Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
More stakeholders have continued to salute Governor Charles Soludo over his directive which banned factional traditional ruler of Awka kingdom, Obi Austin Ndigwe and factional President General, Chief Emeka Anagor.
The traditional stool of the Awka kingdom had been a source of tussle for a few years now after some influential members of the community claimed to have dethroned the monarch, Eze Uzu II, Igwe Gibson Nwosu.
In his place, they crowned Chief Austin Ndigwe popularly known as Uzu Awka, who immediately assumed the position of the monarch of the kingdom, causing the entire kingdom to be divided.
While some members of the community supported Ndigwe as their monarch, others rooted for Nwosu.
Ikengaonline learnt that the tussle polarised the Awka Development Union, Nigeria (ADUN). Even the Ozo title-holders were divided into Ozo Awka and Ozo five, each with its chairman and executive, while there are two different councils of kingmakers.
Since the emergence of the tussle, the two rival traditional rulers had held their separate events in the town amidst fear and tension.
Residents linked the rise in cult-related killings in the community to the existence of the two parallel leadership as they perceived lack of political will to tame the factionalised youths, who engaged in killings and bloodletting with impunity.
Last Saturday, Ndigwe had concluded arrangements to hold his Otite Awka 2022 (Iri Ji Ofuu) festival in the community when a team of policemen, under the directive of the State Government, stormed the area and dispersed the crowed who had besieged the palace to participate in the traditional event.
Later, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu, the State Government barred Ndigwe from parading himself as the traditional ruler of Awka kingdom and warned that any further attempt to usurp the rights of the legitimate and duly recognized traditional ruler of the town would attract sanctions.
Barely 24 hours after the ban on Ndigwe, the Government also barred Ndigwe’s ally, Chief Emeka Anagor, from Parading himself as the President General of Awka Development Union.
It was gathered that Anagor has been working hand-in-glove with the outlawed monarch, Ndigwe, even without certificate of recognition as the President General.
Since the Saturday event, accolades have continued to pour in for Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, for restoring normalcy and sanity in the community.
The Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers said Soludo’s directive was commendable and in line with the law, noting that the law prescribed that for one to be addressed as or parade self as a traditional ruler, he must be certified and recognized by the State Government.
Council Secretary and Traditional Ruler of Orumbanasa, Igwe Pius Omachodu, hailed Soludo for his intervention.
He said: “What the Governor did is what the law says. It is very clear and the Governor simply enforced it. If Government enforces the law, it is a commendable thing. It is not anything new. A monarch should be recognized by the Government of the state and such must bear a certificate of recognition before parading himself or being recognized as Obi, Eze or Igwe.
The President, Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), Chief Titus Akpudo, said the stand of the Government was not a bad idea and urged Ndigwe and Anagor to toe the part of peace for the good of the community.
“Awka is a very big city and capital for that matter that other communities are supposed to emulate. Wallowing in such conflict has not protected the image of the town and the state.
“I expect them to obey that directive because allowing such conflict to continue will cause problems and insecurity within the capital city,” Akpudo posited.
Awka Development Union, Nigeria, (ADUN) the umbrella body of indigenes of the Community, commended Soludo for ensuring that rule of law is entrenched in the state, particularly in Awka, and in upholding culture and tradition of the town.
A letter which was signed by the Traditional Ruler of the Community, Obi Gibson Nwosu, the Traditional Prime Minister, among others said the action of the Government had reinvigorated their desire to push for peace and development of the community.