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Chris Abah speaks on alleged zoning of Enone 1st Class Chief to Okpokwu

Written By Idoma Television on Saturday, February 25, 2017 | 10:26:00 PM

By Yemi Itodo

Former Chairman of Ogbadibo local government council and contender for the stool of Och'Enone, Hon. Sir Christopher Abah has debunked the insinuation that the first class chieftaincy stool has been zoned to Okpokwu LGA.

The Och'Enone stool, which comprises of Ado, Okpokwu and Ogbadibo LGAs has elicited alot of anxieties, since the contest began.

As a result, the District Heads and other Chiefs in Ogbadibo recently staged a protest to the palace of Ad'Ogbadibo, alleging that, they were being secluded in the scheme of things.

Speaking to newsmen in his country home, Otukpa, on Sunday, Hon. Abah said all male citizens of the 3 LGAs who have attained the age of 40, were qualified to contest, adding that, such was the provision of law and as such, was adopted by Governor Samuel Ortom for the process.

"You see, there is a law. What the law says is that the first class stool should rotate among the constituent areas. In this case, Ado, Ogbadibo and Okpokwu sons who have attained the age of 40 years and above.

"Now, the immediate past Ad’Enone who presided over Ado, Ogbadibo and Okpokwu, was from Okpokwu and therefore, it should be the turn of Ado and Ogbadibo to produce his successor", he said.

Hon. Abah, who was a permanent Commissioner in the State Primary Education Board (SPEB), also condemned the recent attempt by some few individuals to zone the stool to Okpokwu.

He stressed that, "The law encourages dialogue and consensus. Sadly, rather than engaging everyone in dialogue to arrive at a consensus as brothers, some persons decided to zone the stool to Okpokwu without seeking the opinion of Ogbadibo people. That was why we protested. That was why I wrote to the governor".

Abah revealed that, the Governor had advised strongly, that dialogue should be imployed in tackling the chieftaincy title, saying that the Governor's advice had overridden the purported 'dialogue meeting'.

"No Ogbadibo Chief was invited, none was in attendance. Interestingly too, the Idoma Traditional Council was neither informed, invited nor represented at the said dialogue meeting. Even the Bureau for Chieftaincy Affairs was not represented either.

"That was why the governor summoned a meeting of stakeholders and directed that proper dialogue should be done and that, where dialogue fails to produce a consensus, everyone should go to poll.

"God has given us a Governor that wants the correct thing to be done. No one should cause confusion. The Och’Enone position has not been zoned to any LGA. Not to Okpokwu. I am fully in the race and some of the Okpokwu Chiefs have expressed open support for my candidature. No one can change the truth", Abah added.

When asked of the possibility of Ogbadibo producing the Och'Enone stool, since the current Och'Idoma hails from same local government area, Hon. Abah said the operations of both offices and their rotational tendencies are different.

He explained that, "Och’Idoma and Och’Enone are two different and independent positions. The Och’Idoma stool rotates among the 9 LGAs of Idoma land.
At the moment, it is in Ogbadibo. From Ogbadibo, it will go somewhere else.

"As for Och’Enone, the rotation is between Ado, Ogbadibo and Okpokwu  LGAs. The immediate past Ad’Enone was from Okpokwu. The stool should now move to either Ado or Ogbadibo and some people are saying that Okpokwu should take another turn just because the Och’Idoma is coincidentally from Ogbadibo. That’s not right".

It could be recalled that, the Benue State House of Assembly, recently passed a new Bill for the establishment of first class Chiefs across the federal constituencies that make Benue State.

The state Governor, Samuel Ortom, consequently signed the Bill to law, with the attendant emergence of the first class Chiefs in the 2 Senatorial districts of the Tiv speaking areas, recently.

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