By Enyim Enyim
ORAUKWU—The tussle for the traditional stool of Oraukwu community has taken a turn for the worse as two monarchs have emerged in spite of issuance of Certificate of Recognition to one of the contestants, Dr. Emeka Onuorah by the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano.
Last week Wednesday, the supporters of one of the contestants, Pius Ezedigbo Okoye marched to Government House, Awka to protest what they described as selection of Onuorah as the traditional ruler of the community.
Barely 24 hours (Thursday), after the peaceful protest, the state Governor issued a certificate of recognition to Onuorah in his private residence at Oraukwu.
In a meeting with his supporters in his Ezennaja country home on weekend (Saturday), Okoye and his group insisted that in spite of what the Governor had done, Okoye remained the elected traditional ruler of the community, having scored 535 votes against 15 votes scored by Onuorah in an election conducted by the Community Caretaker Committee empowered by the 1986 constitution of the community to conduct the election.
But in a swift reaction, Onuorah while addressing newsmen on the issue said there was no election as claimed by Okoye and his group, saying that in a situation where there was one candidate, the candidate according to the custom and tradition of the community undergoes screening and thereafter ,he will be presented to the Reagent in Council and if he qualifies, he emerges as Igwe as was his case.
“The Igweship in Oraukwu is rotatory and this is the first time we are talking about election for Igwe in this community. We have had five traditional rulers without election.
“It is not true that I came last in an election. I never participated in it. I was not involved in any election. Okechukwu that had 20 votes was not involved in any election. It is the Reagent in Council that has the power to conduct the Igweship election. I was not informed of any election neither was Okechukwu informed and that was why we wrote petitions to the state government.”
He added that the purported election was no election as even the Chairman and the Secretary of the committee set up by Secretary to the state government were not present at the said election.
Onuorah said a Reconciliation Committee that will have members from the three villages in the community had been set up to reconcile all aggrieved persons to ensure the development of the community.
The Okoye group resolved to contest their matter in a law court, saying that the Governor’s action was illegal because he did not consult the Caretaker Committee before installing Igwe Obiorah.
“What the Governor has done amount to insult to the community. It is not good and we shall go to court to seek redress.