heartfelt joy over the peaceful installation and coronation, he has call on the king to be a father of all, love and reign in peace as his teaming community development committee are prepared to work with him to achieve all that is needed in the community.

The vibrant community chairman and an accountant by profession reiterated his administration’s commitment to pursue peace and deal decisively with those oppose to the needed peace in the community, while advising all indigenes to desist from any act capable of truncating peace and development in the area.

In his post coronation speech, the paramount ruler, HRH king, Mathias Stanley Ikwut VI, Okaan-Ama of Okoloile while thanking the entire people of Okoloile, the Ikwut-Royal House, the traditional institutions, the Ngo Divisional council of chiefs and Andoni chiefs council as well as visitors and well wishers and security agencies who witnessed the occasion, promised a peaceful reign anchored on the grace of God.

King Ikwut VI, however call on the people of his community and Andoni at large to always abide by the truth as the only panacea for the existence of any people and society.

Speaking extensively on truth, unity and peace, the youngest king in Andoni at the moment calls on the people to join him in achieving the desired goals ahead positing that, peace is like on elephant meat whereas he could not achieve and enjoy lonely.

The king above all thanked the Almighty God for the peaceful coronation, saying that it was not man made but God.

On his first assignment as the paramount ruler, King Ikwut VI said his take off point is to sue for peace amongst any warring parties if at all there are any grievances, pointing that as a leader he is to lead by example.

Okoloile community witnessed three days victory rally with all sons and daughters from far and near converged at home to celebrate the successful enthronement of the successor to the throne without molestation, friction and chaos.

The coronation proper held at the community square was performed by the Bishop of the Divine Miracle Mission, an arm of the Pentecostal churches the Rt. Revd. Wariso F. Abel. He is a member of the Ikwut Royal family.

Bishop Abel was supported at the coronation by the Rev’d Silas Ukotije Darius Ikwut, JP and the Rev’d Bethel Pius Ubulom all of the Anglican Communion and members of the Ikwut Royal House of Okoloile.

It is worthy of note that coronation of kings are usually done by the Royal House or family at the community square or shrine (Isi-ijong) and with the witnesses of chiefs, that of  the Okoloile community was adhered to and in a peaceful manner.

The Newswriter, in a chat with the security operatives deployed to the area reports that the ceremony was a huge success.

Some of the security officials the police and JTF deployed to the venue who pleaded anonymity said “If every installation or coronation is like this elsewhere especially in Rivers State, then we will have a peaceful society. They behaved well, right from Ngo to this community, Okoloile, there was no fight, no quarrel, the people are indeed peaceful”.

The security officers further advised the new king to continue in peace, though they claim that formal statement could have been made by the commissioner, the interviewee who pleaded anonymity thanked the people for their peaceful disposition.

Earlier, chairman of the Ikwut-Roya House elder Anson Gogo-Nte had said that the installation and coronation did not come to them as a surprise but as it is their right, it was incumbent on them to fill the vacant stool for a proper administration of the community.

He thanked the entire indigenes for supporting the Royal House and the king for turning out in large numbers and peaceful nature, noting that they have done the needful and wishing him a happy reign and call on all to rally the king to succeed in all areas.

The event rounded off with a thanksgiving service at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Okoloile Town the next day.###


James Mgboineme

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