Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
A 99-year old man, Pa Sylvester Ezekwueme, has decried an alleged plot to demolish his ancestral house at Ugwuakwu village, Umuchu community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra state, to pave the way for an access road.
He said more worrisome was the fact that it did not occur to the faceless individuals that the ancestral house in question was erected over 150 years ago by his ancestors.
According to an impeccable source close to members of Ezekwueme family, those behind the plot might not be serious knowing fully well that the Transition Committee Chairman for Aguata Local Government Council, Mr. Echezona Ezeibe, would not endorse the plot, especially when there were other virgin plots of lands to be used as registered individual access road.
However, the speculation became clearer when suddenly, a sign post was mounted in front of Pa Ezekwueme’s house with bold inscription: “Aguata LGA, approved Jude Ohizu road.”
The ugly development sparked off fear and condemnation by the people in the area who described the action as a total disrespect to Pa Ezekwueme and his family.
According to an indigene who pleaded anonymity, “the rich have refused to allow the poor to have a breathing space. Governor Willie Obiano and the Aguata council Chairman, Hon Echezona Ezeibe, should intervene immediately.”
Also a youth leader in the area who simply identified himself as Maduka, said that, “money makes some people mad but they don’t know that there is always God.
“It is just a plot against the Ezekwueme family because we all know that the approval was given out of ignorance of the remote cause why the faceless people behind the project refused to be present even when they are not ghosts.”
Consequently, Pa Ezekwueme had reportedly petitioned the council Chairman, Chief Echezona Ezeibe, urging him to ignore and withdraw the approval purportedly issued for the planned construction of the road as it was the handiwork of enemies of his family.
In the family petition he and three others, Godwin Ezekwueme, Simon Ezekwueme and Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme, urged the council chairman to remove the sign post and call the perpetrators to order.
“We appeal to you most passionately to revoke with uttermost urgency, the Jude Ohizu road as its progenitors did that in bad faith,” the statement read in part.
Meanwhile, Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO) Anambra State has issued a 14-day ultimatum to Governor Willie Obiano to call the transition chairman of Aguata LGA to order on his bid to convert the family house of Pa Sylvester Ezekwueme.
CLO sent a petition signed by the Secretary of CLO in the state Mr. Cyril Mbah, and copied to governor Obiano, the transitional chairman of Aguata, Anambra State Commissioner of Police, State Director of DSS, Anambra State Commissioner of Local Government as well as the Commissioner for Information.
The group said that if within 14 days the Anambra State governor did not act to stop the local government from going on with the road project which according to its investigation was improper as there were several options for the local government to continue the road project, that it would mobilise all the civil right groups, artisans and pensioners in the state to protest against the local government for not doing the needful.
But when contacted, the transitional chairman of Aguata LGA, Chief Ezeibe, said nobody would stop the local government from going on with what he described as a laudable project of the local government.