Anambra Community Defies Govt Directive, Installs Parallel Monarch
Awkuzu community in Oyi Council Area of Anambra State, is set for a long rulership tussle following the recent installation of Chief Chibuike Okafor, as the traditional ruler of the community.
The installation makes him the second traditional ruler to be crowned in the community.
The community has been without a traditional ruler for decades since the death of Igwe John Nebolisa, before the State Government recognized and issued certificate of recognition to Igwe Prof Charles Anikweze.
However, Okafor was on Monday crowned as the Ezeaganama the third and authentic monarch of the community, placing the community in a serious tussle.
The Okpala, (first son) of Awkuzu, Chief Nweke Ozoemena Mgbike, aged 97, who crowned Okafor, said the Igweship stool of the community runs in the family of Aganama and is not rotational.
“Whoever is the king of Awkuzu must be crowned here by me as the Okpala Awkuzu and receive (offor) the staff of office from me.
“Now that Okafor has been crowned today as the Ezeaganama 111 of Awkuzu, whoever that is against this crowning will be fought by the spirits and gods of the land.
“From today, being Nkwo market day, he will be addressed as Igwe of Awkuzu because he has been crowned. Igweship in Awkuzu is not rotational, it is inherited, always in Aganama family,” he said.
Contributing, three representatives of the three quarters in Awkuzu, Ezi, represented by Aganama, Ifite-Ezeudene and Ikenga-Ezeodiwe, expressed satisfaction with the crowning.
Reacting, the prime Minister, (Onowu), Chief Tochukwu Mgbako, said the community now has gotten their God-given monarch who went through the normal process to be crowned the monarch of Awkuzu.
“It is from 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 hinted.
Also speaking, Chief Emmanuel Obiemeka Oramulu, Onoselueze, said “Government gives certificate but community enthrones 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.
Also, a popular traditional medical doctor, 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 pieces for about six years.
In his response, the newly elected monarch thanked the people for finding him worthy to be crowned their monarch.
The immediate past administration of Governor Willie Obiano in the state was characterised by several court litigations hinging on traditional rulership tussle, which tore many communities apart.
Many had alleged that the government foisted their preferred candidates on them and never allowed the people to choose who will lead them.
Awkuzu is one of such communities.