The process leading to the selection of a new traditional ruler for Emevor kingdom in Isoko North Local Government Area, came to an end yesterday with Pa Johnson Ologho emerging as the Odion-elect.
The process which began immediately after the final burial rites of the immediate past one, HRM Francis Onovughakpo Ekama, kicked off with a meeting of the “general assembly” held at the town square to officially declare the royal stool vacant.
The assembly was presided by the priesthood family, headed by Pa Joseph Emerhana.
At the meeting, Pa Emerhana who is the acting Chief Priest declared the royal stool vacant and called on qualified aspirants to come out to begin the selection process.
In his words, he said “we are all aware that our Odion (traditional ruler) has joined our ancestors and the son has completed the 3 years regency, it is now time for a new Odion to emerge.
“So, if you or you have anybody who was initiated into the age grade under Odion Abu, come out or bring from where he is or has been that it’s their turn.”
According to the Emevor tradition, it is the turn of only those who were initiated into age grade (Edhe) under a former Odion, Abu are qualified to contest.
The contest which is to be done 3 times in 3 market days begun and is usually held at the home of the most senior person in the town (okpako ewho). The okpako ewho, Pa Imoniero Idhigu declared the contest open for the first time, which was the first market day on Monday, 20th January 2020.
The contest opened with about 7 persons and immediately was reduced to 2 on the basis of seniority. The two that were Chief Francis Toje and Pa Johnson Ologho who could not agree as to who was older. On the second market day, which was the second appearance, Chief Francis Toje who said he was born in 1927 conceded to Pa Johnson Ologho who was born in 1918.
The contest and age though has been determined, since it is traditional that it must hold 3 times, was not declared conclusive until the third market day which was yesterday, Tuesday, 28th January and there was no other contestant and Pa Johnson Ologho was declared as the Odion-elect.
The process, though, was presided by the okpako ewho, Pa Imoniero Idhigu, was moderated by Hon Justice PJO Anigboro (rtd).
In his words, he said “today is the last day of the exercise. If there is any other person to challenge Pa Ologho, he should come out now.”
After minutes of silence, no other person challenged, he further said “as we all can see, there is no other challenger.”
He therefore presented Pa Ologho to the okpako ewho, who announced him as the Odion-elect of Emevor community and offered prayers.
Pa Johnson Ologho was born in 1918 and has served in the palace as a member of the Odion-in-Council for over 10 years.