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Published On: Tue, Mar 5th, 2013

Delta State: Crisis Looms in Isoko Community over Alleged Attempted Secret Burial of Monarch

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Coffin of the monarch

By Our Reporter
Crisis loomins in Isoko community following clandestine moves by the leadership of Olomoro community, Isoko South local government area of Delta state to bury the community monarch, Late HRH Whisky Ogbodu Agbaye without the consent of his children.
Close sources confided that last weekend the community President-General (PG), Mr. Richard Iyanga, his Vice, Mr. Avura Awheme and others had gathered to commence the burial of the late monarch but the monarch’s children who perceived some sort of pranks on the side of the leadership put the compound under lock and key and absconded.
Due to allegation that the community President General, Mr. Iyanga had collected the sum of N.5million from the local government council and another yet to be disclosed huge sum from multinational companies to carry out necessary burial rite of the monarch but to the surprise of the children and everyone, he had forcefully fixed a date for the burial without the consent of the children probably for some personal interest.

Mild drama was said to have ensued at the compound of the late monarch between the PG and his vice following the attitude of the PG who wanted the burial to be forced on the children and the community. Trouble started when Mr. Iyanga said that it should be assumed especially in the media that the burial of the monarch has been done but this did not go down well with the community Vice President and purported chairman of the burial committee, Mr. Awheme who made it clear that it will be wrong for Mr. Iyanga or anybody to assume that the monarch has been buried without doing the right things.
The community executive, some Iletus (war lords) and Edios (elders council) who mobilized to the compound of the late monarch with an empty traditional made canoe (casket) were shock to discovered that the children of the late monarch and the immediate family locked and keyed the room the deceased was said to be embalmed and other apartments in the compound.
Our source said that at this stage another round of trouble started when argument broke out as to either dismantle the door and force the deceased monarch out for interment or to perform the traditional rite and assumed they have buried their monarch for the fear of litigation. According to the source “In the argument which almost degenerate to physical combat, the community leader, Mr. Iyanga came and appealed to the people to go home and maintain peace with the assumption that they have buried their king having performed some of the traditional rites excluding the interment saying government would be notified as well. Meanwhile, the Vice President of the community Mr. Awheme said it will be wrong for any Olomoro person to assume that the monarch has been buried when the traditional rites were not completed not to talk of interment.”
Another community source however disclosed that “To the Children, immediate family members and members of Egbo quarters where the late king hails from, not until the formal and traditional burial of their father and a six month reign of the family accredited member as a regent, another king cannot be installed in Olomoro community but the PG with some personal interest want to force the burial on the people.”
A member of the community executive who pleaded anonymity alleged that the children of the late monarch hid the death of their father for over six months as a result the community counted another six months after the announcement of the late monarch and installed another king as the traditional gazette stipulated, since the first son of the deceased, Prince Goddy Ogbodu Agbaye was not willing to step out.
“Following the refusal of the children to bury their father because of tenure elongation, the community executive led by Mr. Iyanga went on with burial arrangement, solicited and collected money from the local government council and some oil multinationals and fixed a burial date even without the knowledge and consent of the Princes and Princesses whose father is to be buried.”
Reacting to the development, regent of the kingdom, His Royal Highness Goody Ogbodu Agbaye confirmed that the community attempted to bury his father without the consent of the children adding the community Union sacrilegiously installed a rivalry monarch without the formal burial of his father as the last sign of respect.
The regent who disclosed that the case of illegal installation of another king in the community was still pending in court stated that himself, wife and the entire family were allegedly attacked some days before the forced burial date hence they fled the community for safety.
“If the community wants to burial my father peacefully as a man of peace, they must pay me N3.5million which I spent on litigation resulting from the community court case and another N4million for farewell package that the community deprived a multinational company from paying me. What the community has done by dumping an empty coffin of my father is sacrilegious, the type of coffin dumped is not the type my late father desired to be buried with.”
Commenting on the issue, the transition committee chairman of Isoko South council, Mr. Goodluck Idele who described the issue as minor one added that “When Olomoro people are ready to bury their monarch, king, Odiologbo or whatever names they call him, they will do just that. However that issue is not strange because it has been so in that place and this one is not exceptional.”

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