Frank Oshanugor & Charles Nwabardi
The King of Ogwashi-Uku, His Royal Majesty (Obi) Ifechukwude Aninshi Okonjo II, and members of his entourage survived an attack by suspected cultists during their visit to Otulu Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, where he reportedly went to offer prayers.
The Obi, brother to Director-General of World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and members of the Council of Ogwashi-Uku reportedly visited Otulu Ogwashi-Uku Friday, September 17, 2021. SECURITY REPORTERS.com gathered that the visit was largely successful initially as the king met members of the community, discussed some pertinent issues and prayed with them thereafter.
However, a statement from the Ogwashi-Uku Royal palace signed by the spokesperson, Prince Greg Okwumbu on Saturday said: “At the end of the visit and when the Obi was departing, cultists and thugs imported into Otulu who were aware of the visit attacked members of the entourage from the rear of the convoy.”
The thugs according to the statement, also attempted to forcefully seize a gun belonging to a law enforcement member who escorted the Obi on the visit.
“It is important to note that members of the press accompanied the Obi on the visit. Also law enforcement agents from the Office of the Area Commander and the Brigade Command in Asaba were also there at the visit and witnessed everything that happened.
“The people who sponsored the thugs are known to us and will be brought to Justice.” The Statement said.
Meanwhile, investigation revealed that the monarch had written a letter to members of Otulu-Ogwashi-Uku community via Messrs Mishak Ejide and Monday Osaji on 14th of September, 2021, drawing their attention to a letter of protest purportedly written by them to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State alleging that members of the community were being harassed by people of neighbouring communities of Ubulu-Okiti, Isele Nkpitime, Issele Azagba and Ogwashi-Uku.
The King had expressed his disappointment with the writers of the petition to the Governor when they had not reported such threat to his palace as Otulu according to the king, is part of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom.
The monarch stated in the said letter his observation that Messrs Ejide and Osaji who were the primary authors of the petition are not indigenes of Otulu-Ogwashi-Uku but migrants from other places. Ejide is said to be an indigene of Enugu State while Osaji is from Ukwuani in Delta State.
The Obi had requested both of them to meet his representatives within seven days to discuss whatever were the concerns. Ironically, barely four days after the Royal letter, attack was launched on the monarch and his entourage.
As at press time, it could not be ascertained if the authors of the petition to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa were suspected.
When contacted, Delta Police spokesman DSP Bright Edafe said on phone that the purported attackers have not been confirmed to be cultists as the information the Command received about the incident was different.
According to him, the Ogwashi-Uku monarch and his entourage had gone to Otulu with a view to getting someone to administer the community on behalf of Ogwashi-Uku since Otulu did not have a king. Obi Okonjo was said to be performing some rituals at a particular place in the community when some resident youths who had lived in the community came out to challenge the Ogwashi-Uku monarch as they alleged that he did not have right to decide who rules over them.
Argument was said to have ensued between the Monarch’s entourage and the Otulu youths which eventually led to firing of bullet in the air by one of the security details in the King’s entourage to scare the youths.
Unfortunately, one of the fired bullets fell on one of the youths and killed him instantly. This according to the police spokesman stoked the reaction from the youth of Otulu who are now branded cultists.
He promised however, that further investigation would unravel the actual circumstances of the incident. He did not confirm if any arrest has been made.