Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has formally presented a Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office to Eze Uchechukwu Isaiah Elikwu as the Eze Epara Rebisi, XII.
At a brief ceremony at Government House, Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Wike said the presentation was done in obedience to a court judgment.
Wike, according to a statement by his Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said that he had signed, first the legal instrument to revoke the recognition that Victor Worluchem had enjoyed before signing the instrument to recognise Eze Uchechukwu Isaiah Elikwu as the Eze Epara Rebisi.
He said: “And so, by the powers conferred on me, on the 15th of November, 2021, when the judgement came out and by legal opinion of the Attorney General, I signed the instrument withdrawing the recognition of Prince Victor Woluchem as Eze Epara Rebisi, which of course is a First Class Traditional Chieftaincy Stool.
“So that instrument of revocation and withdrawal was done on the 15th of November, 2021 while the instrument of recognition of the new Eze Epara Rebisi, who is, by the grace of God, Barr. Uchechukwu Elikwu was signed on the 16th of November, 2021. And today, we are here to present that certificate of recognition and staff of office.”
Wike explained that when he came on board as governor in 2015, Victor Worluchem was the occupant of the stool having been so recognized by the previous administration.
The Governor said there was no need to interfere in the dispute that had immersed the the traditional stool since the matter was already in court.
Wike also said that his administration secured the understanding of the parties in the dispute to maintain the peace and status quo while they awaited court judgement.
“So as the 9th defendants in the case, the court directed not only should we recognise the plaintiff (Uchechukwu Elikwu) as the Eze Epara Rebisi, but we should go ahead and revoke the recognition of Victor Worluchem.
“As a law abiding government, we must obey court order. We don’t chose the one to obey, and the one not to obey.”