The recently installed traditional ruler, Igwe Mkpuorah Ngini, has been rejected by the people of Isuaniocha Community in Awka North Local Government Area in Anambra State.
Governor Chukwuma Soludo officially recognized Igwe Ngini last week as the community’s traditional head of state.
However, local residents peacefully demonstrated outside the Anambra State Government House in Awka on Wednesday, claiming that Ngini was imposed on the town rather than chosen by its members.
The demonstrators carried signs reading things like “Igweship election was conducted under crisis and confusion;” We do not recognize Mkpuorah Ngini as our tribal chief. Isuaniocha need peace, not violence; the Ngini family cannot dictate for Isuaniocha, Chikodi Anara; the Igbakigba must leave Isuaniocha alone.
Community president-general Mr. Fredrick Chukwuma Egwunwa led the demonstrators as they sang solidarity songs at the government house entrance.
According to Egwunwa, who was relaying the complaints of the protesters to government officials, “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 despite this, Tony Nwabunwanne, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, went ahead and conducted a shabby election.
They forced some people to show up and act as electors. Not only were the affected parties in the dark, but he also disregarded the governor’s order for his own selfish ends.
Chikodi Anara, the man who sold our land, has been doing all in his power to bury the evidence, which is why there was a plot to present a phony Igwe to the governor. We will not tolerate such an action. What we need most right now is calm.
Protesters were greeted by Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, the Secretary to the State Government, who was represented by Mr Fidelis Nnazor, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Community Affairs.
Nnazor told the demonstrators that the government will investigate their complaints and respond to their letter of protest within a week.
So that the Soludo administration can continue his developmental efforts in other parts of the state without any hindrance, the government would immediately establish a committee to look into the Isuaniocha situation with the goal of resolving it and bringing peace back to the community, he added.
The protesters eventually mailed in their position letter to the government, but they made it clear that they wouldn’t think twice about coming back if the government failed to fulfill its pledge within the stipulated week.