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Tension in Enugu Community as Villagers Reject Imposed Traditional Ruler

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The people of Odoru/Eburumiri Autonomous community in Nsukka council  Area of Enugu state, South East Nigeria have stormed the local government headquarters to protest alleged imposition of one  Mr. Emmanuel Ezema on them as their traditional ruler by the council.

African Examiner reports that the  protesters who trooped out in their numbers were made up of aged men and women as well as youths of the locality.

They  arrived the council in an angry mood, chanting warlike songs, as well as displaying  placards with inscriptions such as “No to imposition of Emmanuel Ezema as Igwe on our community”, “We stand on the agreement that Odoru based on seniority should produce first traditional ruler”, “Our mutual agreement stands”, “We say No to government interference”, among others.

In a protest letter addressed to the council chairman, Chief Patrick Omeje, signed on behalf of Odoru/Eburumiri Autonomous community by the Onyishi of Odoru, Chief Ogbu Anthony, Onyishi Oha Eburumiri, Chief Ozioko Joseph, Secretary Oha Odoru, Chief Ogbu Anthony and Chief Okoh Ngwoke Eburumiri among others, they alleged that the community made up of Odoru and Eburumiri had unanimously ceded the traditional ruler’s stool to Odoru been the most senior village.

The letter reads in parts, “With utmost humility and thanksgiving to the Almighty God for the creation and approval of new autonomous communities.

“The entire people of Odoru/Eburumiri in collaboration with the Development Union, Oha in council, village heads, stakeholders, leaders of thought and youths movement have unanimously resolved that the Igweship position should go according to village seniority.

“On this vain, the people of Eburumiri community ask Odoru community to produce traditional ruler based on seniority that will serve Odoru/Eburumiri community.

“The mutual agreement and understanding will help to stop further acrimony, violence, character assassination and underdevelopment in the community.

“Overriding public interest supersedes individual or personal interest.     

They added that, “We heard that someone has been projected to take the position as the traditional ruler. We have come to tell the government that we don’t want Mr. Emmanuel Ezema as our Igwe.

“Sir, We have considered and unanimously adopted Chief Godwin Eze as the traditional ruler (Igwe) of Odoru/Eburumiri Nsukka Autonomous Community of Enugu State.

“Chief Eze has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the community than any other person. this is the kind of man the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi wants to be given such position to serve the people”.  

Addressing the  vice chairman of Nsukka LGA, Hon Cosmo Agbo, who stood in for the chairman of the council, Hon Patrick Omeje, the leader of the protesters Mr. Anthony Attama, stated that “we are here because we heard that we were given an autonomous community.

“He has done a lot for our community, he built a health centre for our women to give birth in he also brought electricity to our community. That is why we have come to let you people know that he is our choice.

In his reaction, the Council chairman commended them for the peaceful way they conducted themselves,  assuring them that nobody can impose himself on the people.

“I assure you that there is no place where the Igweship position is stolen. Even if it is possible, it will not happen in our administration”. the council boss stated.

“The traditional ruler rules the people and not spirits. So you people should go back to your community and relax.” he advised.

 

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