Asaba Monarch Disowns Maryam Babangida’s Kinsmen, Says ‘They’re Stranger-elements’

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*They can’t claim ownership of lands

By Nosa Akenzua in Asaba
Ogbo-Ogo village of Umu-Onaje quarters in Asaba, capital of Delta State, has instituted action to commence the repealing of lands which ownership status bore Elibujor family, the ancestral kindred of former First Lady, late Mrs. Maryam Babangida.

In a statement attached with a copy of Asaba Land Map, issued by the Ogbe-Ogo Village Committee chairman, Hon. Uche Keshi, the community said that Elibujor was an “ancient cultural masquerade of Ogbe-Ogo village” and the people who are referred to as Umu-Elibujor family were “stranger elements without ancestral land titles and owner status in Asaba.”

Making reference to the document showing the Plan of Asaba, Hon. Keshi warned land property prospectors to desist from dealing with any member or representative(s) of Umu-Elibujor family, while calling on people who had already bought lands to meet with his committee for proper regularisation and documentation.

Keshi told our Correspondent that the Elibujor village had carried out similar action in the past, when they allegedly demolished the Ogbe-Ogo village palace in contention of their patrilineal heritage.

Although, Umu-Elibujor family members were believed to share ancestral affinities with the rest of Asaba community, but Hon. Keshi insisted that his village, Ogbe-Ogo does not share genealogical affinities with the Elibujor family.

Our Correspodent’s investigation confirmed Ogbe-Ogo’s claims in a letter by the paramount ruler and Asagba of Asaba, Obi (Prof), Chike Edozien to Elibujor family’s counsel over a lawsuit filed by the latter against the Asagba-in-Council and the rest of Asaba community, challenging the genealogical structure of Onaje patrilineal tree, in which the Elibujor descendants claimed their progenitor.

Meanwhile, the Asagba’s letter, dated 3rd March, 2016, read in part: “Allegation of Supension/Ostracism from Asaba”, I wish to state as follows: “That the Asagba-in-Council, which is the highest traditional ruling body/apex traditional court of the Asaba people, passed into law in one of its regular meetings in 2009 that any person or group of persons who takes the Asagba-in-Council to court or any of its agents/organs on traditional matters over decisions taken by the Council, stands suspended…

“That since a group of persons who regard themselves as members of Elibujor family contravened the above law they remain suspended indefinitely from other members of Asaba Community from the date they took Asagba-in-Council to court…”

The Asagba further stated that “according to the acceptedoral history of Asaba, Onaje (Alibo Okei) is the 5th/last of the five grandsons of Nnebisi, the acclaimed founder ofAsaba. 

“He had five sons and one daughter as listed below in order of their seniority: Obiaije or Ogbe-Ilo, Kwekagbor or Ogbe-Okwulagwe (m), Jiaga (m), Edegele (f), Ojebashi or Idumugbe (m) and Ojeada (m).

“The Asagba affirms that Ogo was indeed a grandson of Onaje, born by Edegele, daughter of Onaje out of wedlock, and therefore regarded as of a female stock. That with time, his descendants/children multiplied and formed a village known and called Ogbe-Ogo till date.

“That the majority of the persons now known and called Elibujor are stranger elements/immigrants, mainly from Benin and Ishan in present Edo state and from some neighbouring towns who settled in Asaba and were assimilated as indigenes of Asaba and became a sub-unit of Ogbe-Ogo.

“That consequently, Ogbe-Ogo village consists of three sub-units; Umuonekea, who are the original descendants of Ogo, Ogbeudala, who are descendants of Udala (grand daughter of Onaje) and Elibujor, who are stranger elements that were absorbed into Asaba Community ascitizens.

“That consequent upon the above and in accordance with the accepted oral history of Asaba, Elibujor and the other two sub-units, Umuonekea and Ogbeudala constitute the village known and called Ogbe-Ogo. Arising from this, Elibujor is NOT the son of Onaje, as claimed by the Elibujor people”, the paramount ruler asserted.

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