Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has announced the appointment His Royal Highness, Emere (Dr.) Philip Osaro Obele, Oneh Eh Nchia/Aleto XI as acting King of Eleme.
Speaking at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Agbonchia during the funeral church service of King S. O. Ejire, the late Oneh Eh Eleme X, Governor Wike said that Eleme is key to Rivers State and Nigeria, hence it must remain peaceful.
The Governor called on the people of Eleme to work towards the peaceful enthronement of a new Oneh Eh Eleme following the passage of the late King S. O. Ejire whom he described as a peaceful man who ensured that peace prevailed across Eleme land.
“On behalf of the government and people of Rivers State, I offer my heartfelt condolences and prayers to the entire people of Eleme at this period of sorrow.
“He lived a very good life. The family should continue to uphold his core values and promote peace at all times”, Wike said.
Governor Wike prayed that the successor of the Late King would be a man of peace, committed to the welfare of Eleme people. “A wise, kind-hearted and progressive monarch, His Majesty had been a partner with government and a champion of peace and sustainable development. It is to his credit that Eleme land witnessed peace and Development during his reign “, he said.
The governor while calling for peace stressed that only one person will succeed the Late King, adding that other leaders of the area should rally round the person for the good of the area.
He urged the people to work in unity for the early replacement of the Late King, for the continuation of his good works.
The funeral service which was officiated by Bishop of the Anglican Communion, Diocese of Niger Delta North, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo, represented by one of the senior clergy, attracted top dignitaries, traditional rulers, captain of industries, religious leaders and politicians across Eleme, Rivers State and Nigeria at large.
Amongst the top politicians that graced the occasion were Architect Tonye Dele Cole, and Hon. Dakuku Peterside of the APC, Senator Olaka Nwogu, Hon. Isaac Kamalu, Hon. Marcus Nle Ejii, Hon. Ejor N. Ejor, His Royal Highness, Appolus Chu and an array of traditional rulers from across the nation.
Highpoint of the funeral church service was the presentation of the Eleme Anthem by the Anglican Choir which caught the admiration of the state governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and other guests.
Meanwhile, the Acting Oneh Eh Eleme, His Royal Highness, Philip Osaro Obele has thanked the State Governor, Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Wike for appointing him Acting Oneh Eh Eleme.
In an interview, he said the appointment has helped in dousing tension over who succeeds the late king.
“I appreciate the Governor for what he has done because it has helped to reduce the tension and confusion among the people. What he did has watered down the interest that people were showing over the throne, even when we have not buried the late king. What he did has helped to bring peace in the area, so I appreciate him for his wisdom and what he did has shown he is a man of vision”.
Emere Philip Obele said, as the acting Oneh-Eh Eleme, he would partner with relevant agencies to create enabling environment to create job opportunities, and provide constant electricity for Eleme people.
“Well, as somebody who has actually served the kingdom under Ngei A.O. Ngei and later served under the late Majesty, Sir S.O. Ejire that just died, I think I have known some of the problems. The area is filled with lots of companies, it is my duty to work with the companies and to create synergy so that the company can help us employ our youths and within that relationship, create partnership with them to ensure there is constant light in the area.
“Eleme people don’t have constant light but they have companies here that are supposed to be giving us light. We will create partnership with them so that they can assist to give us light. These are some of the things we shall be benefitting from them”, he said.
He also said he would constitute committees to facilitate meetings with the companies to ensure that Eleme land is developed. “Although I believe that with time we will constitute committees that will assist us liaise with all these companies to ensure that they assist us in developing the area and a blueprint be released in due course.
“The major thing is to develop our area and take Eleme to the next level, in course of doing that, we have to create a very good working relationship with all the companies that we have around us. Some of them have been very helpful, so we will partner with them and work with them to develop the place.
He further sought for the support of Eleme people in order to carry out his duties as Oneh Eh Eleme effectively. “I pray that the people of Eleme would team up with me to ensure we work together to mold the unity of the place. Eleme is very big for one man to rule, it has 10 major clans and I pray that we drop our differences and walk together to push Eleme forward.
“We are not people of different areas but people of the same area and what we have to do is to ensure we push it to the next level so that all will benefit and be proud to say that we are from Eleme. God gave us this place to live not for us to destroy. Whoever has one or two things to contribute towards the success and progress of this land is welcome”, he said.