The Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, HRM Dr Emmanuel Sideso (Abe 1), has suspended the Chief Priest of Owhoru Deity in Ekpan, Robinson Adereyo for six months for allegedly flouting his directive that all cultural festivals in Uvwie Local Government Area be suspended pending when the spread of the COVID – 19 pandemic is curtailed.
The traditional ruler suspended the chief priest on Tuesday at a meeting in his palace in Effurun with the Executive Chairman of Uvwie Local Government Council, Ransom Onoyake, the Unuevworo (traditional mouthpiece) of Etche R’ Ekpan (traditional administrative unit), Chief Peter Ifie and some Uvwie chiefs in Ekpan,
Also present at the meeting were the Unuevworo of Alegbo, DPO, Ekpan Police Station and other heads of government security agencies in Uvwie Local Government Area.
HRH Sideso who directed that the next priest in seniority should act during the period of the suspension also directed that the Council authority carryout COVID-19 test for the suspended chief priest and his disciples who celebrated the Owhoru cultural festival last weekend.
He further said that the Unuevworo of Ekpan would be issued a warning letter for failing to stop the celebration of the cultural festival.
While stressing that the decision of the Ovie-In-Council stands, he recalled that Christians did not celebrate Easter because of the outbreak of COVID-19 and that Muslim made a similar sacrifice during their festival celebration.
He, therefore, urged residents of the local government area to abide by all directives issued by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organization, aimed at flattening the curve of the disease.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the meeting, the Uvwie Local Government Council boss, Hon Onoyake applauded the traditional ruler for the decision and emphasized that the COVID-19 was real.