By Cynthia Igbokwe
Governor Willie Obiano’s Special Adviser on Community Liaison, Owelle Godson Obi, has appealed to the two factions in the Igweship tussle in Ogbunka, Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State to sheathe their swords and give peace a chance in the community.
Speaking to Fides, Hon Obi, who stressed the need to exercise patience over the matter, however called on Governor Obiano to harken to the voices of Ogbunka people to avoid plunging the community into anarchy.
He said that Dr Forster Ezenwa Ihejiofor was crowned monarch by the community, while Chief Johnmark Anyaoha was crowned monarch by a handful of people.
According to Obi, Chief Johnmark Anyoha was crowned surreptitiously with the aid of government officials by a fraction of people stoking crisis in the community. He however, said the popular candidate was Dr Ihejiofor who was the preferred candidate by the stakeholders of the town who crowned him in the open and he performed all the rites needed by the Ogbunka people.
Hon Obi said Ogbunka Community supported APGA Government 100 percent and wondered why the opinion of the people should not be respected.
‘I was the former State Assistant Treasurer of APGA and Ogbunka as a town, has benefitted a lot from APGA Government in this state.
‘Ogbunka Community are friends of this government. So, I see no reason why, in an issue like this, government will like to take a decision that is contrary to that of Ogbunka People, knowing full well that they have elders in the village whom they can refer to, to ascertain the true position of things, before taking any decision that is capable of plunging the community into anarchy.
‘We are still pleading with this Government to do the right thing and the right thing is to give the certificate of recognition to our Igwe-elect, Dr. Forster Ezenwa Ihejiofor.
‘I am speaking on my personal capacity as Owelle Ogbunka and a foremost king maker in this town. Nothing is confusing about the Igweship stool of Ogbunka. I ruled with the late Igwe and we ruled very well.
‘We are not learners. We are not afraid. If there is a place where they gather and said that Chief Johnmark will be Igwe of Ogbunka, I, Owelle, was not there and I will not be part of such discussion.
‘So there is no how Johnmark will be an Igwe of Ogbunka without the chiefs and king makers. One person does not make a king.
‘So, my appeal to our amiable governor is very simple, because Ogbunka Community is a lover of peace in all the things we do, including this Igweship thing. We anchor it on peace because without peace, there will be no progress, so my appeal to the people of Ogbunka is to allow the Government of Anambra State to do the right thing and when all the parties do the right thing, there will be an everlasting peace and that right thing is to recognize Igwe-elect Dr. Foster Ihejiofor, as the choice of the people of Ogbunka.
‘If it is too difficult for them to do but they want peace, let government implement what was stated in the letter they gave to Ogbunka people in February, 2020.
Government placed a ban on town union and Igweship elections due to COVID19. We waited for the ban to be lifted but all of a sudden, we heard that one Johnmark Anyaoha has been selected as Ogbunka traditional ruler and government sent some representatives.
‘It was then that we rose up as peace loving community and elected our choice in the person of Igwe Forster Ihejiofor.
‘I beckon on our Governor to help us by respecting our collective choice of Dr. Forster Ihejiofor as our traditional ruler,’ Hon Obi said.