By Enyim Enyim
ONITSHAâ€”The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe weekend, granted amnesty to some erring Onitsha indigenes, allegedly ostracised by the community for acts capable of destabilising the corporate existence of the town.
In a statement,Â titled â€œProclamation of General Amnestyâ€ read by the monarchÂ to the people of Onitsha in his Ime Obi Palace, Achebe saidÂ the amnesty was in line with his declaration at his first Azu-Ofala Festival, held on 11 October 2002, when he ascended the throne.
â€œAt my Azu – Ofala on 11October 2002, I declaredÂ that peace and reconciliation based on truth and transparency asÂ the foundation for sustainable development, would be the defining theme of my era on the throne of Ezechima,â€ he said.
However, reacting to the Igweâ€™s amnesty, one of the ostracised persons, Mr Chudi Obieze, and lawyer to two of those who contested the throne with Achebe, Nwamulunama Onyejiekwe and Chief Godwin Odukwe, said they were not criminals to be granted amnesty, describing the gesture as an insult to him, his clients and all those purportedly ostracised by the community.
Achebe noted that his regime started well on the journey to re-inventÂ OnitshaÂ and have achieved modest gains at re-inventing themselves as a people and building peace and reconciliation within their community.