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|Ojoto Igweship Selection : Crises Looms As LG And Chieftaincy Commissioner, Obia by ashiwaju2010(m): 12:00pm On Jan 03|
Ojoto Akanasato Community in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, is at present experiencing one of the most difficult periods in its history and as is characteristic of many other communities, the development is not unassociated with traditional rulership tussle.
However, while most of these tussles emanate from perceived irregularities in the selection process for the traditional rulers, that of Ojoto seems to be coming from the planned thwarting of the collective will of the people by the State government.
According to the constitution of the community, 28 days after the demise of an Igwe, the Town Union is to commence the process for the selection of his successor, which must be completed on or before the last Ofala of the departed Igwe.
The selection is to be done at the kindred level after which the Igweship candidate who emerged will be presented to the Town Union which will in turn write the Local and State Government Authorities informing them of the selection for further actions..
Article 26, Section One(1, 2 and 3) of the same constitution, clearly posits that the Igweship shall be rotated between the Two sections of the Community, in order of seniority.
The Two sections of the community are Okpuno with four villages namely Ezieke, OjoImage result for POLICE OFFICER THANKS GOV OBIANO, COMMISSIONER OF POLICE FOR BAGGING AWARDr, Ire and Umuuchem as well as Obiofia whose villages include Enugo, Ndiabo, Umuezema and Ezema.
The immediate past traditional ruler of the Community, Igwe Augustine Obidigwe who passed on May 2016, was from Umuonyia, the most senior kindred in Ezieke village which is under the Okpuno section.
It is in keeping with these processes that Chief Dennis Adindu Okafor of Umuofor kindred in Enugo section was selected and was last year, presented to the Town Union and subsequently crowned by the Okpala (Ojomo) of Ojor, Chief Godwin Efoagui who is the most senior Okpala that is alive.
The Town Union then went further to write the State Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters mid last year, notifying it of the emergence of the Igwe and the need for government to formally recognize him.Image result for POLICE OFFICER THANKS GOV OBIANO, COMMISSIONER OF POLICE FOR BAGGING AWARD
This however is yet to be as Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, Mr Greg Obi working with the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Town Union and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr Ikechukwu Onyeabo, having collected 50 million naira bribe from some members of the community is on the verge of compromising the provisions of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Law and the constitution of Ojoto on the selection of the traditional ruler.
As is general knowledge, the people choose their king in keeping with the provisions of prevailing laws and present to the government for recognition but the recent actions of Mr Greg and his accomplices begs the question, "do government choose traditional rulers and shove them down the throats of their subjects for recognition?".
"ATTEMPT TO SUBVERT CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS
It has been revealed that the State Commissioner for LG,Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, Mr Obi, doing the bidding of his paymasters from Ojoto community, has submitted falsified documents on the Ojoto Igweship matter to the Department of State Security, DSS.
In the said documents, the Commissioner substituted the name of Chief Dennis Adindu Okafor who is the choice of the people and forwarded that of Chief Gerald Mbamalu who at no time was chosen by the people as their king.
This was not difficult to spot out as the DSS having followed carefully, the Ojoto Igweship selection processes, expressed surprise at the anomaly and invited the Igwe-elect, Chief Okafor for screening.
It is on record that he successfully scaled the process.
In a Swift reaction to the ugly development, the Ojoto Town Union led by the President-General, Chief Edwin Umeghalu had petitioned the State Government, the DSS and other relevant authorities, drawing their attention to the issue especially the falsified documents supposedly generated from the Union and the Idemmili South Local Government.
In a bid to prevent the truth from coming to surface, the prominent personalities in Ojoto fueling the whole saga, are currently plotting the removal of the President General to smoothen their mischief.
THE BONE OF CONTENTION.
It is common knowledge that the moneybags from Ojoto, sponsoring the subversion of the people's will do not argue that the selection of Chief Okafor as the Igwe-elect of the town is wrong.
Instead, their position is that the constitution of the Community and by extension, the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Law, should be jettisoned for their individual interest to prevail.
It has also been the boast of some of the moneybags, Senator Annie Okonkwo and Mr John Okigbo who hail from the community, that they entered into an agreement with the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano to deliver 10,000 votes for him in the November 18th 2017 governorship election and in return, he will hand them over the traditional stool of the town.
As to whether the moneybags met their own side of the bargain with the less than 900 votes that the governor got in Ojoto is very clear to answer, but the begging question again is "why use a sacred institution as such to trade votes? "
There seems to be no justifiable reason why any sane individual or group of individuals can decide to sweep the collective will of the people under the carpet and plunge communities into perpetual crisis and conflicts, if not because of desperation and greed for money.
Tendering false documents as evidence is a grave crime that must not go uninvestigated and the culprits brought to book.
The actions of the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, Mr Obi and Mr Onyeabo in choosing traditional rulers that the people do not love, have on record, commuted not less than 30 communities in Anambra State into serious crises.
Governor Willie Obiano being a man of peace and respecter of the culture and tradition of the people, has enjoyed the unalloyed support and solidarity of Ndi Anambra, evident in the overwhelming victory he garnered during the just concluded governorship election that secured him a second term in office.
There is no doubt that if the Governor does not call the LG Commissioner, Mr Obi to order, the later may not only succeed in destroying the peace and stability enjoyed in the state, but also destroy the goodwill the governor enjoys with his people.
The constitution of any land remains supreme and must be adhered to, and in the event that it no longer serves the collective interest of the people it is meant for, the only way is to convene stakeholders and agree on amendments.
Never has it been that the laws guiding the people are jettisoned just because an individual or group of individuals do not feel comfortable with them.
Having done the right things in line with existing laws in selecting the Igwe-elect of Ojoto, Chief Okafor, the governor should rise to ensure that Ojoto at this time, presents a shining example of how traditional rulers should be installed.
Omekannaya.writes from Ojoto.
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