Celebration in Enugu community over suspension of traditional ruler

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State

The Ihekwuenu Aku Autonomous Community in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State on Wednesday went into jubilation over the suspension of its Traditional Ruler, Igwe Christopher Okwor.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state Government on Tuesday suspended the embattled royal father, following the alleged breakdown of law and order in the community.

It was learnt that the situation resulted from the demolition of a two-bedroom apartment being built by a philanthropist in the area, Mr Okechukwu Ezeamagu, for a 65-year-old indigent man, living with disability.

The demolition was reportedly carried out by thugs allegedly on the order of the traditional ruler.

NAN reports that following the news of his suspension, the community went agog with celebration.

The natives, numbering at least 300, took to the major roads in the community down to the village square and markets, with placards, chanting songs of praise to God and Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

The inscriptions on some of the placards read: “His Excellency, thank you for suspending Christopher Okwor because he is an anarchist.”

“Ihekwuenu community does not want Christopher Okwor as Igwe again, he is into land grabbing.”

“Christopher Okwor is using his position to cause mayhem in our community.”

“We need peace in our community and for peace to reign, we do not want Christopher Okwor as our traditional ruler again.”

“We want a new traditional ruler that will carry everybody along and move the community forward,” among others.

The spokesman of the jubilant crowd, Mr Ogadinma Odo, told newsmen that the community received the news of the suspension with joy.

Odo said the royal father had been “a thorn on our flesh” because of his high handedness and intimidation.

“Everybody in our community is happy that he has been suspended.

“We are surprised that a man, who is supposed to be the custodian of peace, tradition and culture, is busy fomenting trouble and exploiting the community,” he said.

According to him, Okwor went to extreme recently, “when he hired thugs to demolish a two-bedroom apartment being built for a blind man by a philanthropist from the community.

“It’s this demolition and the reaction it generated that led to his suspension by the Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs on Tuesday.

“The community will be happier, if he will finally be removed so we can have a replacement that will be a peacemaker and bridge-builder,” Odo said.

The visually impaired man, Mr Anibueze Nnadi, whose house was demolished, thanked the state government for its prompt intervention.

Nnadi expressed optimism that justice would prevail at the end of the government’s investigation into the matter.

“I know that my God is alive and He will fight for me, knowing that I am a helpless, poor blind man.

“I know that with God on my side, victory is mine and nobody can forcefully take away my ancestral land from me,” he said.