Oko Community Crisis: Youths Move Against Las Ekwueme, Insists On His SackNews From The State Thursday, April 24th, 2014
IGNATIUS OKPARA, Awka
Scores of youths in Oko community of Anambra State on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest to the Anambra Government House Awka, demanding for the dethronement of the traditional ruler of the area, Igwe professor Laz Ekwueme.
The renewed protest followed the alleged killing of a youth in the community by soldiers engaged by the monarch to stop masquerades during a festival in the community.
Placard carrying youths, who arrived the government house Awka for the protest had asked the state governor, Willy Obiano, to sack the traditional ruler without further delay.
The aggrieved youths led by president of Oko Youth Movement OYM, Evangelist Tochukwu Hilary Ezeokafor, alleged that the monarch, who is the younger brother to former Vice president, Alex Ekwueme, had lately constituted himself into a torn in the flesh of his subjects.
He added “that his latest was to engage soldiers to stop the carrying of masquerade in the popular Afia Olu festival”.
“Our monarch is supposed to be the one to protect us, but he has turned into something else. He has been giving his subjects stones instead of bread, and we members of the community continue to live in fear everyday.
“We are here at the government house to ask the governor to look into the matter and to also dethrone Prof Laz Ekwueme as the traditional ruler of Oko community.
“We believe that the whole crisis that has engulfed the community is because he is unhappy that members of the community are on the side of the Rector of Oko Polytechnic, who he has been instigating his sack.
“On our part, we have insisted that we will continue to stand with the rector because he has done well in the institution, and we cannot call for the sack of a man who did not do anything just because our monarch does not like him”, they stated.
Some of the placards carried displayed by the protesters read:- “Igwe Oko is feeding us stones, Your Excellency, “please use your good office to restore peace in Oko”, “Igwe Laz Ekwueme is a traitor, “Laz Ekwueme is not fit to be our King”, “Laz Ekwueme is a rascal, please dethrone him”, among others.
Addressing them on behalf of the governor, his senior Special Adviser on Media Mr James Eze, promised that government would look into the matter.
Eze said “We already know of the crisis in Oko community, and that a masquerade was shot dead. It is an aberration in the entire Igboland, but I can only promise you that the governor will attend to this.”
“He is a very kind person, and a listening governor, and he would have been here himself to address you people, but he is in a security meeting right now. I urge you to go back, articulate your demands in a letter and bring it through representatives and I assure you he will treat it speedily” he promised
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