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‘’Why Communities Need Kings With Princely Aura, Not Self ––Proclaimed Monarchs’’
Published Jul 11, 2020 IN Column, THE BULL EYE,
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 The place of Kings from time imme­morial is sacred, respected, envi­able and dignifying. But in recent times some critical issues of who wears the crown and the need for due process have almost been thrown out to side-line customs and cultural heritage. The rate at which kings are posing as traditional rulers has come to the front burner and in fact taking us back to colonial days. The matter in question has become a source of apprehension and concern to all and sundry. They were hitherto known as custodian of customs and tradition as well as the fathers of the communities they represent.


Today, customs and traditions are slip­ping into oblivion, if nothing is done to nip the current imbroglio in the bud. The installation and presentation of staff of office during ceremony is always elegantly accompanied with fanfare but sooner than later there are litigations hence the institution is being engulfed by entangle­ment from various angles to the extent that the government of the day and other sectors of the economy are becoming weary and tired of incessant lawsuits, as some persons in most of our communi­ties parade themselves as the rightful one who should wear the crown and be conferred with the majestic titles and names that are ornamented with gold and the paraphernalia of office.


This drift does not augur well for our modern day Nigeria, especially Delta state, because of the increasing cases of persons parading themselves as the right­ful kings, Obi and Ovie of autonomous kingdoms, communities from existing communities without the recognition of the state and the backing of laws.


The government and the populace are no longer comfortable with this hood and crook way in which some of the commu­nities are doing things.


It was in order to tackle this Gordian knot expediently that has made the Delta state Deputy Governor, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro to have warned adamant autono­mous kingdom seekers to follow the laid procedures as enshrined in the law. In his words the state is ready to invoke the full weight of the law on persons claim­ing kingship /titles without the explicit backing of the law.


This is causing disharmony and likely going to lead to break down of law and order. Some persons or groups of persons are going with the appellation before their names. It is pertinent to note that some persons are itching to king by all means, even though they were not selected or qualified to be. At the end they will instead want the community defensive wall to fall down like the wall of Jericho. They want everything to be torn apart like the way the woman who wanted a living baby to be divided into two as seen in King Solomon’s judgment. How can two kings being the same palace even though they are twins, is it possible without violence?.


Most impostors and usurpers or war lords are eager to be called Kings and want the name of the institution to dragged into the mud in order to rubbish customs and tradition. It was in order to inhibit their clownish ways that is making the gov­ernment to warn such ‘’fake monarchs’’ in all parts of the state to be reminded that section 20, subsections 6 and 7 of the Delta state traditional rulers, council and chiefs law, Cap T2, 2006 as amended remained in force’’


‘’Subsection 6(a) of that section states that any person who purports to create a traditional ruler title or any title pur­porting same to be traditional ruler title shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for two years or a fine of N20, 000. And subsection7’’ any person who, not being a traditional ruler appointed in accordance with this part addresses himself or allow himself to be addressed as His Highness including any grammatical form of that address or the address of the traditional ruler within a community shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to six months imprisonment or a fine of N10, 000.


Otuaro stressed that the state govern­ment would not unduly hold down proce­dures to get approval but until that hap­pens government will no longer tolerate illegalities and will invoke the full weight of the law.’’


Nevertheless, the question must be asked that what has led to the polarisation and belittling of the institution of tradi­tional rulers, as many people who aspire to be kings are not themselves qualified to be installed as kings. Consequently when they are not put forward for consideration, the result is acrimony and in many cases, the tussle goes to court and in some cases the court is presided over by the edu­cated son of a man who would not qualify to be a chief, let alone traditional ruler ( B.I.C Ijomah.2008).


He stated further that under normal circumstances, the son of a slave has limited rights to in the palace. But in cases dragged to the courts, a son of a slave may be a magistrate or judge, he will address the king anyhow, that is why we should kick against the modern practice whereby a man who is not qualified, sits on the throne, and sets the whole community ablaze.


This can be supported by an ad­age to guide people in selection of kings and chiefs in their domains, everything is not money or politics because some king makers and kings have become gluttonous, that turned the pig into a despicable ani­mal, hence the adage says, when a person is made a king but does not have princely aura before his appointment. And at the same time does not have rich children, when he becomes a king. He is bound to eat any rubbish given to him’’

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