Youths of Okpuno Egbu in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State on Saturday morning protested against an alleged disrespect of the Obi of the community, Prince (Prof) Ifeanyi Orizu.
The youths who gathered in their good number as early as 8.00am took their protest to the palace of Obi of Umudim-Nnewi, His Highness, Chief Bennett Okafor.
The chairman of Okpuno Egbu youths, Mr Okwudili Igboanugo alleged that an Nnewi based businessman who is also from the community, Mr Austin Jideofor has constituted himself to an impediment to the growth and progress of the community.
“Austin Jideofor is neither the Obi nor the chairman of our community yet he has been carrying on as an overlord in the community.
“His boys have been harrasing innocent people in our community and only God knows the authority with which they are operating. We acknowledge that Austin Jideofor is a member of this community but he should stay away from Okpuno Egbu’s affairs.” Mr Igboanugo noted.
Speaking in the same vein, the chairman of Okpuno Egbu vigilant group, Mr Chinedu Oranusi pointed out that roles and responsibilities are clearly spelt out for individuals in the community and that the businessman is neither the Obi nor the chairman and as such should concentrate on his private business.
“If Austin Jideofor is interested in becoming our chairman, he should wait for the election time to contest, of course he cannot become the Obi. He should stop using certain elements to destroy people’s properties in our community.
“He has instituted three different litigations against the community, I can say with all sense of responsibility that the young man is giving us serious problem in the community.” He pointed out.
The Obi of Umudim-Nnewi, His Highness, Chief Bennett Okafor commended the peaceful disposition of the youths during their protest.
The Umudim-Nnewi royal father assured the youths that he would take their grievances to the relevant authorities.
In a sharp reaction to the allegations, Mr Austin Jideofor said that being the chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT) of Okpuno Egbu, he is neither planning to become the Obi of his community and neither is he aspiring to contest for the chairmanship position as non of the offices is a profitable venture.
He also alleged that the protesting youths are only being used by certain individuals who are hell bent on perpetrating injustice against a widow in the community.