By Jon Egie

 

Olorogun David Edevbie seated before the council of chiefs

Chief of Staff to the Delta state government, Olorogun David Edevbie, Saturday, October 12, celebrated his chieftaincy title 20 years after been awarded by the Ovie of Ughelli, HRM, Wilson Ojakovo Oharisi 111.

The event which held at his country home in Afiesere recorded 76 members of the council of chiefs of Ughelli kingdom in attendance among family members, friends and well wishers.

To celebrate a chieftaincy title of Ughelli kingdom, members of the council of chiefs individually visited the celebrant in his Ugeh-bed of honour-where the celebrant presented a token cash gift for their entertainment.

They would march out, one after the other, to gather at the Edoh-convergence point-and when their leader certified that the total number of expected members of council was complete, they would file in a procession led by the most senior chief of the kingdom, Olorogun Miller Uloho, to be seated at the celebration arena.

As soon as the council members were seated, the celebrant would be invited to join them and in company of his wife or her representative, join the council in the public arena.

Once seated, he would be required to present a bottle of hot drink to the council and after its acceptance; he would proceed to present cash gift of entertainment to all members of council. This would be done three times and at the third round, he would be joined by his family and friends in the presentation. After that step, the celebrant would once more be requested to present one wrapper each to all members of council present.

 

Olorogun David Edevbie receiving the staff of office from the most senior chief of council

The next step of the celebration was the unveiling and presentation of staff of office of the celebrant to the most senior chief of council who through his spokesman, would confiscate the staff and demand that the celebrant pay an agreed sum of money before it would be released and represented to him. In this event, the sum of five million naira was initially demanded and negotiated by the spokesman of council and the spokesman of the celebrant. After a laborious and hilarious negotiation, council agreed to accept the sum of one hundred thousand naira before the staff was released.  Cost for various items used to curry the celebration were also demanded from the celebrant and without hesitation, Olorogun David Edevbie obliged.

The Ughelli kingdom chieftaincy title is rated as the most expensive in Urhobo land, closely followed by that of Okpe kingdom.

Having approved of compliance with the demands of the Ughelli traditional council of chiefs, the most senior chief of council, Olorogun Miller Uloho said Olorogun David Edevbie is a worthy ambassador of Ughelli kingdom who times without number has done the kingdom proud in the various public offices he has held but added that the council still expected more from him when he has accomplished the task of being the governor of Delta state and subsequently, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and prayed for the celebrant to succeed in the set task ahead.

 

Staff of office received by Olorogun David Edevbie

At this point the code of conduct of chiefs of Ughelli kingdom was read to the celebrant by the spokesman of council.

“A chief of Ughelli kingdom must not be involved peasant farming, if you were a farmer or you are interested in becoming a farmer you must do mechanized farming.

“A chief of Ughelli kingdom must not pass under a hanging branch of tree and he should not walk under a line of clothes.

“He must not look down into a well and must not fetch water from a well by himself. You must not eat in a ‘Buka’ or stop over at Mama Put for a meal. You must not climb a tree or be a palm wine tapper and if you were one before now, you must stop forthwith.

“A chief of Ughelli kingdom must not run or hurry out when the rain is falling but must move majestically with pride in the rain even when he is drenched because an Ughelli chief is considered a wealthy man who could afford to change his wet clothes without financial stress.

“You must not go to the kitchen to prepare a meal for yourself and you must not enter the kitchen to assist your wife prepare a meal for you, no matter how much you love her. Before eating, you must not watch your hands on the same bowl of water with any other person. You are a chief of Ughelli kingdom.

“You must not slap anybody, even your wife and if you are slapped do not retaliate. A man who slaps a chief of Ughelli kingdom has the council of chiefs and the Ughelli kingdom to contend with.

“Though last but not final, you must not be a debtor to any one” Olorogun Frank Oru declared just as Olorogun David Edevbie nodded his head in agreement at every point mentioned in the code of conduct.

 

Olorogun David Edevbie proceeds back to his Ugeh with the staff of office

With the code of conduct clearly spelt out, the celebrant accompanied by two kid side props, chiefs, family members, friends and well wishers took  dance steps to the street proclaiming his full membership of the council and that marked the climax of the event.

 

Olorogun David Edevbie seated on his Ugeh, bed of honour

He was expected to sit on his Ugeh for seven days, entertaining and feeding visitors who would come to rejoice with him before he would resume his normal life.

Asked in an interview how he would describe the celebrant, one of the senior chiefs of the council, Chief Austin Uloho said, “We gave him the title 20 years ago and he is celebrating it today. Olorogun David Edevbie is a dear son of Afiesere and Ughelli kingdom. We love him and the title will bring him closer to his people and encourage him to attract development to Ughelli.

Mr Sunny Akponana, elite of Afiesere community told our reporter that the event was a very wonderful show piece of the Urhobo tradition and custom.

“Olorogun David Edevbie is a towering human pedigree of intellectual originality. He has showcased the rich cultural heritage of Urhobo people and the Niger Delta by the chieftaincy title celebration.

On his part, the spokesman of the council of chiefs, Olorogun Frank Oru said the event was spectacular because “Olorogun David Edevbie has become a bonafide chief of Ughelli kingdom” which hitherto, he was not.

“You could be given a chieftaincy title but if you do not celebrate it you exist in the air” he said adding however that there was no deadline to celebrate one’s title, “but you will not be recognized by the council of chiefs until you do the needful”.

Quizzed on the value the celebration of Olorogun David Edevbie’s chieftaincy title would add to the council and the kingdom, he said, “he has access to us and we have access to him”.