Ben Ezechime, Enugu
After about two decades without a monarch, three candidates that include, former chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State, Chief Chris Eluemuno, Chiefs Akpachuna Obiora and Oduche Chimereze, are set to slug it out to fill the vacant throne of Igweship of Nkwelle-Ezunaka community, Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State.
Recall that Eluemuno was former Chief Press Secretary to the then Enugu State Governor, Chief Jim Nwobodo and also represented Anambra State at the Constitutional Conference, (Confab), in Abuja.
Reacting on the coming Igweship election, slated for October 28, the President General (PG) of the community, Chief Willie Okafor, told Ikengaonline that arrangements have been concluded for the epoch making event.
Okafor spoke during the 2023 New Yam festival of the former Ohanaeze Chief, lamenting that the absence of a monarch for over two decades had cost the community a lot.
“We are prepared very well for the election of the Igwe, you know that the storm has been carrying the thing around for a long time but it now has a date, that day by this hour, the result would have been announced.
“On 28th October 2023, that day Nkwelle will shake, after the gun powder, at the election venue, everybody should be going to the winner’s house to celebrate with him.
“The three contestants are Chris Eluomuno (Ogbuefi Nwajiugo), Ogbuefi Akpachuna Obiora (Omenife), and Ogbuefi Odiuche Chimereze.
“God will help us to elect the man of the people. We are being denied so many things because of lack of a monarch,” he said.
On the new yam festival of Eluemuno, the PG said that every titled man in Nkwelle was supposed to celebrate his new yam after Nkwelle did hers, pointing out that it was a period of thanking God for abundant farm produce and also to prepare for farming season.
“I have done my own. New yam festival has been there right from time immemorial, it signifies that farming has come to an end, and this is the season of eating, till march when farming will start again.
“If it were to be in the olden days, yam would be eating all the way, it will be yam, yam all the time.
“New yam reminds us of our tradition, it teaches you that you reserve the yam for planting in the coming season, it will teach you to reserve for the rainy season, so that after making yourself happy you prepare well for march when planting season will start again,” he said.
Earlier, Eluemuno corroborated the position of the PG by saying that the community had not had a monarch for over two decades, lamenting that as a result the community has been denied of so many good things from the State Government.
“As far as Igweship is concerned, I am the forerunner, I am the first among equals and I believe my people will do the right thing. It is my turn to be the Igwe, I don’t have any doubt about it.
“I have served my people severally, I have served my family as the chairman, I have served Nkwelle Ezunaka as the PG, two tenures, I served Anambra State as the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, I have done enough that warrants my taking the kingship of this community,” he said.
He promised to bring change into the Community if he becomes the Igwe come October 28.
“If the leaders do the right thing, their followers will like to do the right thing, I believe when I will become the Igwe of this community, I will show them the way.
“They will like to do the right thing and I will bring peace in the community, right now, there is no peace in the community, and I will bring peace as the Igwe of the community,” he said.
In his own reaction, Nwabufo Ogbogu, chairman Umuonuo clan, said that, “Chris Eluomuno, is supposed to be our monarch, I started hearing his name right from childhood even before I was born.
“He has done a lot for the community, when I came in and saw all he has done in Nkwelle, I said that he deserves the seat of the Igwe, that is why I designed caps in his honour as campaign for him in the coming election.”
Iyom Irene Oraefo, senior citizen, the leader of Iyom, Nkwelle Ezunaka, also said: “We are preparing very well for the election of the Igwe because Nkwelle has lost a lot in the government.
“We stand strongly on the election of Igwe on 28th October and we must support a leader for his leadership to be successful, to solve all the problems the community has been going through, to bring our share to us.”
Also Wada Nkiruka Nwankwo, the leader of Umuada, Umuonuora family, said, “We came to stay with our brother and we stand with him on the election as the Igwe, because he deserves it, we want Igwe to come from our kindred.”