By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKAâ€”PEACE in Ihembosi community in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State is being threatened, as some leaders of thought in the area have written Governor Peter Obi,Â notifying him of their decision to dethrone their traditional ruler, Igwe Jerry Okoli over allegation of desecrating the customs and traditions of the community.
They have also served the traditional ruler a letter of impeachment dated June 29, 2009.
In two separate letters originating from the Ihembosi Progress Assembly (IPA),Â by Chief Dr. I.G. Nnubia, Nze K.C. Ewuzie Prof A.U.J. Kanem, Ichie F.N.D. Nwosu and Ajie Mathias Uzokwe, President General, Secretary General, Traditional Prime Minister, Secretary of Traditional Council and Deputy Traditional Prime Minster respectively, they accused the traditional ruler of desecrating the customs and traditions of the community.
â€œIt is with hearts wounded and bleeding that Ihembosi Progress Assembly and the entire people of Ihembosi in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State notify you of the regrettable but unavoidable dethronement of Jerry Okoli, as the traditional ruler of Ihembosi with immedaite effect,â€ they said.
They alleged that in the past ten years of the traditional rulerâ€™s reign, the community has not known peace, adding that what they had experienced discord and lack of agreement, which they claimed was caused by him.
â€œThe climax of his woes is his conspiracy with one Nsioma Kindred and the Ekwusigo Police Command to destroy the ancestral home of Ihembosi called Olulo. The traditional and ancient trees that used to be a tourist attraction in Ihembosi were cut down and carried away, while 14 principal deities were completely destroyed, including Ogunzu Ulasiâ€, their letter stated.
But the embattled traditional ruler dismissed the petitioners, saying that they refused to account for the money given to the community by the state government for developmental purposes.
He said on June 13, 2009 during the IPA general meeting, he asked the President General and his executive, whose tenure had allegedly expired, to give account of N800,000 given to the community in 2007 and N1.5 million in 2009 by Anambra state government and to defend the expenditure of the 2008 New Yam Festival of the community, which they could not, adding that instead, they resorted to threatening him with dethronement and impeachment.