MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
The last may not have been heard with respect to last week’s ugly incident at Otulu village in Aniocha South Local Government Area, Delta State where the King of Ogwashi-Uku, His Royal Majesty Obi Chukwuka Okonjo (brother to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala) was reportedly attacked, as communities around Otulu would likely be at war path with him any time soon.
Investigation by AtlanticNewsonline revealed that people of Ubulu-Okiti, Issele Azagba in particular are seriously warming up to challenge the Ogwashi-Uku monarch for daring to assert that Otulu belongs to Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom and had even gone ahead to re-designate it as “Otulu-Ogwashi-Uku”.
According to anonymous sources, Otulu is a settler community whose land is jointly owned by Ubulu- Okiti, Issele Azagba and Edo-Ogwashi. The residents of Otulu community dating many years back, are migrants who have lived harmoniously without a king.
The community is agrarian in nature and has remained a modest transit commercial centre for neighboring communities. Prior to the construction of the Benin-Asaba road in the early ’70s, many traders from South West, Midwest who constantly travelled to Onitsha for buying of various trading items were passing through Otulu, Ubulu Okiti, Issele Uku – Benin Road as the only access road at the time.
Such travellers had found Otulu a transit center where they could stop over to refresh themselves with palm wine, bush meat delicacies provided by people from Ubulu Okiti and other settlers.
The place had assumed a life of its own as an emerging semi urban town that was capable of attracting some developmental infrastructure but ironically, the Benin-Asaba road after completion, created diversion of vehicular movements from Otulu axis thereby retarding its development until in recent time when attention started shifting to it once again as a viable commercial centre waiting to blossom.
Ubulu-Okiti town is said to own more of the Otulu land with its ancient lake called Okiti-mili on one side of the land. The lake which used to provide water for the community is said to have dried up in recent time.
A stream in Otulu known as Anwai has remained a source of drinkable water for the Okiti community prior to the advent of borehole particularly during dry season.
Some indigenes of Ubulu-Okiti who spoke on the basis of anonymity (since the leadership of the town is yet to officially react on the incident), wondered why Ogwashi-Uku monarch should consider Otulu as an extension of his kingdom and had the audacity to make attempt to appoint an administrator to oversea the community.
The incident of last week during which Obi Okonjo was attacked was said to have been prompted by his decision to foist a community leader of his choice and by extension take over the control of Otulu.
Some indigenes of Ubulu-Okiti who spoke to AtlanticNewsonline consider Obi Okonjo’s move as an insult to their community and are eagerly waiting to know the position of their king; His Royal Highness Obi Edward Isichei II.
As at the time of filing this report, some concerned members of the Ubulu-Okiti community were said to be consulting with a view to charting the way forward as some of them have vowed not to allow Obi Okonjo take over their ancestral land.