People of Awba Ofemili in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State have raised the alarm over alleged criminal tendencies and high-handedness of their traditional ruler, Ezekwesili Maduagwuna.
They appealled to Governor Willie Obiano to withdraw his certificate of recognition in order to pave way for a civilized and peaceful individual capable of managing the affairs of the town.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday on behalf of the community, a former Commissioner in the state, Nnamdi Mekoh said the community had been enmeshed in multifaceted crisis since the emergence of the monarch whose installation they alleged, had no constitutional backing.
He alleged that no fewer than four persons have lost their lives while thirteen houses have been destroyed at the instance of the monarch.
He said the only panecea to peace in the area remained the dethronement of the monarch and immediate replacement with a civilized and peaceful individual capable of managing the affairs of the town.
He said, “Since 2016 till now, our community has been engrossed in multifaceted crisis, the same year the certificate was issued to the monarch, without recourse to the Constitution or due process.
“Instead of coming to appease fraying nerves, he went haywire and unleashed terrorism and vandalism. Mayhem became the order of the day for these four years.
“As we speak, the community is desolate. Over 80percent well-meaning people of the community have fled the town. They are all in exile. Those abroad have not gone home.
“The climax was three months ago when he embarked on demolition of people’s homes. 13 houses were destroyed in one day. Others were brought down, vandalized, property carted away by hoodlums who are agent of the Igwe.
“He forcefully grabs people’s land, that of the community and even the church. He sees himself as the owner of the land, harvesting timber and wood which he sells and pockets the proceeds.
“Since he assumed office, he has continued to unleash terror on the Community that has boundary with Enugu. He’s killed four persons. So many members of the community are with bullet wounds on their bodies.
“We say to the government, enough is enough. We look at the young man as so recalcitrant and can’t change. If you want peace in the community, the best thing to do is to withdraw his certificate of recognition. That’s our submission.”
Reacting, the monarch described his accusers as sore losers, saying the State Government dismissed their allegations as frivolous after setting up a panel of investigation and peace on the issue.
He said, “They contested this stool with me and lost. They contested the post of President General of this community and lost. Since then, they embarked on campaign of calumny against my person.
“They have a thousand petitions against me to the state government and go to police to give false information against me.
“The persons they said were killed were killed by them and their agents. These people are urban gorrillas. They don’t reside here. Some of them have not slept in this community for the past five years. They operate from outside.
“My people are here in the community with me and they are happy with me.”
When contacted, Police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed said he was unaware of the incident.
“I’m not aware of any of such incident happening there. I will find out,” he said.