…Community petitions Gov. Okorocha
From: GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, OWERRI
There was palpable tension in Amanyi autonomous community in Ihitte-Uboma Council Area of Imo State, on Wednesday, following alleged surreptitious plot by some government officials to impose a monarch on the community.
This was even as prominent leaders of the community have petitioned Governor Rochas Okorocha over the alleged plot by senior officials of the State Ministry of Community Government Council (CGC).
Daily Sun reliably gathered that one Emeka Ogbonna, a Pharmacist had earlier been selected by the Community as a ‘ Eze-elect’, but that his file had mysteriously disappeared from the ministry as part of the alleged plot by the Ministry officials to supplant him with one Dr. Stephen Ogwuegbu.
In a petition jointly signed by Nze Ignatius Obila and Ichie Okereke Ogbonna respectively, alleged that the State Ezeship Review Committee, which was set up by the state government and headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Sir George Eche, have been compromised by the corrupt officials of the CGC ministry who want to cause problem in the community by trying to supplant the name of the community’s choice with another person.
The petition reads , “Your Excellency, we wish to bring to your attention the very disturbing roles being played by two highly placed officials of your government namely, Mr. Sam Okoro the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Government Council, Culture and Traditional Affairs and the Director in the said ministry, Mr. P.U Onyeukwu in the ongoing deliberations of the State Ezeship Review Committee.
“These two officials of the state government, though not members of the Ezeship Review Committee, managed to smuggle themselves into the Committee with the sole aim of unduly influencing the Committee to recommend their preferred candidate for recognition as the Eze of Amainyi autonomous community against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Amainyi people. It is shocking how the Permanent Secretary of the ministry who had in so many ways worked for the imposition of Stephen Ogwuegbu on Amainyi people became the secretary of the Ezeship Review Committee.
It further reads, “it is noteworthy that it was under the watch of the said Permanent Secretary and Director that the file of Pharm. Emeka Ogbonna, the duly elected Eze-elect of Amainyi autonomous community disappeared from the ministry.
“Your Excellency, Pharm. Emeka Ogbonna, the Eze-elect of Amainyi autonomous community was duly presented by Amainyi people led by Hon Calistus Agumuo who is the President General of the Town Union and the acting Chairman of the CGC in the community. However, when we appeared before the Ezeship Review Committee on the 15 May 2017, his file was nowhere to be found and so could not be attended to by members of the Committee. It is on record that the said Permanent Secretary and Director had openly boasted that since they were working for Stephen Oguegbu, they would ensure that the file of the duly Eze-elect, Emeka Ogbonna does not get before the Committee”.
It added further that, “in view of the above, it is our prayer that Stephen Ogwuegbu should be rejected and Pharm. Emeka Ogbonna who was elected in accordance with the amended Ezeship constitution of Amainyi autonomous community should be recognized. There is no doubt that he bears the popular mandate of the people of the community. It is on record that the Ogwuegbu family has through manipulation perpetuated their family on the Amainyi Ezeship throne for 63 years with no record of achievement”.
However, when contacted, Permanent Secretary in the minstry, denied the allegation, insisting that no one collected money from the contenders or has interest in who emerges as the traditional ruler of Amainyi autonomous community.
Also, the Secretary to the state government and Chairman of the committee, Sir George Eche, promised to investigate the allegations, assuring that anyone found compromising the proceedings of the Committee is dealt with, stressing that no one will be imposed on any community against the wish of the people.
According to him, “We are aware of the activities of some of the officials of the CGC ministry and if they were doing the right thing, there would not have been need by the State Governor to set up the Ezeship Review Committee in the first place. But we are going to make sure that no one manipulates the committee”.