The family of Obi Chukwuka Okonjo, the late father of former Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is reportedly enmeshed in a fight over the unauthorised announcement of the death of the 91-year-old King of Ogwashi-Uku community in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State and the successor of the late monarch.
The former Minister was accused by her uncle, Patrick Okonjo of hijacking the functions of the royal family and men who should traditionally announce the death of the traditional ruler and also anointing her younger brother as a successor to the throne without the approval of the ruling council.
The statement read in part, “It is sacrilegious of Ogwashi-Uku custom and tradition for a princess to announce the transition of a monarch or proclaim another. It is a purely traditional function.
“Late Okonjo was never an Obi of Ogwashi-Uku under our tradition but a mere regent. Accordingly, his first child cannot be Obi as deceitfully inferred by Ngozi.”
The Royal Family however debunked claims of Obi Ifechukwude Okonjo being installed wrongly as the King of Ogwashi-Uku community.
“We want to make this known: Patrick Okonjo does not speak for the family; he speaks only for himself as he has always done” a statement released by the acting Diokpa; Umu Obi Obahai Royal family, Prince Emmanuel Ohei and others read in part.
The statement also revealed that the new Obi was rounding off some traditional rites and would soon begin his reign.