Chieftaincy tussle tears Anambra community apart

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 7 January 2017 | 3,907 times

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Tension is high in Nanka community in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State following a traditional stool tussle which has hitherto led to two factions bent on claiming the exalted throne.

Apart from the two factions, a three-man group known as Nanka Progressive Union (NPU), a voluntary group is also putting a wedge in the emergence of a replacement based on people’s choice for late Igwe Gilbert Oformata who passed on early last year.

The three tigers, as they have been nicknamed, comprise Chief Paulicap Emenike, Chief Ebele Nwosu and Chief Peter Chinedu. They have indirectly constituted themselves as the kingmakers of the community and elected Chief Godwin Ezeilo as the new traditional Ruler of the community against the wish of the people.

Addressing journalists on the matter in Nanka, the President General of NPA, Chief Emmanuel Ezeume, insisted that Nanka community will not accept the foisting of a monarch on it for any reason, especially from NPU, which it said does not have the constitutional power to elect a king for the community.

He said: “These people have made themselves the kingmakers of the community, even though it is a voluntary organisation that does not have the power to elect a king for the community.

“The matter is still in court, and yet, without recourse to that, they have gone ahead on 2nd January to choose an Igwe-elect, and you agree with me that this amounts to subjudice.

“Since the death of the former traditional ruler, they have been standing our custom on its head just to ensure they take over the machinery of crowning kings in the community.

“This group has been written by the state government through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, warning them to follow due process in selecting a monarch for the community.

“First they sought to hold the late monarch’s last Ofala even when his body is still in the morgue, just to make way for them to elect a new monarch.

“The Ministry cautioned them not to stand the tradition on its head, as it is usually traditional for the dead body of a monarch to be interred first before the last Ofala, which usually heralds the selection process for another monarch.”

Ezeume regretted that in spite of the warnings from the government, the NPU and their points men went ahead and held an Ofala festival for the late monarch, in a bush in Agbiligba village, neglecting the warning of the Anambra Traditional Rulers Council, which had initially warned that any Ofala done outside the palace of the late monarch will not be accepted.

He added: “They held the last Ofala of the late monarch in the bush, in the absence of all members of the royal family, traditional rulers in the state and other titled men. This is a shame, and we reject it in totality.”

Ezeume, however, called on the Anambra State Governor to quickly wade into the crisis in the community as it may escalate into full blown crises if nothing is done.

Efforts made to reach the Chairman of the inauguration committee for the crowning of the Igwe-elect, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, to get his reaction failed as at the time of filling this report.

Source: News Express

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