Crisis is now looming at Awkuzu community in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra state with last Monday’s coronation of Chief Chibuike Okafor as a new traditional ruler of the area, ANAMBRA PEOPLE reports.
Okafor’s installation came even as Prof. Charles Anikweze was issued with a certificate of recognition by former Governor Willie Obiano’s administration on May 2, 2019, as the traditional ruler of the community.
Performing the crowning ceremony on Okafor as the Ezeaganama 111 and authentic monarch of the community, amidst the tension, the head of Awkuzu kingmaker (Okpala Awkuzu), Chief Nweke Ozoemena Mgbike noted that he was crowning Okafor because the Igweship stool runs in the royal family of Aganama and not rotational as some people thought.
Contributing, three representatives of the three quarters in Awkuzu, (Ezi) represented by Aganama, Ifite-Ezeudene and Ikenga-Ezeodinwe, expressed satisfaction with the crowning, adding that Prof. Anikweze could be the Igwe of elites with a government certificate, while Okafor who inherited the throne from his forefathers remain the Igwe of the grassroots
Reacting, the Traditional Prime Minister, (Onowu), Chief Tochukwu Mgbako, said that it was now that the community has their God-given monarch who went through the normal process to be crowned.
“It is in the family of Aganama that any Igwe must emerge and then be crowned by the Okpala Awkuzu who is aged 97. The last Igwe we had was Igwe John Nnebolisa, who joined his ancestors in 2005,” he said.
Also speaking, Chief Emmanuel Obiemeka Oramulu, Onoselueze, said that, “Government gives certificate but community enthroned a monarch in line with the tradition and culture of the people”.
Earlier, the Owelle of Awkuzu, Hon. Peter Emenaka, stated that, peace has been restored with the crowning of Okafor as the monarch after about 18 years of Igweship crises, adding that Anikweze failed to meet up the standard when he refused to perform necessary traditional ceremonies on the ground that they are fetish.
Also, a popular traditional medical doctor from the area, Chief Oguejiofor Okafor (Ezedibia), stated that any monarch must be crowned by the Okpala Awkuzu and follow tradition in piloting the affairs of the community.
In his speech, Hon. Dr Anthony Jiendu, former Oyi Council Area Chairman, High Chief Jude Anieka and others expressed optimism that with the installation, the community will experience massive infrastructural development, lamenting that Igweship crises in the area tore it into shreds for about six years.
Also, Ezeudene, Chief Okoye Agbata, said that igweship was not rotational but inherited in the Aganama family.
In his response, the newly crowned monarch thanked the people for finding him worthy, adding that whoever that “wants good thing, good thing will follow him.”
“With my crowning as the monarch and Ezeaganama 111 of Awkuzu, the peace which eluded the people for over 18 years and tranquillity have been restored. It is thanks to God for the love He has for us all these years.
“Now that I have been crowned as the monarch, by the Okpala Awkuzu, Awkuzu has gotten a traditional ruler ordained by God to pilot the affairs of the people,” he said.
But in his reaction, Prof. Anikweze, who already had a certificate of recognition alongside 47 others from the former Governor Willie Obiano-led administration on May 2, 2019, described what transpired on Monday’s installation of Chief Okafor as another traditional ruler as an act of illegality.
“What they did was purely illegal. The case is still pending in court. I am still the Igwe Nnamenyi of Awkuzu, while Chief Okafor is an impostor.
“I still retain the certificate of recognition by the government which gave me the power of Igwe, if somebody raises up as an impostor, he is on his own.
“They are trying to woo some crisis, but we wait and see.
“No need to preempt what the community will do, but certainly those who are real Awkuzu elites will say something,” Anikweze said.