By Osita Biose
Two indices that can easily draw attention to any rustic environment are its human and natural resources. Humans who are gifted to turn around things, turning the impossible to adorable features in their localities are quintessential in attracting the needed attentions, not only to themselves but their homesteads for greater development.
Again, a sleepy, rustic community could burst into a beehive of activities, if suddenly a rare natural resource was found to be embedded in its bowels. Even without any hope of accessing such an alluring enclave, hard beaten pathways would be determinedly created to tap into its essences.
Such is the fortune of Idumuje Ugboko in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. A rustic enclave, tucked off in the hinterland of the state, but highly endowed with human and natural resources, particularly the vast sprawling arable land and rainwater forest, cascading from one hill, down the lowlands to another, across the network of streams and doted living human abodes to the main Village of Idumuje Ugboko.
As for some of the personalities from that locality, to mention but just a few, would serve as the index of its human resources endowments. It is the home of the renowned global lawyer, politician, philanthropist and the malaria eradicating advocate in Africa, Prince Chinedu Nwoko, popularly known as Ned Nwoko. It is also the home of the multi billionaire, oil magnate, Chief Executive of the Rain Oil Conglomerate in Nigeria, Mr. Gabriel Ogbechie, as well as the globally renowned sculptor and revered elder statesman, Prince Demas Nwoko, amongst others.
Idumuje-Ugboko is yet home, to another great mind, Obi Chukwunonso Nwoko, who has been embroiled in a royal tussle since February 2017, and indeed the former President General of the Idumuje Ugboko Development Union (IUDU), Mr Okechukwu Ifejoku, a vibrant, cerebral young man, who has most unfortunately suffered tremendously for holding a position that ordinarily would have been to the envy of all.
Sadly, just when many had heaved a sigh of relief that he had finally been released from the clutches of his persecutors, Okey Ifejoku was recently whisked away by men of the police force on March 25, 2021, with the revocation of a hitherto order of noelle prosequi and is currently in detention for the same protracted crises in Idumuje Ugboko.
However, like the paradoxes that have been threatening the very existence of humanity globally, the gifts with which the enclave have been endowed with are dangerously posing grave dangers in its further development, if proactive actions are not immediately taken to stem the brewing acrimonious fratricidal lack of unity of purpose in the kingdom.
The main conflict according to reliable sources is said to be between Prince Ned Nwoko and Obi Chukwunonso Nwoko over acquisition of land, ascension to the throne and stakeholders on the two divides. It is however worrisome that when two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.
While it was reported that Ned wanted much more land for his expansive investments in the locality, it was also said that Obi Nonso had been apprehensive of having no land left for him to appropriate, if he eventually ascended the throne, just as it was hinted that those against his becoming the king had been determinedly throwing spanners into every move to restore normalcy in the locality. My worry however is why the town union is becoming the scapegoat.
Writing in a piece foretitled ” Okowa And Idumuje Ugboko Crises”, published in the Union Nigeria of April 3, 2021, Dr. Reuben Abati, decried the unnecessary drawing back of the moving hand of the clock of development in the kingdom, calling on the state governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, to stamp his authority as the chief security officer in the state on the brewing crisis, towards returning peace and security to the area.
He hinted that the crisis at Idumuje Ugboko was gradually becoming a national issue, considering the main actors involved in it, adding that in as much as either Ned Nwoko, Gabriel Ogbechie (Rain Oil) or other indigenes of the community had the right to land acquisition in the locality, there was the need to draw useful lessons from Leo Tolstoy’s story : “How much land does a man need ?”
Yes, indeed, how much land does a man need, more than his last expansive apartment, the grave?
There is the need therefore, for the waring brothers in Idumuje Ugboko to look inwards, embrace the spirit of unity of purpose, release their children who are incacerated as a result of the crisis and key into the actualization of the Stronger Delta vision of the Okwa Administration.