Egbema Kingship: Egbema Leaders Of Thought Writes Rejoinder, Reply Chairman Asekutu



In our publication of September 21, 2022, ELOT (Egbema Leaders of Thought) asserted the indisputable facts that:-

1. Hon.  Smart Yomi Asekutu, Chairman of Warri North LGA had compromised his position as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the LGA; consequently, the Chairman cannot be trusted to play a role in the kingship issue that can guarantee an outcome that will earn respect and loyalty of the Egbema people. 

2. The LGA Chairman had connived with and funded a few misguided chiefs in the Egbema Traditional Council of Chiefs (TCCs) to clandestinely and fraudulently impose one Barrister Napoleon Egin as the Agadagba-Elect of Egbema Kingdom.

3. The Chairman aided and abetted the creation of a faction in the Traditional council of chiefs to assault and denigrate our time honoured culture and traditions. He lied to the DSS that his so called Pere-Elect was kidnapped with a view to pressing fake charges against his perceived enemies. 

4. Happily Napoleon Egin himself debunked this false alarm raised by Mr. Smart Yomi Asekutu and his misguided chiefs who have no respect for truth and integrity. Napoleon Egin told the whole world that he was never kidnapped. 
In responding to the above allegations, the LGA Chairman, Mr Smart Yomi Asekutu said as follows:-

1. He played no role in the fraudulent proclamation of the Napoleon Egin as the new Agadagba Elect other than maintaining peace and orderliness in the LGA.

2. He considered ELOT’s allegations of bias and imposition of a Pere-Elect against the wish of the people as “laughable”, because the duty of selection and proclamation of a candidate as the Pere-Elect is the prerogative of the (few factional members) of theTraditional Council of Chiefs.

3. He referred to ELOT as a mere social organisation of disgruntled persons, who have no business with who becomes the Agadagba of Egbema kingdom and/or the process that throws up the king, no matter how flawed.

4. He claimed that the entire Egbema people assembled for a whole day to start the process and came out with one name in the person of Napoleon Egin out of the six names brought by Ogbudugbudu Ruling House.

5. He said further: ‘‘We have gotten a King-Elect and I will not renege, I will not shift ground. We are going to work with this name [Napoleon Egin] as the king of Egbema kingdom. That is my position.’’
6. The Chairman unashamedly said that ‘‘anybody who is claiming that he influenced or imposed Napoleon Egin as the Agadagba-Elect on the people should come forward with proof.
In the light of the above, ELOT succinctly state the facts in the interest of the reading public, as follows:-

1. Mr Smart Yomi Asekutu’s response to our allegations was mostly winding and verbose as it was intended to confuse the right thinking members of the public with a view to causing them to gloss over the weighty allegations levelled against him.

2. In the first place, at no time was there a meeting of ‘‘the entire Egbema people assembled for a whole day to come up with one (Napoleon Egin) out of six names’’ purportedly submitted by Ogbudugbudu community as being falsely alleged by the chairman. We challenge him to prove us wrong.

3. Following a resolution of the meeting at Ofunama, on September 24, 2022, the Ogbudugbudu Ruling House was mandated to produce a suitable candidate for consideration as Agadagba of Egbema kingdom. The Ogbudugbudu Ruling House accordingly convened a meeting of the entire community where twelve (12) prospective candidates, including Barr. Napoleon Egin, were screened. After a rigorous and well documented screening process, three of the twelve candidates were adjured to meet the minimum qualification of having a none-Egbema mother. Barr. Napoleon Egin and eight others were screened out by the Ogbudugbudu Ruling House based on the requirements of the gazette.  The meeting in question was well attended by the Elders and young people, including the Ama-Okosuwei of Ogbudugbudu Community. The screening process was peaceful and transparent and its outcome was generally acceptable to the entire community.

4. The Chairman’s reference to the existence of a second list is in fact turning the truth upside down and putting a spin on the process of choosing the Agadagba-Elect. He said that a second list was prepared as a result of the announcement of Saturday, 24 September, 2022, for Ogbudugbudu people to produce a candidate and that his findings showed that the Ama-Okosuwei of Ogbudugbudu community was not willing to sign that document but to allow peace to reign, he allowed the second list to be included. He says, ‘‘I was in that meeting” of Saturday, October 01, 2022.

5. In fact there was no second list. The only authentic list was the one submitted by the Ogbudugbudu Community openly on Saturday, October 01, 2022, containing the following three names:i. Solomon Sapeleii. Eddy Abonojieiii. Meshack Ubabiri

6. The so called first list being referred to by the WN – LGA Chairman was a fake list clandestinely smuggled in through the back door by the LGA chairman in connivance with his faction of the chiefs. That list was roundly condemned and rejected by the generality of the people present. The list was secretly and fraudulently prepared since August 24, 2022. In spite of the loud opposition to this list, the LGA chairman overruled and ordered that the fake list should be accepted, presumably because the list contained the name of his preferred candidate. This was the main reason the LGA chairman came to attend the October 1 meeting with security gun boats to act as a ramrod for his mischief-making Chiefs to force down the fake list against the people of Egbema Kingdom.

7. The meeting of September 24, 2022, rose with a unanimous decision calling on Ogbudugbudu Ruling House to produce a candidate within one week to be considered as the next Agadagba. There was great excitement and jubilation to the extent that the Ogbudugbudu Ruling House expressed their appreciation by presenting kolanuts and drinks to the Egbema Kingdom. It was expected therefore that the next meeting to accept the candidate of Ogbudugbudu would be peaceful like the one of the 24 September, 2022.

8. The pertinent question is: what was the emergency security report that prompted the presence and active participation of the LGA chairman in the meeting of Saturday 1, October, 2022 with heavily armed security escort (military and police). The LGA chairman was brought to ramrod the so called first list on the Egbema people; yet Mr Smart Yomi Asekutu believed that he was dealing with dummies, who will accept his claim that he had no role in this matter, saying that it was only a matter for the chiefs. What was he doing in the meeting as LGA chairman and what gave him the power and authority to enforce the acceptance of the fake list prepared since August 24, 2022, when Ogbudugbudu Ruling House was only mandated to submit a candidate on September 24, 2022?

9. We now have the answer from the LGA chairman himself, Mr Smart Yomi Asekutu: ‘‘we have gotten a king-elect and I will not renege, I will not shift ground. We are going to work with this name as the king Egbema. That is my position.’’ Who are the “We”?

10.  Mr Smart Yomi Asekutu’s direct and unwholesome involvement in this matter is as clear as day light. His hands are soiled; he is deeply entangled. His actions, his utterances confirm his bias and connivance.

11.  The LGA Chairman Mr Smart Yomi Asekutu’s derogatory remarks about ELOT being a mere social organisation of disgruntled elements is most unfortunate indeed. He tried to discredit ELOT by saying ELOT visited him on account of this matter with a view to influencing him. It is not disputed that we paid him a visit to advise him against taking sides in this matter and the need for him to call a combined meeting of all the chiefs, not just the factional group meetings. A combined meeting of the Regency Council, Traditional Council of Chiefs and ELOT leadership would be necessary for all the parties to be on the same plane of truth and justice, so that by the time we were done with the kingship issue, there would be no division, no court cases, bearing in mind that the kingdom had had the misfortune of going through a bad patch for over thirty years, owing to the inability of past leaders to uphold the truth and justice. Mr Smart Yomi Asekutu agreed that our advice was reasonable as he was going to do just that, but he never did, because he was already deeply committed to his skewed and parochial approach.

12.  It is pertinent to recall that Mr Smart Yomi Asekutu became the first indigene of Egbema Kingdom to become chairman of WN-LGA in over thirty years of the creation of the LGA, following a protracted battle which was spearheaded by ELOT. ELOT was also responsible for the settlement of the thirty year old Kingship dispute using our own time and resources as well as ensuring a safe and peaceful rite of passage for the late king, HRM. Pere Gold Tiemo, Agadagba III of Egbema kingdom. ELOT has also played a leading role in nipping in the bud issues that would have balkanized Egbema kingdom.

13.  ELOT was established with the objective of keeping the kingdom together as one entity based on Justice and Peace under God Almighty.

14. The fact that the allegation of bias and wrong doing was coming from a body such as ELOT should serve as a measure of the seriousness of the issue to be given full attention in order to avoid the situation being unnecessarily blown out of proportion. ELOT has no preferred candidate and at no time during our meeting with the Chairman did we talk about any particular candidate.

15.  ELOT would want to make it explicitly clear that we do not have anything against the chairman of the WN-LGA or the traditional council of chiefs. We have nothing against Napoleon Egin as a person. He is an active member of ELOT who is supposed to uphold truth and justice, but instead, he has readily lend himself to be used as a tool for foisting evil and untruth. ELOT, as a body, is committed to ensure that justice and truth is upheld at all times in the Kingdom regardless of who is involved. 

16.  It will amount to self delusion for the WN-LGA Chairman and his misguided Chiefs to believe that ELOT will stand idly-by in the face of monumental display of untruth and injustice being exhibited by Mr. Smart Yomi Asekutu, Chairman of WN-LGA and his accomplices. 

17.  Our position is that the WN-LGA Chairman, Mr. Smart Yomi Asekutu has soiled his hands in this matter. He is deeply entangled. Mr. Smart Yomi Asekutu should tread the path of honour and disentangle himself from this web and allow Egbema Kingdom to follow due process and install their own King.

For: Egbema Leaders of Thought (ELOT)
Elder Edmund Tiemo 
Chairman, ELOT

Secretary, ELOT

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