Anambra governorship: Ngige seeks crisis talks with Obi of Onitsha over curse

Posted by News Express | 10 October 2013 | 3,997 times

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All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for the November 16 election, Senator Chris Ngige, is seeking a meeting with the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, over the curse which the revered monarch placed on him on Tuesday during the annual Ofala festival in the famed commercial town.

News Express had broken the story Tuesday night after obtaining a video clip in which Igwe Achebe cursed Ngige and his party for holding his campaign in Onitsha on he same day the Ofala festival was taking place. Speaking in English and Igbo in the 53 seconds video clip in the possession of News Express the paramount ruler said: “Today, a political party has chosen to launch their campaign for governorship in Onitsha at the same time when the Ofala is going on . . . despite the long notice . . . the one-year notice about the Ofala, and he knew about it.” The Igwe added: “Aga m arapu ya otua. Onye mebie ani, ani emebie ya,” roughly translating: “I will stop here. He who desecrates the land, the land will also desecrate him.”

However, Ngige’s campaign office in a statement signed by Okelo Madukaife claimed that Igwe Achebe’s statement was misinterpreted but vowed not join issues over the issue “until we have had all the proposed discussions with his Royal Majesty.”

According to Madukaife in the statement issued yesterday, “We have read the comments attributed to the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Afred Achebe, as reported in some section of the print and social media, and have very strong reasons to believe that the message of our respected royalty has been lost in translation from Igbo to English as we are sure that Ofala prayers are not offered in any other language, but Igbo.”

Continuing, the statement said: “Since Ngige is in touch with the highly knowledgeable traditional ruler, he would take steps to communicate with him to clarify the ostensibly misinterpreted message, particularly as it relates to communications with the palace in the recent past by Senator Dr Chris Ngige.”

Madukaife claimed that the purported misinterpretation was a calculated move by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) government of Peter Obi to play politics with a matter of tradition in order to score cheap political points.

“Unlike those in the saddle of Anambra State Government who have again rushed to play politics with everything sacred, we will not dignify the message of hate from the citadel of power in Anambra State personified by those who point left when they mean to turn right,” Madukaife said.

He insited that both Ngige and APC have always held Igwe Achebe in high esteem, adding: “That esteem increased recently when he sought to and indeed distanced himself successfully from the grand deceit called zoning in Anambra State governorship elections by resigning his position as Chairman of Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers, when certain unwarranted dictations were issued from Government House, Awka and beyond.

“It will therefore be out of tune for our candidate, who is grounded in traditional norms in Anigbo; our party which with the instrument of discipline has emerged the only frontline party with one candidate in the Anambra gubernatorial race to do anything that would hurt the Onitsha Traditional institution.”


Source: News Express

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