February 6, 2017

Deji of Akure Vs Eze Ndigbo crisis deepens

Deji of Akure Vs Eze Ndigbo crisis deepens

L-R: Chief Izuchukwu Nwajiaku, the Ezendigbo Na Malaysia, their guard, Lolo Izuchukwu Nwajiaku, wife of Ezendigbo, at the Coronation of Ezendigbo, Ofala festival in Malaysia

By Dayo Johnson
Akure—THE crisis over  the Eze Ndigbo leadership  in Ondo State deepened weekend as the Deji of Akureland, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi issued a month notice to the erstwhile bearer of the title, Gregory Ilohehika to consider accepting the title of “Igbo Leader” (Onyendu Ndigbo) in place of  the proscribed Eze Ndigbo title.

A letter to the effect has been forwarded to Ilohehika from the monarch.

Onyendu Ndigbo is the new approved traditional title for any Igbo leader in Akure and its environ.

The   Chief Press Secretary to the traditional ruler, Micheal Adeyeye, said yesterday that; “A month notice has been communicated to Mr. Gregory Ilohehika to accept this in good fate taking effect from February 1, 2016.

“Based on the amendment, Mr. Gregory has been advised to apply in writing for this new title if he is still interested.

‘’Failure to comply with this directive shall amount to rejection of the new title.

“In view of the possible rejection of the new title, the Igbo community shall produce another leader  at the expiration of the ultimatum.

“His Majesty remains committed to ensuring peaceful and harmonious relationship with the Igbo community and all other non-indigenes in Akure Kingdom.’’

But, the Igbos in their reaction said; “We have considered the title of Eze Ndigbo as adopted by the Igbos outside Igbo land as sacrosanct and non-negotiable and that the title is widely recognized and used both within and outside Nigeria as approved by the association of Ndieze Ndigbo N’uzo Ije and Onaneze Ndigbo worldwide which are the parent bodies.”

The Igbo Community spoke through the President and the state Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chiefs Okechukwu Okorie and Alloy I.K Anoliefo in Akure.

“It was unanimously agreed that the Igbos in Ondo State as a body is standing by the position of the parent bodies on the use of the title as adopted by the Igbos in diasporas, and that Sir Gregory Iloehika having been installed remain the only recognized Eze Ndigbo,” the statement said.

They said the leadership of Iloehika as the Eze is not limited to Akure, the state capital but to all the 18 Local Government areas of the state as he was duly elected in keenly contested election by the entire Igbo in the state.

They warned the Igbos wherever they may be living to respect their host communities and not engage in any act that can bring the Ohaneze Ndigbos name into disrepute.