Anambra community protests, rejects certificate of recognition issued to monarch by Soludo

Protesting villagers of Isuaniocha

Palpable tension has envolped Isuaniocha Community in Awka North local government area of Anambra State as some indigenes have rejected a traditional ruler-elect issued certificate of recognition by Governor Chukwuma Soludo.

In a peaceful protest to the Anambra state government House , Awka, the protesters accused the Soludo administration of imposition of a traditional ruler on the community.

It was gathered that the protesters were carrying placards of various inscriptions some of which read: “Igweship election was conducted under crisis and confusion” , “We reject Mkpuorah Ngini, Ngini family cannot dictate for Isuaniocha”, “Chikodi Anara, Igbakigba leave Isuaniocha alone” , “Isuaniocha need peace not war” , “We have suffered prolonged period of crises sponsored by the Commissioner for Homeland Affairs, Chikodi Anara” . “Governor Soludo please listen to the good people of Isuaniocha” .

They also chanted solidarity songs while declaring that that they believe in the present administration of Professor Soludo to urgently address the numerous challenges confronting the Community in the last six years.

Mr Friedrich Chukwuma Egwunwa, the caretaker President General of Isuaniocha, while presenting their protest letter to the government, said crisis began since 2018 when some persons including present Commissioner for Homeland Affairs, Mr Chikodi Anara connived and sold vast portion of land belonging to Isuaniocha Community Secondary School.

According to him, the crises that erupted forced make stakeholders of the community to run for safety in other towns since six years ago while the cabals and their corhorts run the town with impunity and not respect to elders.

Mr Egwunwa wondered how such stakeholders would still be on the run and the cabals will claim that a traditional ruler had been elected in a Community that is still battling to secure relative peace.

“The government of governor Soludo said earlier that there will be no election in communities that have crises and Isuaniocha is one of such, but Tony Nwabunwanne, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters went ahead to conduct a shabby election where they coarced few individuals to come and stand as electorate. the stakeholders did not even know about it, he ignored the governors directive for his own personal reasons. Chikodi Anara who sold our land have been doing everything possible to subdue every evidence that is why they connived to present someone to the governor as our Igwe, We don’t accept that move. all we want now is peace.

Another resident of Community, Mr Moses Emebo said the people was on the path of returning peace to the town through resolutions, consultations and deliberations and all of a sudden they had that government issued certificate of recognition to someone the community never voted for or nominated to rule them.

Mr Emebo said all the people wanted was for the governor to revoke the certificate and take steps to restore internal peace in the community before the issue of Igwe would be laid on the table for the elders and stakeholders to discuss the way forward.

”We trust the administration of our governor , please let him come and address the crises in Isuaniocha, all we want is peace and that is why we are here on a peaceful protest, to let him know that we are pained over the ugly trends in the town which is caused by few persons who interfere in our issues“.

The women folks who turned out in their numbers said they had to postpone proposed August meeting because development in Isuaniocha was no longer allowing them to sleep with their eyes closed.

One of the protesters, Mrs Chinyere Nweke narrated that a former chairman of Awka North local government area, Mr Cosmos Okonkwor who is an indigene of Isuaniocha, had been instrumental to the calamities and crises in the area alongside the Homeland Affairs Commissioner who was a Security Adviser to the former governor Willie Obiano before his recent appointment.

While recounting that the youths mobilized by the Homeland Affairs boss under the guise of security were intimidating and selling landed property not belonging to them, regretted that the situation in the community had led to loss of lives while exposing so many of them to danger of attacks.

She noted that what the women and the community in general needed at the moment was peace and Justice and not Traditional ruler which will end up dividing them the more.

”We are tired, our children are dying in our front for no just cause, the women are not happy, Igwe is not our problem now, we want peace and Justice , after it we can now talk of next thing , please we are begging the governor to tell Chikodi Anara to leave us alone,let him go back to his own Community Amanuke, I am a mother, how can I bring up my children in this kind of chaos environment ? we need governor’s intervention.”

Two aged men who were led by their walking sticks to the Government House, Elder Obika Okoye and Chief Raphael Okeke traced the crises to the sell of the secondary School land in 2018,hinted that Isuaniocha had never used election format to pick a traditional ruler buy rather there was a laid down procedure which was never followed by those claiming to have been elected to rule the people.

According to them, what the people want is a total reconciliation ,bringing back those in exile, returning back lands sold by few persons, reclaiming market land , rebuilding houses and structures destroyed in the last six years , before the people can talk of having a traditional ruler which is done on merit and not by election contest.

Responding to the complaints of the people , the Secretary to the State government, SSG, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu said governor Chukwuma Soludo is a man of peace and Justice and will not be a party to any injustice in the state.

Speaking through the Special Adviser to the Governor on local government and Community Affairs, .Mr Fidelis Nnazor , the SSG said the government will look into their griviances and protest letter and take necessary action within one week.

He said government will set up a committee immediately to look into the Isuaniocha matter with a view to resolving it and bringing peace back to the town to enable the Soludo administration carry-on his developmental projects in all parts of the state without any hindrance.

The protesters later submitted their position letter to the government but noted that they would not hesitate to return if government did not keep it’s promise within the one week stated.


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