(David Onwuchekwa, NNEWI)
Controversy surrounding the leadership of the Igbo community in Ibadan, Oyo State, is taking a dangerous dimension as the office of HRH, Igwe Barrister Martin Ezeh, Idu II of Igbo-Ukwu in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State whose subject, Dr Alex Anozie’s position as the leader in that community is being contested by another insists that the ancestors would be provoked if anything contrary is done.
The Igwe who spoke through his Chief of Staff, Hon Kenneth Okechukwu said he had great respect for traditional institution and his colleague, Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso who he said had great wisdom and would use it to act on the path of justice and fair play.
He noted that for the contestant, Chief Alloy Obi to have addressed a sitting Igwe with disrespect smacked of one without regard to traditional institution.
“The issue is on the Olu of Ibadan who has earlier said he will abide by the court order that Anozie will be the Igbo leader in Ibadan and Oyo State. I hope the Olu showed that he believes in the rule of law as delivered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“While there is an appeal, the court judgement still subsists until the appeal is dispensed with. We still believe that Nigeria is governed by the rule of law. And outside this, there is an Igbo tradition that you cannot judge a matter in the mouth of only one person. That is based on our culture. We insist that the position of the South East council of traditional rulers that the Igbo should have Onye Ndu Igbo, Eze Igbo or whatever appellation for Igbo in diaspora, when appointed, his tenure or position should remain for life,” he stated.
He said it is the position of the people that Dr Alex Anozie, whether Ezeigbo or whatever name called should remain the leader of Ndigbo in Ibadan and Oyo State, adding that the Igbo believe that it is the ancestors that put someone in a position of leadership as distance is not a barrier. He expressed concern that the ancestors might be angered, if traditional institutions are not respected.
The Igwe advised the Igbo in Ibadan, Oyo State and wherever they may be to always respect constituted authorities, traditional institutions and law of the land.