The Ovie of Uvwie, HRM Dr. Emmanuel E. Sideso, JP OON, Abe I has suspended the Chief Priest of Ekpan diety(Okworu), Robinson Adereyo for insubordination and flouting the federal government guidelines aimed at stopping the spread of the Coronavirus, warning the Unuevworo of Ekpan, Chief Peters Iffie not to allow the celebration of any traditional festivals in future.
The Uvwie Monarch who spoke during an emergency attended by security chiefs at the Ovie Palace in Effurun, Delta state on Monday(27/7/2020) directed that the next in command to Mr. Adereyo should not assume office as the Chief Priest for six months.
HRM Sideso said the federal and state government as well as himself will not accept any insubordination to the rule of law and in view of this, Mr. Robinson Adereyo would be suspended for six months while the Unuevworo of Ekpan must enforce this as “an individual cannot be bigger than the community”.
He said Chief Priest should be the first person to keep to the rules and appeal to the Local Government Chairman, who was present at the meeting to get Robinson Adereyo and colleagues to be tested so they would not spread corona virus
HRM Sideso recalled that sometimes in March following the outbreak of Covid 19 pandemic an emergency meeting was held in his palace and it was decided that all traditional festivals should be suspended.
He explained that several over traditional and religious festivals were suspended all over the world and in Nigeria to curtail the spread of the coronavirus as the virus was no respecter of persons adding that several prominent persons were being affected and dying. According to him, even in his palace, he had suspended all meetings except emergency meetings
“Since assumed office I respect every bodies views but I was surprised that on Sunday, the Okworu festival was celebrated despite by proclamation. This is disrespectful of traditional institution. If you put hand in my month I will bite you. I will not allow lawlessness. God will bring peace to Ekpan” he said
He told the Unuevworo of Ekpan that as a leader, he should be interested in everything. “In your position today you are supposed to act. I hold you responsible. In future to keep your position, you must be up and doing. You are not to report to the Chief Priest but to report to me. I will not accept the excuse you did not hear. The decision was collective. I don’t want to hear Umugu say while you are part of it. Nobility has some responsibility. Your position today is not tenable but we must do things that well be of benefit to the people.”
“I am here again to educate my people of Uvwie to provide the peaceful environment for investors. I reaffirm by proclamation that all traditional ceremony are suspended until further notice. We are to save lives and I pray that our subjects overcome this coronavirus by the grace of God and by keeping to the rules of government.
Earlier, the Unuevworo of Ekpan, Chief Peters Iffie explained the efforts he made to stop the festival celebration but the Chief Priest said would not take instructions from human being but from the gods.