Umuoti kingmakers saddled with the responsibility of crowning and installing a new traditional ruler in Abacha, Idemili South Council of Anambra State, have rejected Godwin Odiegwu as the Igwe-elect of the community, alleging that they were sidetracked in the process.
The Guardian gathered that 88-year-old suspended Traditional Prime Minister of Abacha, Ichie P.N. Omofia, crowned Odiegwu to replace the suspended monarch, Igwe G.B.C. Mbakwe, whose certificate of recognition was among the three withdrawn by the state government recently.
The certificate withdrawal, it was gathered, precipitated the move by the group opposed to the embattled Mbakwe to throw up a new Igwe, which allegedly breached Section 4 (a) and (b) of the Abacha Igweship Constitution that stipulated 60 days to pick a successor.
Addressing the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters at the Government House, Awka, the spokesman of Umuoti Kindred Kingmakers, Chief Emmanuel Agharike, said the kingmakers, who also double as the Ezeani of the community, saw the exercise as futile, an insult on them and desecration of tradition.
Apart from the kingmakers, the kinsmen of the new monarch, represented by a senior lecturer in Hematology, College of Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Dr. Chukwujekwu Odiegwu, dissociated from the said crowning, saying they were not in support of the process of his emergence.
Dr. Odiegwu, who is a cousin to the embattled monarch, threatened to change his surname, if government failed to call his Igwe-elect brother to order, pointing out that the dissident group led by the suspended 88-year-old Onowu simply decided to pick one of their own to continue in their alleged shady land deals opposed by Mbakwe.
“If Igwe Mbakwe had committed an offence and government does not yield to several apologies from concerned indigenes and other prominent citizens, the process of Abacha Igweship Constitution must be followed to the spirit and letter in the choice of his successor,” he said.
He frowned upon the alleged imposition of the controversial Igwe-elect, whom he said was on a vengeance mission, having lost the stool to Mbakwe in the past.
“If Igwe Mbakwe was suspended, that is okay, and there are moves for reconciliation and forgiveness. But if they fail, and the stool is vacant, government should publish it in a newspaper and due process of installation of a new traditional ruler must be followed. I can’t subscribe to illegality,” he added.
The palace secretary, while disclosing that the Onowu Omofia and Onowu were still serving their suspension from the cabinet, pointed out that the crowning of Odiegwu as the new Igwe-elect could not stand, as it breached Section 4 (a) and (b) of the Abacha Igweship Constitution.