There is new air of revelry in Gbaramatu Kingdom because a new king, Pere, has just been elected by the king makers. In this piece, CHRIS ERIYAMREMU, our Correspondent in Warri captures the mood of the people, as well as the people’s expectations.
Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State is the home town of former ex-warlord, Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo. The kingdom had been without a king after the demise of the monarch. The regent took charge of the kingdom until last weekend when the kingmakers meritoriously selected and installed a new king tagged “Perfect King” who immediately presented to the people of Gbaramatu kingdom.
It is obvious that the kingmakers made the right choice for the people as the kingdom has been overwhelmed with joy and jubilation by the people, who have expressed hope for a new dawn.
The regent, Chief. P.T. Heavens, whose reign was automatically terminated upon the installation of a new one was full of joy. He also called on the people of the kingdom to shun any antics by external forces to cause disunity among them in Gbaramatu kingdom. He said the selection and installation of Prince Naira Williams Ogoba as the Pere-elect, the new king of Gbaramatu, was another best thing that has happened to the people of the kingdom.
Other prominent Gbaramatu chiefs and kingmakers who performed the selection and installation of the new king were Chief Alfred Bubor, Chief P.T.Heavens, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, Chief Tonfawei Julius and Chief Nelson Ogelegbanwei among others at the palace ground in Oproza Community.
Also, the Chief Mobilizer and image maker of Gbaramatu kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, made a passionate call to all sons and daughters of Gbaramatu both in Nigeria and in Diaspora to seize the opportunity of having a new king for the Kingdom to come back home to celebrate the new era.
Gbenekama who has never hidden his displeasure over the perceived political persecution and witch-hunting of Tompolo by the President Buhari-led federal government said Gbaramatu people are also Nigerians who should enjoy the protection of the federal government and all privileges entitled to them as oil producing community.
According to him, the people of Gbaramatu are very ready and willing to prove their innocence before the federal government, adding that Gbaramatu people are peace-loving and law-abiding citizens of Nigeria and cannot be involved in any criminal activities and pipeline vandalisation.
He said “Let us come back home. We cannot continue to run from our home. Let us come back home. We are not criminals. We are not pipeline vandalizers”, he said. Gbenekama, a very reliable and dependable chief of Gbaramatu, further frowned at the militarisation of Gbaramatu, lamenting that the continued militarisation of the area amounts to witch-hunting, directionless and calculated to cause controversies in their land.
He therefore called on the federal government to stop the militarisation Gbaramatu Kingdom and engage the people of the area, including select groups and community leaders to achieve peace and stop pipeline vandalisation, as well other oil facilities in the area.
The brave Gbaramatu chief also absolved High Chief Government Ekpemupolo of the recent bombing of oil facilities in Forcados. According to him, “the militarisation of Gbaramatu should stop. Government should stop the militarization and engage the people in a constructive way so that the pipeline should stop”.
Gbenekama hailed the emergence of the Pere-elect saying that the process for his selection was “transparent” and “spiritual” stressing that the quarter where the king is to be produced begins the selection process. He, however, disclosed that two other contestants, Rev.(Prince) Imeleye Emmanuel and Mr. Meleye Matthew vied for the Pere position with the Pere-elect whom he described as “calm, calculative and humble”.
Gbenekama expressed the belief that if given the much needed supports, the Pere-elect will make a good king. He prayed that the reign of the Pere-elect will bring peace and development to the kingdom. He hinted that the appellation for the Pere-elect might be “Oboro” because that is the quarter he hails from in one of the ruling houses.
Other chief who spoke at the event were Chief Nelson Ogelegbanwei, who corroborated Chief Gbenkama said “in the Kingdom, we don’t vandalise pipelines. Oproza is innocent of any allegations from the federal government about the pipeline vandalisation. Ogelegbanwei accused the federal government of bias in the manner it has handled the pipeline vandalisation since the beginning of the year.
He added that there was no partiality in the selection of the Pere-elect as all the processes were duly observed. Meanwhile, another prominent chief in the kingdom, Mrs. Vero Tangbowei, in her remarks said the new king is God’s Chosen one, saying “It is the will of God. I pray his reign will usher in peace and development.”
The Amakosuowei of Benikrukru Community, Pa. John.O.Okirika, described the emergence of the Pere-elect as the will of God for him to sit on the throne. Pa. Okirika also advised the Pere-elect to be upright and God fearing, speak the truth and work hard to bring “peace, prosperity and development” to the Kingdom.
Also, a youth leader from Gbaramatu who spoke to Nigerian Pilot in confidence commended Chief Godspower Gbenekama for his unrelenting efforts in defending the kingdom, saying “we are proud of Chief Godspower Gbenekama who has continued to show great commitment toward the growth, development and peace in Gbaramatu kingdom”.