By Cynthia Igbokwe
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has dismissed the notion by a section of Ogbunka people in Orumba South LGA that his government has recognized Chief JohnMark Anyaoha as the traditional ruler of Ogbunka against the choice of the Community.
Obiano reassured Ogbunka people that his government just intervened to restore order, peace and unity, pleading with all parties to remain calm as Government would resolve the Igweship tussle impartially.
Obiano who spoke through the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy & Community Affairs, Hon Greg Obi, while addressing the community members, called on factions in the Ogbunka Igweship tussle to remain calm, as the government worked out modalities to resolve the crisis and return peace to the community.
‘It is a community that selects their traditional ruler after which there is a procedure for recognition of who becomes the traditional ruler.
‘From your complaints, it looked as if the government went to Ogbunka and enthroned one person to become the traditional ruler. It is not true and we don’t do such things. Government has not recognized anybody as the traditional ruler of the community,’ he reassured.
Obi noted that in some communities there were up to three or more people angling for a traditional stool, and noted that what the Government did was to study the petitions from the town to know whether they were in line with the procedure and constitution of the town before the Governor would know the right person to recognize as the traditional ruler.
He also advised them not to listen to outside rumours but to rather remain calm and wait on Government to study their petitions and decide who to recognize as the rightful monarch of Ogbunka
As earlier reported, Ogbunka town was engulfed in crisis earlier this year as two traditional rulers emerged in separate elections. Dr Forster Ezenwa Ihejiofor was allegedly crowned monarch by the community, while Chief JohnMark Anyaoha was allegedly crowned monarch by a handful.
While it was alleged that Chief Anyoha was crowned surreptitiously with the aid of government officials and cabals in the corridors of power, others said it was done at night by a faction of people stoking crisis in the community.
However, his rival, Dr. Forster Ihejiofor, who was said to be the preferred candidate by the stakeholders of the town, was crowned in the open and he performed all the rites needed by the Ogbunka people.
However, in a communique made available to Fides by Ogbunka Youth Association (OYA) at Ogbunka Civic Centre, they warned those fomenting trouble to desist or meet with the wrath of the youths, even as they declared support for Igwe Dr Forster Ihejiofor, against his rival.
Also, the youths of Ogbunka, among other agreements, resolved that they would not fold their arms and allow their community to go up in flames. Consequently, they are appealing to the state government to recognize Dr Ihejiofor as their traditional ruler or conduct fresh a election for all parties.
Meanwhile, the communique was endorsed by Youth leaders of the villages in Ogbunka which include, Awuka; Okoli Chinedu; Isiokpo, Umeh Nnaemeka; Agbala, Anula Michael; Umunobe, Anyacho Ignatius and Akwuoba, Ezeabikwa Chidozie.