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Stop conferring titles on questionable characters



Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, the governor of Rivers State, has suggested that chieftaincy titles only be awarded to people who have made a positive contribution to society.

Governor Wike made the comments on Saturday in Rukpakwolusi town, Rumuokoro, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, where former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze Chukwujinka Joe Okocha, SAN, was given the chieftaincy title “Eze-Enwa-Gbaganu-Oha of Obio.”

The governor of Rivers State noted that bestowing chieftaincy titles on people whose backgrounds are obscure is one of the major challenges facing the chieftaincy institution.

L-R: Former governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili; Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike; Onueze Chukwujinka Joe Okocha, SAN, his wife, Mrs. Ifeoma Margaret Okocha; Justice Mary Odili, JSC (rtd) and Sen. John Azuta-Mbata

“The problem we have in chieftaincy institution, sometimes you don’t even know where they go and bring chiefs and give them titles. You don’t even know the background. What is the contribution of the person to the community, to the kingdom, local government. You don’t know what he or she has contributed.”

Wike, on behalf of the government and people of Rivers State most sincerely congratulated the legal luminary on the conferment of the chieftaincy title, ‘Eze-Enwa-Gbaganu-Oha of Obio on him, describing it as well deserved.

“I was one of those OCJ consulted and I say look you don’t even have to take permission, it is an honour well deserved. You have contributed to the development of not only Obio, Obio/Akpor, Ikwerre ethnic nationality, Rivers State and Nigeria. And so, all of us will be there to celebrate with you and your family.”

The governor noted that based on Okocha’s status in society, the conferment of the honour on him will not generate unnecessary friction.

According to him, Okocha will rather be duty bound to defend the interest of his community for the honour done him.

Governor Wike lauded Okocha, who as an elder statesman, has remained unwavering in his support to the government and people of Rivers State.

“He is one of the greatest supporters we have in this administration. There is nothing we do, that he has not given us support.”

The chairman of the occasion, Senator John Azuta-Mbata, advised communities in the State to bestow chieftaincy title only on their eminently qualified sons and daughters.

He described Okocha as a worthy son of Ikwerre land, having been recognised at the highest level of governance in the country for his contributions to national development.

In his remarks, Onueze Chukwujinka Joe Okocha, SAN, said he cherish the conferment of the title, Eze-Enwa-Gbaganu-Oha of Obio on him.

The former NBA president assured that he will carry himself with respect and honour that dignifies the title.

The occasion was graced by former Rivers State governor, Dr. Peter Odili, his wife, Hon. Justice Mary Odili, JSC (rtd); former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Chibudum Nwuche; Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani; Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Sir Siminialayi Fubara and his deputy, Prof. Ngozi Ordu;

Others dignitaries include, His Royal Majesty, Nne-Nwe-Eli Emohua XIII (OLO IV), Ohna Sergeant Chidi Awuse; Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Emeka Woke; the Lord Bishop, Diocese of Niger Delta North, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Budu Ihunwo among others.

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