Bonny Chieftaincy: House clarifies leadership, intensifies reorganisation.
Lawban Reports 16th January, 2021
Detailed Interview on circumstances surrounding the Jumbo Chieftaincy House, addressing inconsistencies and setting the records straight.
Owing to a protracted debacle over who is and who is not, who owns and who does not own what in the Jumbo Major House, one of the 34 Chieftaincy Houses in Grand Bonny Kingdom; there exists arguments of various degrees with underlying factors.
There was an installation of a Chief and Head of the Jumbo Major House in November, 2019 a position being contested by a few others. In light of a recent interview by a certain Mr Eugene Jumbo, Chairman of Ogbobiri Asawo (Senior Youths) of Jumbo Major House on the 4th of January, 2021 there exists the need to hear from other parties with the aim of getting deeper insights to the events as they come up.
Lawban Reports did have an interview with WARISENIBO (HON) CHARLES OMUSO JUMBO who is a principal member of the Jumbo Chieftaincy House. The following conversation ensued.
LBR: AN INTERVIEW GRANTED BY MR EUGENE JUMBO PUTS FORWARD THAT, JUMBO CHIEFTAINCY HOUSE IS WITHOUT A CHIEF. IS THIS TRUE?
WARISENIBO (HON) CHARLES OMUSO JUMBO: No, that is not true. Jumbo Major House has a Chief. The House led by the authentic Chairman of the Elders Council, Amaopusenibo Wilson Jumbo unanimously elected His Lordship, Chief (Dr.) Tamunoala Chapp-Jumbo who was thereafter customarily presented to the house for approval and capping on the 15th day of November 2019. Although he is yet to be presented to the Amanyanabo-in-Council.
After the Capping of Chief Dr. Tamunoala Chapp-Jumbo, few others who felt threatened as they may no longer have unfettered access to the house’ treasury approached the Okrika High court, seeking among other reliefs, a restraining order against Chief Dr. Tamunoala Chapp-Jumbo in the discharge of his duties to the house. The trial judge in her wisdom declined their prayers, instead the claimants were asked to return to “status quo” so as not to leave the house leadership vacant during the case but however promised accelerated hearing of the matter.
LBR: IS IT THE PLACE OF THE ELDERS’ COUNCIL/CABINET TO SELECT A CHIEF? HOW WAS A NEW CHIEF SELECTED, DID IT FOLLOW DUE PROCESS?
WARISENIBO (HON) CHARLES OMUSO JUMBO: Due process was followed to the letter, the only deviation is that, late Se Alabo Horace Jumbo had not been laid to rest before the emergence of His Lordship, Chief (Dr.) Tamunoala Chapp-Jumbo, this is because Chief Horace had died, and the family did not come forward with the news as tradition demands. The house had been kept in the dark and in a state of fiasco, without leadership. People began to seek ways to steal the commonwealth of Jumbo Major House by forcing themselves as leaders on the house, one way or another. The process of electing a new Chief was carried out by the Elders Council (the Cabinet instituted by late Se Alabo Horace Jumbo and led by Amaopusenibo Wilson E. S. Jumbo) and majority supported the choice of His Lordship, Chief (Dr) Tamunoala Chapp-Jumbo. Thereafter, Chief Tamunoala Chapp-Jumbo was presented to the house and Capped at Ayambo on the 15th of November 2019. The event was massively attended by the full house, I have never really witnessed such a huge turnout in Jumbo House Chieftaincy installation before.
Finally, the family of late Se Alabo Horace Jumbo has come forward about their father’s death. We were on the process of a befitting burial for him before the pandemic. However, he will be properly laid to rest soon and after that, the house will proceed with other activities.
LBR: THE AMANYANABO IS SAID TO HAVE RECOGNISED AND INTERFACED WITH THE ELDER’S COUNCIL, AS A MEANS OF ACHIEVING STABILITY
WARISENIBO (HON) CHARLES OMUSO JUMBO: Reading through that piece, it is easily seen to be a sham by one who is well versed in our traditions. How does the King’s presentation of a cow, translate to recognition so to speak? When His Majesty gives gifts to Houses or Families, does he give specific instructions as to who should receive the items? I don’t suppose so, because he is too busy to get involved in something like that. It preposterous to believe that the King will give out such gifts and then returns to ask whom this or that was given to. That line of thinking is horrible and very insulting to the Amanyanabo.
How can Eugene Jumbo claim that the Amanyanabo recognized a skewed Elder’s council unknown to Jumbo Major House because they received a cow? How can they say so, the Amanyanabo is aware of the leadership tussle in the house, that is not the way he settles issues. When the Amanyanabo wants to settle issues, he calls for the House and talks with them, and if need be he would send for the authentic elders of the House to come and make their selection by votes before him. This way, the issue of Who is Chief & Who is not is laid to rest, not by going to media houses or gifting cow to a section of alledged thieves as a way of balancing power. Is this how the King would solve the problem? No! Our Amanyanabo is young but has been gifted with wisdom, he would not do that to resolve disputes (if any).
The persons who positioned themselves as Elders to receive that gift are not elders of the House. Kalada Jene, Amaopusenibo Sodienye Jumbo, Edmund Jumbo are not elders; the family Edmund comes from, the man who used to be head of the family passed on, Edmund was not entitled to that stool but because of his support for late Se Alabo Horace Jumbo, he was appointed to the stool on his personal capacity. Kalada is from Dan-Jumbo, his grand mother is from Bagg-Jumbo family, he is not supposed to be Warialabo but again due to his closeness with late Se Alabo Horace he was appointed to the stool and that issue is subject of an ongoing litigation between him and the authentic leadership of the Bagg-Jumbo community. Same thing goes for Amaopusenibo Sodienye Jumbo. These same individuals later turned against the former Chief and began to fight him. Ultimately, he wrote a letter, stripping them of the recognition because he installed them whereas traditionally, it is the respective Burusu that presents a Warialabo but in their case, this process was not followed. By and large, these inconsistencies have been contested by the various Burusus in recent times. These individuals who parade themselves as elders went to a High court to challenge the decision of late Se Alabo Horace Jumbo, removing them from leadership position of the respective Burusus and lost. They also lost on appeal at the Appeal Court, it has been over four years, and they have not filed an appeal at the Supreme Court which makes the matter status barred. In the light of the above do we call them elders? However, due to the fallout of the court cases, they constituted themselves into an Elder’s council unknown to Jumbo Major House under late Se Alabo Horace, in clear defiance to our tradition. Certainly, the house never recognized them till this moment.
Having set up this illegal Elder’s Council, they have been receiving monies meant for the house and squandering same. There are cases ongoing with evidence by the Police at Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB), Abuja bothering on these illicit transactions. We are pursuing all matters diligently to ensure these abnormalities are upturned. These misconceptions are not known to his Majesty as I believe, however, I believe the person pulling this string to cause confusion over recognition or not, is Se Alabo Dr Charles John Jumbo at the Council who ironically has been removed in Court by the John-Jumbo House. This may not be unconnected to the fact that he enjoys some privileges now and fears the emergence of a substantive Chief for Jumbo Major House as that may put him in the shadows, hence the recognition of renegades.
LBR: WHY IS THERE AN UNENDING TUSSLE FOR THE LEADERSHIP OF JUMBO CHIEFTAINCY HOUSE?
WARISENIBO (HON) CHARLES OMUSO JUMBO: That is a very good question. I have told you that Jumbo Major House is a rich and endowed family. The scavengers know that once there is a leader who knows his onion, there would no longer be opportunity for them to steal. So, they are the people creating the problems today; particularly Warialabo Jasper Jumbo, Amaopusenibo Sodienye Jumbo, Edmund Jumbo and Kalada Jene. These are the persons creating the problems, saying there is no Chief, just a minute set of people. Majority of the people are with Chief Dr. Tamunoala Chapp Jumbo. These people want to keep us divided so they can continue to receive and squander resources of the House. However, we shall get all these matters resolved on or before the end of this year, as we are following all cases diligently.
LBR: WHAT HAS BEEN THE DRIVING FORCE OF HIS LORDSHIP, CHIEF (DR.) TAMUNOALA CHAPP-JUMBO & FROM NOVEMBER 2019 WHAT SUCCESSES HAVE BEEN RECORDED TILL DATE?
WARISENIBO (HON) CHARLES OMUSO JUMBO: First is his deep seated love for the House and the people.
Second is his integrity as one of the candidates that has never been suspected let alone indicted for fraud or theft of any kind. Thirdly, he has a sterling record of service from the community, Jumbo House, The Traditional Council, The Bonny Local Government Council and the Rivers State Government. I make bold at this point to posit that there is no aspirant to the Jumbo House stool today that equates him both in quality record of service, discipline and integrity. Fourthly, having served the House from his youthful days and being aware of all the difficulties in the house, we all decided that enough is enough, we cannot have questionable characters continue to fritter away resources meant for the House. We want to go back to the old days where members of the House, alongside the Chief arrive at conclusions on decision making in the interest of the House.
The funds we receive, Brown House in Finima also receives it, they also have Chieftaincy tussle, but they are managing their resources judiciously. That is what we want replicated here too, not to be run by a clique of thieves, stealing from the house and leaving others in penury. As a Man of God, the Chief sees this as a call to selfless service to stabilize the House and right the wrongs.
WARISENIBO (HON.) CHARLES OMUSO JUMBO’S ADVICE TO MR EUGENE JUMBO:
If it were in the past that Eugene Jumbo made these comments, he would have been dealt with thoroughly for insulting the traditional stool of our King. Please, I wish to use this medium to plead with Eugene Jumbo and his friends to desist from yanking the Amanyanabo along on Jumbo Chieftaincy issues. It is highly disrespectful to involve the King into the rubbish going on in Jumbo House. If we want the King to intervene on issues in Jumbo House, we should traditionally and respectfully make that request and not on the pages of media erroneously. He should tender an unreserved apology immediately to His Majesty for this unruly behavior in public and cease portraying the character of a man that can turn the truth on its head for petty pecuniary benefits. He should not sell his conscience and destiny for a pittance.
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