Isuaniocha Community Reject Monarch Issued Certificate by Soludo

By Jude Atupulazi

There was a mild drama in Isuaniocha Community in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State as the people of the community rejected the traditional ruler issued certificate of recognition by Governor Chukwuma Soludo.

In a peaceful protest to the Anambra State Government House, Awka, the people, numbering over one thousand, said what the Community needed at the moment was nothing but peace and not imposition of a traditional ruler by a few cabals whom, they said, did not mean well for the town.

Displaying placards of various inscriptions, they also chanted solidarity songs while declaring their belief in the present administration of Professor Soludo to urgently address the numerous challenges confronting the community in the last six years.

Mr Friedrich Chukwuma Egwunwa, the caretaker President General of Isuaniocha, while presenting their protest letter to the government, said the crisis began since 2018 when some persons, including the present Commissioner for Homeland Affairs, Mr Chikodi Anara, connived and sold vast portions of land belonging to Isuaniocha Community Secondary School.

According to him, the crises that erupted forced many stakeholders of the community to run for safety to other towns since six years ago while the cabals and their cohorts ran the town with impunity and no respect to elders.

Mr Egwunwa wondered how such stakeholders would still be on the run and the cabals would claim that a traditional ruler had been elected in a community still battling to secure relative peace.

‘The government of Governor Soludo said earlier that there would be no election in communities that had crises and Isuaniocha is one of such, but Tony Nwabunwanne, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, went ahead to conduct a shabby election where they coerced a few individuals to come and stand as electorate.

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 have been doing everything possible to subdue every evidence that is why they connived to present someone to the governor as our Igwe, We don’t accept that move. All we want now is peace,’ Mr Egwuna alleged.

Another resident of Community, Mr Moses Emebo, said the people were on the path of returning peace to the town through resolutions, consultations and deliberations, when the government suddenly issued a certificate of recognition to someone the community never voted for or nominated to rule them.

Mr Emebo said all the people wanted was for the governor to revoke the certificate and take steps to restore internal peace in the community before the issue of Igwe would be laid on the table for the elders and stakeholders to discuss the way forward.

The women folk who turned out in their numbers said they had to postpone their proposed  August meeting because developments in Isuaniocha were no longer allowing them to sleep with their eyes closed.

One of them, Mrs Chinyere Nweke, accused a former chairman of Awka North Local Government Area, Mr Cosmos Okonkwor, an indigene of Isuaniocha, of causing the calamities and crises in the area alongside the Homeland Affairs Commissioner who was a Security Adviser to the former Governor, Willie Obiano, before his recent appointment.

While alleging that the youths mobilized by the Homeland Affairs boss under the guise of security, were intimidating and selling landed property not belonging to them, He regretted that the situation in the community had led to loss of lives while exposing many to danger of attacks.

She noted that what the women and the community in general needed at the moment was peace and Justice and not a traditional ruler who would end up dividing them the more.

Two aged men who came with their walking sticks to the Government House, Elder Obika Okoye and Chief Raphael Okeke, traced the crisis to the sale of the secondary school land in 2018, hinting that Isuaniocha had never used election format to pick a traditional ruler but rather through a laid down procedure which was never followed by those claiming to have been elected to rule the people.

According to them, what the people wanted was a total reconciliation,bringing back those in exile, returning back lands sold by few persons, reclaiming the market land, rebuilding houses and structures destroyed in the last six years, before the people could talk of having a traditional ruler which, they said, was done on merit and not by election.

Responding to the complaints of the people, the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, said governor was a man of peace and Justice and would not be party to any injustice in the state.

Speaking through the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Community Affairs, Mr Fidelis Nnazor, the SSG said the government would look into their grievances and protest letter and take necessary action within one week.

He said government would 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 to carry on its developmental projects in all parts of the state without any hindrance.

The protesters later submitted their position letter to the government but noted that they would not hesitate to return if government did not keep its promise within the one week stated.