Anambra Community Protest Against Gov Soludo’s Recognition Of Traditional Ruler
The people of Isuaniocha Community in Awka North local government area of Anambra have protested against the presentation of certificate of recognition to Igwe Mkpuorah Ngini, as the traditional ruler of the town by Governor Chukwuma Soludo on Aug. 19.
The protesters who thronged the Government House, Awka to peacefully register their grievances said what the community needed at the moment was peace and not imposition of a traditional ruler by a few people who do not mean well for the town.
The protesters bore placards with varying inscriptions including ‘Igweship election was conducted under crisis and confusion’, ‘we reject Mkpuorah Ngini’, ‘Ngini family cannot dictate for Isuaniocha’, ‘Chikodi Anara, Igbakigba leave Isuaniocha alone’, and ‘Isuaniocha need peace not war’.
They chanted solidarity songs and expressed confidence in the ability of Soludo’s administration to address the numerous challenges confronting the community in the last six years.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Mr Chukwuma Egwunwa, the caretaker President General of Isuaniocha said crisis began in the community in 2018 when some persons including present Commissioner for Homeland Affairs, Mr Chikodi Anara connived and sold a portion of land belonging to the Community Secondary School.
Egwunwa said the crisis had forced many stakeholders of the community to flee the town for their own safety for about six years while those causing the crisis held sway.
“The government of Prof. Soludo said earlier that there will be no election in communities because of the crisis but the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters went ahead to conduct a shabby election.
“They coerced few individuals to come and stand as voters. the stakeholders did not even know about it, he ignored the governor’s directive for his own personal reasons.
“Chikodi Anara who sold our land has been doing everything possible to subdue every evidence that is why they connived to present someone to the governor as our Igwe,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Moses Emebo said the people were on the path of returning peace through consultations and resolutions when suddenly they heard that the government issued a certificate of recognition to someone they never voted for.
Emebo called on Soludo to revoke the certificate and take steps to restore internal peace in the community before the issue of traditional ruler would be discussed by stakeholders.
“We trust the administration of Governor Soludo, we call on him to please address the crisis 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,” he said
Speaking on behalf of the women, Mrs Chinyere Nweke said they had to postpone their August meeting as result of the development in the community which had denied them sleep.
Nweke alleged that Mr Cosmos Okonkwo, a former chairman of Awka North local government area, who hailed from the community, was instrumental to the insecurity they had faced.
She also claimed that Anara, who served as Security Adviser to the former governor Willie Obiano before his recent appointment, collaborated actively in creating the tension.
“We are tired, our children are dying before us for no just cause, we women are not happy.
“Igwe is not our problem now, we want peace and Justice, 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 chaotic environment ? we need the governor’s intervention.”
Addressing the protesters, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, the Secretary to the State government said Gov. Chukwuma Soludo was a man of peace and Justice and would not be a party to any injustice.
Chukwulobelu who spoke through Mr Fidelis Nnazor, the Special Adviser to Soludo on Local Government And Community Affairs said the government would look into their grievances and take necessary action.
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 who submitted their position letter to the government said they would not hesitate to return if government did not keep its promise within one week as promised.