A fresh crisis, with the potential of breaching the peace so far enjoyed in Okrika Local Government Area, was averted by the leadership of Okrika Divisional Council of Chiefs (ODCC).
Trouble began in the early hours of Saturday when the irate Okrika youths and leaders of various War Canoe Houses, from Tuboniju Kirike, Koniju Town, Ogoloma, Ibaka, Ogbogbo and Abuloma kingdoms mobilized to storm the Chiefs' Hall of Kirike Town.
Their grievance was that in total disregard to what is said to be an age long Okrika custom and tradition and the edict setting up the ODCC, an alleged factional Chiefs council of Kirike Town formed a 'rival divisional council' and was about to install chiefs, a rite performed only by the apex body of chiefs in Okrika.
But upon getting wind of the planned crisis, despite heavy security presence, leadership of the ODCC quickly summoned the leadership of the irate crowd to the Chiefs Unity Hall in Okrika to avert imminent breakdown of law and order.
Chairman of ODCC, Chief Sunday Kingdom Amiesimaka Tador Kalaowolo JP, told his guests that he shared their sentiment that while each constituent town in Wakirike nation reserves the right to install chiefs duly chosen by the various War Canoe Houses, it is only membership of Wakirikese apex chiefs body, which he said is ODCC, that entitles one to be robed in the revered don, even with the creation of Ogu/Bolo local government area.
Chief Kalaowolo said that even King Ogube who was presiding over what he called an aberration, is according to him, a product of ODCC, adding that Ogube War Canoe House is also an ODCC creation, and wondered why he could condone such 'rebellion'.
The ODCC Chairman however advised the irate youths and Omuaru leaders to suspend the planned march to Abam to avoid what he said may lead to a major bloodbath.
He explained that the issue of a rival chiefs body to ODCC was before the High Court of Rivers State and wondered why a party cannot wait for its outcome before heating up the area.
Chief Kalaowolo advised them not to return what he called lawlessness for lawlessness, saying ODCC will rather prefer to remain law abiding.
In his response, spokesman of the protesters, Mr. James Owubo assured the ODCC leader that they would heed the Chiefs counsel but insisted that the matter be reported to relevant authorities.