By Ikeugonna Eleke
A 95 year-old man, Chief Anthony Maduafor, last Thursday led a protest march to the Anambra State Government House, Awka, over plans to issue certificate of recognition to an indigene of the community, Mr Chike Maduka, as the monarch of Isulo Community of Orumba South Local Government Area.
Chief Maduafor said he had to lead the protest because things were getting out of hand in his community and he needed to come himself to intimate the governor about it and seek a solution.
He said, ‘I decided to come because we heard that Governor Obiano plans to issue a staff of office to one Chike Maduka who is not from the right village. He is also an ex-convict and not fit to hold any position in the community according to our constitution.’
The protesters who displayed placards, caused a stir at the Government House as they accused Governor Willie Obiano of planning to install a monarch in the community against their wishes.
Some of the placards carried by the protesters read, ”Chike Maduka is not our Igwe elect”; ”An ex-convict cannot rule Isulo”; ”Stop issuance of any certificate of recognition to Maduka”, among others.
Mr Innocent Ugbasoro, chairman of Isulo Community who addressed government officials during the protest, lamented that despite a letter written to the state government, Maduka was still considered for the chieftaincy stool of the community.
‘We wrote to Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters over the plan to install an ex-convict who wants to be the traditional ruler of our community.
‘We are here to hear from the government if they are truly supporting someone who is our brother; and we know he went to jail for five years over fraud, to take over as the monarch of Isulo,’ Ugbasoro said.
He said the community had earlier written the state government with documentary evidence of the person of Maduka, and also the constitution of the community which forbade people of questionable character from taking up the kingship of the community.
An official of the state government, Mr. Henry Nwasike of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, who addressed the protesters, commended their peaceful protest.
He said the commissioner was not on seat and would have been around to address them. He appreciated their peaceful stand and assured them that their message would reach the governor.