By Dayo Johnson
Akure—A seeming crisis is brewing among the Igbo community in Akure, the Ondo State capital over the plan to install a rival Eze Ndigbo by the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi.
Consequently, some concerned Igbo leaders in the state have raised alarm that if care was not taken the unpopular decision would pitch the community against their host community and the traditional ruler.
A statement signed by their spokesmen Messrs James Chukwujekwu and Samuel Maduka on behalf Concerned Igbo Indigenes in Akure said that the plan may disrupt the existing peace in the state capital.
Chuckwujekwu and Maduka said Sir Gregory Iloehika has been elected as Eze Ndigbo by the entire Igbo communities in the state since August 2011 and any attempt to appoint another leader for the community may lead to crisis.
The spokesmen said: “We wish to reiterate that the presence of the Igbos which led to the emergence of Igbo association call Ndigbo has existed for long in Ondo State over nine decades.
“It has been the practice of the Igbo community to democratically elect who is to lead them at any point in time.
“Iloehika the incumbent Eze Ndigbo of Ondo State was elected by all the Igbo after he won a validly contested poll on the 10th of August, 2011 and based on the practice and procedure of the Igbos within the state he was installed by Ndigbos in the state.
“We are not unaware that some anti-democratic elements and their allies mapped out series of antics to forestall the long lasting peace for which the Igbo are known within and outside the state.
“However, there are speculations that some faceless characters are presenting one of them to the Deji of Akure land to be installed as Asiwaju of Igbo or Onyendu as against the interest of the entire Igbo within Ondo State.
“We are advising the Deji-in-Council and the relevant authorities to be wary of these characters whose intention is to truncate the existing peace enjoyed by both the Igbos and host communities in the state.”
“We are using the opportunity to call the attention of the relevant security agencies and Deji-in-Council to stop any attempt that can lead to breach of existing peace in the state and Akure in particular.”