Newly appointed Acting Oneh Eh Eleme, His Royal Majesty, King (Dr.) Philip Osaro Obele JP., has formally assumed office as the king of Eleme Land, (Oneh Eh Eleme XI).
It would be recalled that the State Governor, Chief Barr Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike appointed Chief Obele as the Acting King at the funeral church service of Late King S.O. Ejire.
King Obele officially ascended the throne on 12th January, 2019 after performing the required traditional rites as provided by the Eleme customs and traditions at the ceremony held in his E-era Palace.
The ceremony attracted all the paramount rulers/clan heads and spokespersons otherwise known as Oneh Nkporon.
Some of the Paramount Rulers/Clan Heads in attendance were the Oneh Eh Eta Ekporo, His Royal Highness, Chief Samuel Obe, Oneh Eh Eta Eteo, His Royal Highness, Chief Emmanuel Akobe, Oneh Eh Eta Akpajo, His Royal Highness, Emere Fredrick Nwidaa, Oneh Eh Eta Akpajo, His Royal Highness, Chief (Emperor) J.D. Nkpe JP., Oneh Eh Eta Alesa and Oneh Eh Eta Alode, His Royal Highness, Chief Loveday Obe Osaro.
Others include, Chief Ake Oluka, Oneh Nkporo of Ogale, Chief Onura Okereke, Chairman, Eleme Land Priests Association/Alesa Land Priest, Chief Amebeobari Mbie, Land Priest of Eteo, Chief Fortune Obe Osaro, Land Priest of Ogale, High Chief Lewa Ngeda, Land Priest of Ekara Onne, Chief Promise Lele, Land Priest of Aluejor Onne, Chief Kendo Nguluka, Land Priest of Agbeta Onne, Chief Obari Okoko, Land Priest of Ogoloma Onne, Chief Juluis Amasi Oluka, Land Priest of Ekporo, Chief Ishmael Ejor, Land Priest of Alode, and Chief Nwolu, Land Priest of Ebubu.
In his remarks at the occasion, King Obele thanked everyone who honored his invitation to witness the event, even at a short notice. He also informed the Eleme Council of Chiefs and Elders of the need to complete the last burial rites of the late King S.O. Ejire, scheduled for 14th January, 2019.
King Obele who was appointed as Acting King of Eleme because he was the most senior government recognized traditional ruler upon the demise of King Ejire, dismissed insinuations in some quarters that he has been covertly made king of Eleme by the Governor. He stressed that, he was only appointed as an Acting King and that at the appropriate time the proper selection of the king of Eleme will be done.
He however gave a clue on the selection procedure which he said would involve all the ten paramount rulers/clan heads as well as the land priests of the ten communities in Eleme. He added that clan heads and land priests will nominate two representatives who will constitute an Executive Committee to handle the selection of a new king for Eleme people.
Earlier, prayers were offered by Pastor Amadi Igwe of the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries, Ogale Eleme. Thereafter, Chief Olaka Obe, Land Priest of Ogale took the mantle and a life Cock, killed it and conducted the traditional rites, handed it to Chief Onura Okereke, Chairman, Eleme Land Priests Association who then led the Acting King to ascend the throne as Acting Oneh Eh Eleme, in conformity with the pronouncement by the Government.
In their brief remarks, Paramount Ruler of Ekporo, His Royal Highness, Emere Samuel Obe and his counterpart in Alode, His Royal Highness, Emere Loveday Obe Osaro both called for support for the new Acting king. While Emere Samuel Obe advised that the traditional rites of the late king should be completed before further talks on the first class stool, Emere Loveday Obe Osaro called for support to enable the new acting king achieve restoration of peace in the land.
His Royal Highness, Frederick Nwidaa who also spoke warned against stoking sentiments over the stool of Oneh Eh Eleme in the meantime.
In an interview with His Royal Majesty, King (Dr.) Philip Osaro Obele JP., he said: “By the grace of God, I am the Acting King of Eleme. This position was conferred on me on the 10th January, 2019 by His Excellency, Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Wike, Executive Governor of Rivers State, the pride of Rivers State”.
On the modalities for the selection of a new Oneh Eh Eleme which appears to be the main task before the Acting King, he had this to say:
“Today, I formally informed the council of chiefs and elders on what took place on the 10th January, 2019 because not all were present at the funeral service of the Late Majesty, King Emere Samuel Oluka Ejire, Oneh Eh Eleme X, when the Governor made the pronouncement. So, today, I, His Royal Majesty, Philip Obele officially inform you all, traditional clan heads and every one seated here, that the Governor of Rivers State, Chief (Barr.) NyesonWike pronounced me the Acting King of Eleme land in order to avoid division, vacuum and tension in Eleme.
“Being that the Governor is a man of peace, he also needs peace to remain in Eleme. Adding to this, the late king who just died is a custodian of peace. Because of that, I need to summon all the arms of the traditional leaders of Eleme. I may have been appointed but there is a need for all of us to come and work together to carry Eleme to the next level. By this appointment, I am not alone. It’s a collective thing and Eleme land belongs to all of us. We need to work collectively in our different communities and Eleme at large for the benefit of our people”, he said.
He expressed gratitude for the large turnout of traditional rulers and spokespersons otherwise known as Oneh Nkporon Eta, Chiefs and Elders of each clan, youths all who came out to express their happiness, adding that it’s a sign of progress. King Obele also thanked Almighty God for making the day a success
In addition to his new appointment as Acting King of Eleme, Chief Obele also holds the office of One-eh Nchia and Oneh Eh Eta Aleto. He is also the Secretary, Eleme Council of Chiefs and Elders.