ENUGU—THE people of Ojoto community in Idemili South Council area of Anambra State recently stormed the Anambra State Government House, Awka, demanding from Governor Willy Obiano to dethrone their monarch, Igwe Gerald Mbamalu over alleged acts they claim were unbecoming of a royal father.
Among the alleged misdeeds of the monarch included that he was not in the first place the popular choice of the people of Ojoto; that he was imposed on the community against the popular choice of Dennis Adindu Okafor. Men and women of the community led by Chief Anthony Uzokwe (Ndi-Omenana leader) and Engr Richard Anyichie (former council chairman and leader o Ojoto elders) told the governor that Mbamalu I, is an illustrious son of Ojoto, but not their Igwe(monarch).
The people who bore placards bearing some points of their grievances protested at the gate of the Anambra Government House, chanting choruses, denouncing the granting of Certificate of Recognition to Mbamalu contrary to the popular choice of the community -that is Dennis Adindu Okafor.
But Igwe Mbamalu dismissed the allegation as baseless and mere blackmail and urged the good people of Anambra state to ignore those he described as political hirelings.
The monarch who spoke through the royal spokesman, Chief Romeo Anyisia dismissed the protest march as a non-issue and embarked upon by those he described as “inconsequential persons out for political mischief”. He spoke on the phone. “No one of relevance in the affairs of Ojoto was in the Awka charade and therefore should be ignored completely”, Anyisia said.
However, the protesters displayed placards some with inscriptions as: “Mbamau is not our Igwe; Ojoto Akanasato popularly chose Dennis Okafor; Thugs and brigands have overrun Ojoto; We need Governor Obiano’s intervention; Mbamalu has (allegedly) desecrated our customs and traditions, he must go”.
The group also accused Mbamalu of publicly unmasking a masquerade at the village square as well as invading a burial ceremony and chasing the mourners and sympathizers away, which sources from the community said happened during the COVID-19 restrictions.
They equally accused the monarch of setting up an illegal special task force squad that go about extorting some members of his subjects, allegations the monarch also denied.
On the strength of all the allegations, the elders and traditionalists who claim to be the custodians of Ojoto customs and tradition, have insisted that Igwe Mbamalu must undergo what they called “a cleansing process to forestall calamitous events befalling on Ojoto families, lives and property”.