Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on traditional rulers to confer chieftaincy title should only on individuals who have impacted positively on society.
Governor Wike made the remarks at the conferment of chieftaincy title, ‘Eze-Enwa-Gbaganu-Oha of Obio,’ on former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Onueze Chukwujinka Joe Okocha, SAN, in Rukpakwolusi town, Rumuokoro, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Saturday.
The Rivers State governor observed that one of the major challenge confronting the chieftaincy institution, is the conferment of chieftaincy title on individuals whose background is shrouded in mystery.
“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.”
Governor 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.