As at the last count one hundred and eighteen (118) out of the state’s one hundred and seventy-seven (177) constituting communities of Anambra state have one petition, grouse or other form of complaint about traditional rulership, or community disputes or both.
Though assurances from the Special Adviser to the Governor on Town Union and Chieftaincy Matters, Chief Ikechukwu Onyeabor that all efforts were in full gear to sort things out and douse the tension; not many appeared convinced.
One such community was Oraukwu community in Idemili North Local Govt Area whose natives stormed the Anambra Government House in protest to what they described as the reported attempt by the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano to issue a certificate of recognition to one Chief Vincent Okechukwu, as the new traditional ruler of the community.
Wielding assorted placards with equally various inscriptions like, “respect our choice of Igwe Chief Pius Okoye as our Igwe”, and many others, their spokesman, and the acting President General of Oraukwu, Sir Harold Mbanisi pointed out that they were not happy with the recent developments, especially of the attempt of the governor to recognize the wrong candidate as the community’s new Igwe.
According to him, by virtue of the applicable and subsisting Constitution of the community, it is the turn of Ezennaja village to produce the next Igwe, after the last Ofala of Igwe Arc Ogbunude who joined the ancestors.
That after two consecutive open and transparent elections conducted by the community, Chief Pius Ezedigbo Okonye emerged as the winner with 535 votes, Chief Vincent Okechukwu came a distant second with only 20 votes whereas Chief Emeka Obiora came third with 15 votes.
Mbanisi emphasize do that should the state government eventually recognize and install Chief Vincent Okechukwu as the Igwe of the community, it would amount to the enthronement of anarchy and crisis foretold, as it would be unacceptable by the people of Oraukwu.
That it was to avoid such crisis that they now chose to come to register their disapproval and draw the governor’s attention to the impending avoidable crisis.
He appealed to the governor to set up a panel of inquiry to investigate the matter in other to ascertain the truth and that it would amount to a hasty judgement to issue a certificate of Recognition to anyone now, without ascertaining the wish of the people.
Another member of the community who simply identified himself as Mr Obiora frowned at the idea of reported moves by the governor to enthrone the wrong person as the monarch.
“This is against the mandate of good conscience and what is humanly conscience”.
He therefore called on the governor to make proper investigation or set up a panel of enquiry to take a critical look into the matter first.
He pleaded that enthroning the candidate with lesser number of votes is a reversal of the wishes and choice of the whole community, hence undemocratic.
The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Prof. Azike who received them, assured the people that he will relay their message to the governor.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Prof Solo Chukwulobelu called on the people not to embark on any violent protest as the matter will be handled and resolved amicably.
From Chuks Collins, Awka