Crisis Brews In Anambra Community Over Attempt To Impose Traditional Ruler
The people of Awa Town, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra has called on Gov. Willie Obiano to save the community from impending crisis over attempts to organise an election and impose a traditional ruler on them.
The people made the plea when they protested against proposed traditional ruler election for Feb. 13 at the Government House in Awka on Wednesday.
The protesters bore placards with varying inscriptions including ‘Awa Is On Fire’, ‘Gov Obiano We Need Your Intervention In Awa Now’, ‘Your Excellency Sack VeraQueen’.
Others were ‘Awa Community No To Feb. 13 Election’, Your Excellency Awa Community Is Boiling’ and Hon Emeka Aforka Should Leave Awa Alone’ among others.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Chief Ambrose Egwuonwu an elder in the community said ascendancy to traditional ruler stool was hereditary to a ruling house and not open to the entire community or election.
Egwuonwu said Awa was a small and peaceful community but wondered why some influential people would want to throw the community into perpetual crisis.
He said the government should intervene and stop the election from going on because it was not a decision of the majority in view of the fact every issue surrounding the emergence of a new traditional ruler had not been addresses.
Also speaking, Chief Paul Nwafor, a former president general of the community said they were told to prepare for an election on Feb. 13 based on a letter from government which they had not seen a copy.
Nwafor said the community needed a traditional ruler but it must follow due process.
He said it was the duty of the community to elect a traditional ruler and not for government to impose one of them adding that there was unhealthy political under tone behind the desperate effort to conduct election for Awa.
Responding, Mr Henry Nwasike, Public Relations Officer of Anambra Ministry of Local Government and Town Union Union Affairs said their grievances were well noted.
Nwasike who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner said the government of Obiano would do all that was possible to ensure that there was peace in every community.
He said government does not conduct traditional ruler election for community but supervised it whole assuring that their grievances would be communicated to appropriate authorities.
Dr Ray Ofor, President General of Awa said the protesters had contradicted themselves by claiming they were not aware of the election notice but had gone ahead to protest against it.
Ofor however said they were waiting for further directive based on government’s reaction to the protest on whether to proceed with the election.