From: Petrus Obi, Enugu
Tempers are rising in Mbano Nike community in Enugu East Local government following the humiliation of the traditional ruler, Igwe Edwin Edoga, who was arrested and whisked away by the police in the early hours of Saturday, last weekend.
An enraged President-General of the Mbano Town Union Barr. Ameche Nnamchi, who addressed newsmen at the palace of the traditional ruler said the invasion of the palace by the police was the first of its kind and intentionally done to humiliate the community and its revered traditional stool.
According to him, “Our Igwe did not commit any crime for the police, without any warrant, to invade his palace as early as 7:am when he was still in bed and whisk him away half naked. He was denied access to his phones to at least contact his lawyers and colleagues.
“We are raising the alarm because the police have declared war on this community and we are ready to fight back. Our Igwe is no longer safe, his life is at stake because the police who are supposed to protect him are now the ones hunting him.”
The traditional ruler, who is yet to recover from the shock of his arrest, narrated how he was dumped at the Enugu Police Headquarters until some traditional rulers rallied round and ensured he was granted bail.
He fingered two of his subjects who are policemen for his ordeal; ” my offense is that, in linen with our tradition I ordered that no indigene of the community should attend their fathers’ burial because he had issues with the community before he died.
” Their father encroached into the community land and started claiming ownership of the land; the community refused insisting that the land did not bling to any particular family.
“In the process of dragging the land with the community the man died and in line with our customs the community cannot attend such a burial except his children decides to make peace before his burial.
“As policemen they organized their colleagues to embarrass and humiliate me. I was on bed rest on the instructions of my doctor who advised that I shouldn’t go out for at last one week. They didn’t listen to me but forced me out of my bed half naked and took me away. It is still like a dream. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. But I thank God I am still alive to tell the story.”
Reacting, the Enugu Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu noted that there was an issue that led to the invitation of the traditional ruler insisting that he was not arrested. “He was invited to the station to clarify issues and was later released on bail.”