Delta monarch blasts Okowa over non-payment of stipend
By Victor Ajuwa Asaba
The traditional rule of Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State, The Asagba of Asaba, HRM Obi (Prof) Chike Edozien has lambasted the governor of Delta State Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and the Chairman of the said Local Government Council, Kelvin Ezenyili for alleged non-payment of its 5 percent stipend for over two years.
In a press conference at the Asagba palace, the palace Chiefs who spoke on-behalf of the monarch in commemoration of his 97th birthday and 30th coronation anniversary celebration at the palace in Asaba, frowned over what the Asagba described as a “slate on my throne and Asaba community” for the governor (Okowa) and the council Chairman (Kelvin) ignored his (Asagba) letter demanding non-payment of stipend.
Drama started when the Asagba-in-council wrote a letter to the council Chairman, copied governor Ifeanyi Okowa which was signed and titled: Demand for the release of Oshimili South traditional council stipend withheld for over two years.
The Asagba maintained that the letter he sent to the governor till date, neither governor Okowa nor the council Chairman responded to the letter, which is a slate on my throne as the Asagba of Asaba and the Asaba community.
He said that Oshimili South traditional council from inception has been receiving its stipend through the Delta State government, but surprisingly, the payment stopped with effect from June 1, 2019, when the Federal Government commenced direct allocation to Local Government Councils in the country.
Edozien noted that the trend has continued for over two years now and has caused a great hitch in the running of the Palace and that they were constrained to make a formal request for the release of the stipends to enable the palace function optimally but their request was allegedly turned down.
His words, “If we had gotten response from the governor, we wouldn’t have made our resolutions suspending our people from customary, political, administrative and social events between the government and the Asaba community.
“Consequent upon the refusal to remit the 5% stipend accrued to the traditional rulers council for over two years, the Asaba community in its Asagba-in-Council meeting therefore declared an indefinite period of non-cooperation”
In another development, the Asagba has ordered immediate repossession of all the property belonging to Asaba community, either as a source of revenue to the council or enhancement of the council’s administrative process which includes; markets and council quarters.
The monarch has therefore mandated all sons and daughters of Asaba community to cease from attending any meeting, ceremony, function and events organized by the State government.
Edozien, therefore directed the Asaba community to henceforth takeover all duties assigned to the Local Government council, warning property and business owners not to pay any form of revenue levy to the State government.