By Chinonso Alozie
THE indigenes of Amanyi Autonomous community in Ihitte-Uboama Local Government Area of Imo state, have vowed to oppose the alleged plan by some government functionaries to install a monarch against the wishes of their people. The indigenes made the statement in a strongly worded petition, jointly signed by Nze Ignatius Obila and Ichie Okereke Ogbonna, to Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, a copy which was made available to Southeast voice in Owerri.
They alleged that some officials of the Ministry of Community Government Council, CGC, were “extremely” interfering in the matter of who becomes the traditional ruler of the Amanyi autonomous community. They also alleged that the, CGC, officials have “smuggled” themselves into a committee set up by the state government and headed by the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Mr. George Etche, in order to influence the outcome.
The petition stated, “we wish to bring to your attention the very disturbing roles being played by two highly placed officials of your government namely Mr. Sam Okoro, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Government Council, Culture and Traditional Affairs and the Director in the said ministry, Mr. P.U. Onyeukwu, in the ongoing deliberations of the state Ezeship review committee.
“These two officials of the state government, though not members of the Ezeship Review Committee, managed to smuggle themselves into the Committee. With the sole aim of unduly influencing the Committee to recommend their preferred candidate for recognition as the Eze of Amainyi autonomous community against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Amainyi people.
“It is shocking how the permanent secretary of the ministry who had in so many ways worked for the imposition of Stephen Ogwuegbu on Amainyi people became the secretary of the Ezeship review committee. It is noteworthy that it was under the watch of the said permanent secretary and director that the file of Pharm. Emeka Ogbonna, the duly elected Eze-elect of Amainyi autonomous community disappeared from the ministry.
“Your Excellency, Pharm. Emeka Ogbonna, the Eze-elect of Amainyi autonomous community was duly presented by Amainyi people led by Hon Calistus Agumuo who is the President General of the Town Union and the acting Chairman of the CGC in the community. However, when we appeared before the Ezeship Review Committee on the 15 May 2017, his file was nowhere to be found and so could not be attended to by members of the Committee.”
However when Southeast voice contacted the Chairman of the Committee and Secretary to the State Government, Sir George Eche, on the said allegations, he said that there would be no manipulations in the process or any sort of imposition. “We are aware of the activities of some of the officials of the CGC ministry and if they were doing the right thing. There would not have been need by the State Governor to set up the Ezeship Review Committee in the first place. But we are going to make sure that no one manipulates the Committee,” Etche said.
Also reacting, the accused CGC officials denied the allegation, insisting that no one collected money from the contenders or has interest in who emerges as the traditional ruler of Amainyi autonomous community.