Paul Osuyi, Asaba
GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has warned that his administration will not tolerate any illegal traditional ruler in the state.
He however restated that his government will not dabble into the traditional processes involved in the selection of a king in any part of the state.
Okowa who was represented by his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro, spoke on Tuesday at Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area where he presented staff of office to the new Obi (King) of the kingdom, Ifechukwude Chukwuka Okonjo II.
The passage of the former Obi, Prof. Chukwuka Okonjo had thrown up succession crisis as princes within the royal family started laying claims to the ancient throne.
But the government, last week, approved Ifechukwude, younger brother to the former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new Obi on the ground there were neither court injunctions nor petition against him.
The government added that the community has fulfilled all the traditional requirements for the coronation of Ifechukwude as king.
Presenting the staff of office, Okowa said any community desirous of a monarch must follow due processes of selection, adding that the ceremony was in compliance with the statute empowering the government.
He commended Ogwashi-Uku people for passing through all processes leading to the selection of their king while urging the monarch to discharge his responsibilities in a transparent manner by being fair to all.
The governor also charged Ogwashi Uku people to give maximum support to the monarch to enable him create opportunities for socio-economic activities to thrive for the benefit of the kingdom.
Obi Okonjo II in his speech pledged to make the unity and progress of the ancient kingdom the central focus of his reign.
He said greater effort would be directed at mending fences, stressing that all parties irrespective of differences would be heard and their petitions fairly dealt with.
He listed critical areas of intervention during his reign to include education, Agriculture, establishment of cottage industries and environment.
Other areas, according to the Obi, include promotion of culture and infrastructure.