By Tony Edike
ENUGU—Tension is mounting at Amadim-Olo in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State, following the dethronement of the community’s traditional ruler, Igwe Hayford Agana, by Enugu State government for allegedly associating with the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu.
The state government withdrew the certificate of recognition awarded to the traditional ruler who had spent over 14 years on the throne when he reportedly declined to return the assets of Enugu West traditional rulers council, a Toyota Bus and sum of One million naira to the new executive of the council as directed by the Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters, Pastor Emeka Abugu.
The monarch had explained that the bus was not the property of Enugu West Traditional rulers council, saying it was given to him in appreciation of his support to the Deputy Senate President.
He also said the one million naira which Ekweremadu gave to him on the day of delivery of the bus for maintenance was equally shared with other traditional rulers.
Not satisfied with the explanation of the royal father, the state government recently dethroned him and went ahead to appoint another traditional ruler who was issued certificate of recognition two weeks ago.
But the development has caused division among members of the community as some condemned in strong terms the dethronement of the monarch, while others commended the government for the action.
‘Government’s action embarrassing’
A native of the community, Chief Clifford Ezeadi, told Vanguard that the action of the government was not only embarrassing to the community but “a desecration of the traditional institution.”
He said the community was highly insulted by the withdrawal of the recognition granted the monarch many years ago. He said the entire community had nothing against their ruler to warrant such shabby treatment.
“Amadim-Olo views the action of the state government as highly embarrassing and a desecration of the traditional culture of our people.
The government has no right to dethrone traditional rulers because they were not appointed by the government. Traditional rulers are appointed by the people of the communities after necessary traditional rites and it is only the people that can say they don’t want their ruler or he can be replaced in the event of death,” he said.
Chief Ezeadi said the community was in support of the decision by the embattled monarch to seek redress in court “as we believe that justice would be done to enable our traditional ruler regain his throne.”