Governor Nyesom Wike has elevated the stool of Ancient Bille Kingdom in Degema local government area Rivers State to second class status. This is as the people of Bille crowned Igbikingeri Ngowari Cornelius Herbert as the Amayanabo of Bille (Agbaniye-Jike XVIII) after twelve years of not having a king.
The Governor who upgraded the stool during the coronation ceremony at Bille Kingdom Town Square urged the Amayanabo to maintain the long-existing peace in the region and advised other Communities in the state to emulate Bille’s peaceful style of kingship installation that is free from crisis and endless litigations.
Governor Wike who was represented by former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Okpara, assured the people of Bille Kingdom that their immediate needs such as soil protection, link roads, sand filling, amongst others will be met.
“Governor Nyesom Wike said that aside from congratulating you, I should remind you that the Ancient Bille Kingdom has been peaceful. You should ensure that peace continues to reign in the Kingdom. The Governor also said the event of 12th December 2020 that made you King is a historical one and other Communities of Rivers State should emulate Bille’s kind of peaceful kingship installation.
‘The Governor condemned the idea of endless litigations in court for kingship stools. Bille is strategic in Rivers State and a lot is happening around Bille. The Governor asked me to find out the immediate needs of Bille. I have received a copy of all your needs, I assure you these messages will get to Governor Wike.
“His Excellency said I should I assure you that once the Trans-Kalabari road is completed, Bille will be connected in the second phase. He has urged all the corporate Organisations doing business in Bille not to leave all the projects to the government but cooperate with the Communities and to fulfil their corporate social responsibilities of ensuring the development of Bille Kingdom.
“Governor Wike also said that third-class stool is not good enough for Bille being an ancient kingdom, therefore, the Governor has upgraded the stool to second class in Rivers State Traditional Council of Chiefs. He however urged the Bille people to support Amayanabo Igbikingeri to succeed in his throne”
On his part, Chairman of the Occasion, who is the Chairman of the South-South Monarchs and the Amayanabo of Nembe kingdom, His Eminence King Edmund Daukoru, urged His Majesty Igbikingeri Ngowari Herbert to make God his guide in order to overcome the challenges associated with kingship position, noting that Nembe kingdom will continue to maintain her good relationship with Bille Kingdom.
“The relationship between Bille and Nembe has existed for long, Nembe and Bille have fought in the past, it’s a relationship that has gone through the test of time and it has survived till date. I just want to encourage Amayanabo Igbikingeri Herbert that no two pageantries of kingship are the same.
“The traditional institution is going through lots of challenges because I happened to be fortunate to lead the South-South Monarchs getting to ten years now. You have shown that you are the son of the gospel and the good Lord who has put you on this stool will continue to be your guide, protect and give you long life, plus good health. All these will be your portion if you make God your guide and tutor.”
Also, the Amayanabo of Bille Kingdom, His Majesty Igbikingeri Ngowari, Cornelius Herbert, Agbaniye-Jike XVIII, said his reign as King will engender territorial integrity of the kingdom, create a conducive environment for development to thrive as well as foster peace amongst his people and environs.
“As the Amayanabo of Bille Kingdom, I will focus on the territorial integrity of the immediate domain of Bille and the cultural orientation for the Bille people. We must go back to practice some levels of distinct native Bille way of life. I will organize programmes for leadership structure so we can be in line with contemporary leadership obtainable in other kingdoms in the state and beyond.
“I will focus on all-around sustainable development in Bille. I shall tenaciously maintain the rich cultural heritage of the Bille people with due regard to the religious plurality of our contemporary society.
“I shall rule the Bille Kingdom within the ambits of our amiable conventions and with constant commitment and dedication to the will of God.
“Pursuant to accomplishing the above-stated vision, I call on the Federal and State government of Nigeria, Degema local government Council, Oil and gas companies operating within Bille Kingdom, other persons and Organisations to partner with me in building the Bille we want through the participatory implementation of the Bille Kingdom Needs Assessment Document- Bille Kingdom Vision 2020, articulated after a well thought out Development Summit in 2019.
“I also appeal to all sons and daughters of Bille Kingdom to be law-abiding, have respect for constituted authorities, only in that way we can partner well with the government, other Communities and the multinational Oil companies operating in within our domain.”
Our correspondent reports that the coronation ceremony was graced by dignitaries including top political leaders, religious leaders, Stakeholders from all walks of life, lots of cultural performance from various Cultural troops and an Award of appreciation was given to Governor Nyesom Wike for infrastructural development in the state.
Some of the Bille people who spoke to our correspondent expressed happiness and satisfaction that after twelve years, the gods of the land chose a king to rule over them.
According to them, the installation of a king will bring more giant infrastructural development and open doors of government presence as well as showcase Bille to the globe for economic growth.