Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 24 August 2019 | 1,829 times
The ongoing power tussle between the traditional ruler of Umueri Umueri, Anambra East Local Government Area of the Anambra State, Igwe Benneth Emeka, and the President General Umueri General Assembly, Pius Okonkwo, on Friday led to the death of three persons.
News Express reports that the crisis had some time ago led to the suspension of Igwe Benneth Emeka after he was accused of violating the code of conduct on kolanut breaking.
A resident of the area, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that there were gunshots in Mgbago Umueri by youths in the area who stormed the place in their numbers.
He said that subsequently after the gunshots were heard, three bodies were found dead with varying degrees of bullet wounds.
The President General of Umueri community, Pius Okonkwo, while confirming the incident accused the community’s traditional ruler of instigating the violence in his attempt to assume the duties and functions of the town union executives.
According to him, the monarch imposed a 30-man committee on the community to run the administrative duties of the town union. Okonkwo said: “Trouble started when some youths loyal to Igwe Benneth Emeka stormed UGA meeting at Umueri Civic Center and disrupted the meeting, claiming to have impeached the President General.
“Umueri has not had a traditional ruler for about 21 years before Ben Emeka came into the saddle and before then, our community had lasting peace but the peace and harmony are what Igwe Emeka is trying to scuttle and Umueri people will not allow that.
“As I speak to you, the traditional ruler has taken over the functions of the town union leadership and now plays the role of Emperor Nero of the then Roman Empire.
“We have up to September to the end of our tenure and we have to set up an electoral committee to conduct elections by December this year.”
In a swift reaction, the monarch accused the President General of sponsoring hoodlums to raze his palace.
He said: “The hoodlums were arrested and they confessed to the crime. They accused the President General of sponsoring the attack on my palace and if you go to the police, they will give you statements made by the suspects.”
Igwe Emeka further said that the PG had been mobilising people to effect his dethronement, alleging that his intention was to remain in office perpetually.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Haruna Mohammed, said he had no knowledge of the incident.
He added: “I have spoken to the DPO Otoucha Division and he confirmed to me that there was no such incident in Umueri and no official report was made to that effect, please.”
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