A prominent Ekinigbo Chief, Chizi Ezebaraba said the enthronement of Eze Billy Owhonda, an indigene of Rumuowoloma Community as Eze Oha Ekinigbo has brought equity, fairness and justice in Ekinigbo Clan. “It has also opened room for recognition of the Stool by Government,” he added.
Ezebaraba who spoke at the sidelines of Ekinigbo Town Council meeting held on Saturday May 13, at the Ekinigbo Civic Center, said the people of Ekinigbo had been yearning to have Ekinigbo paramount ruler for a long time, alleging that the former Eze Oha Apara, Late S. N. Wali and his Rumukesiorlu people stalled it because they never wanted the stool to be in existence.
According to him, Ekinigbo Clan is made up of eight communities, namely; Rumukesiorlu, Rumuowoloma, Rumurukani, Rumudede, Rumuokworoma, Rumuomoi, Rumuchiworlu and Rumuoke, alleging that the first son, Rumukesiorlu had monopolized every position of leadership available in the clan to the detriment of the other sons.
For instance, according to him, an indigene of Rumukesiorlu is presently Eze Oha Apara Kingdom, while another one occupies the first seat of Owhor-holders in the same Apara Kingdom.
“The other component sons of Ekinigbo have been left with nothing, and note that after Rumukesiorlu, the next in command is Rumuowoloma, being the second son which was why Ekinigbo Owhor-holders came together and crowned Billy Owhonda from Rumuowoloma as Eze Oha Ekinigbo,” Chief Ezebaraba said.
He stressed that Rumukani people who he addressed as the kingmakers of the clan crowned Billy Owhonda as paramount ruler of Ekinigbo.
Chief Ezebaraba who is the Eze Chirigide one of Ekinigbo said the coronation of Billy Owhonda as Eze Oha Ekinigbo has ended years of marginalization and enslavement of other component sons of Ekinigbo by the Rumukesiorlu community.
Comparing Eze Epara Ekinigbo Stool which is also being occupied by Rumukesiorlu indigene to Eze Oha Ekinigbo, Chief Ezebaraba said Eze Epara Ekinigbo belongs to Rumukesiorlu as the first son, while Eze Oha Ekinigbo is for the entire Ekinigbo clan.
He stressed that the emergence of Billy Owhonda as the Eze Oha Ekinigbo had the blessing of the gods of the land and urged Rumukesiorlu people to allow it to stay.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting which was the first to be presided by the new Ekinigbo Royal Highness, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and an indigene of Ekinigbo, Chief Tony Okocha disclosed that Eze Billy Owhonda was crowned on the 10th of May, 2023, adding that at the meeting the paramount ruler assured them that he would pursue peace, reconciliation and unity of Ekinigbo Clan.