By Vincent Ujumadu
THE people of Abatete in Idemili North local government area of Anambra State have accused their traditional ruler, Igwe Chinyelugo Efobi of abandoning them and living comfortably in the United States of America, USA, while security operatives have been killing their youths over allegation of belonging to cult groups.
They allege that while security operatives have been raiding the community almost on daily basis and harassing innocent youths going about their legitimate businesses, there were no leaders to defend them.
Recently, some angry youths protested in all the villages in the community during which they torched houses of some of the absentee leaders, including the palace of the traditional ruler.
But the traditional ruler, in a zoom meeting with other leaders of the community, promised to institute reforms, including making youths relevant in the affairs of his domain.
However, addressing reporters at Abatete, one of the leaders of the community, Chief Emmanuel Nwachukwu, who is the Obi of Ogbu Quarters in the area said there is a leadership gap in the community because the Igwe, the traditional prime minister and the President General are all living abroad and there is nobody to coordinate governance in the community.
He said that the last time he sighted the Igwe in Abatete was six years ago, adding that the absence of the traditional ruler was denying them so many things.
Nwachukwu said: “It is lack of quality leadership that is responsible for the insecurity in our community. What should our people expect when the traditional ruler of Abatete and the traditional prime minister live in America, while the President General lives in Delta State?
” If they are around, they would have addressed and appeased our youths when they embarked on protests following the killing of two of their colleagues by security operatives. But because there was nobody to address them, the youths paraded with a dead body in the villages and we’re later arrested.
” There was a similar killing in the past and nothing was done, which was perhaps why the youths said they could no longer endure it. And it was after the protest that many of them were arrested by the police and most of them remained in detention for more than two weeks over allegation of malicious damage.
” Our youths are really angry because there is lack of leadership in Abatete.”
A youth leader, Mr. Chukwuebuka Ntukogu observed that there would not have been any demonstration if Abatete leaders were around.
He described as improper a situation where the people of Abatete do not meet to decide on issues affecting the community as being done in other areas.
Apparently worried by the ugly situation in his domain, Igwe Efobi, in a communique he signed with the secretary of his cabinet, Chief Nnaebue Iloegbunam promised to overhaul the security architecture in the community with a view to decentralizing security to give the youths more roles in the four quarters of Abatete.