Obiano must hear this: Amanuke community too close to Awka, but too far----Hospitals, schools, roads in shambles as two brothers go to war over traditional stool


Amanuke community, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State is a stone throw from Awka yet too far to Awka. It has been completely cut off. Former Governor Peter Obi gave his words to tar the road to Amanuke but later reneged in the name of continuity promising Governor Willie Obiano would do the roads. But as you read this Amanuke is abandoned and forgotten in all ramifications. Obiano had promised to revisit the roads before the rains return but rains have already returned and campaigns for second term on.
The town located about 10 kilometres north of Awka, the state capital, is plagued in all areas. The residents of the community are in deep agony over lack of basic amenities such as tarred roads, borehole, electric power supply and others.
The ones they built and handed over to the Anambra State government such as hospital, Primary and Secondary Schools and Primary Health Centre, were abandoned.
A cross section of the residents of the community who spoke to newsmen who stormed the community on a fact-finding mission lamented that live has been most miserable for them. But of all the issues raised, the residents of the community told newsmen that the tussle over their traditional stool was their major concern. They said that peace has taken flight from the community.
At the moment, two brothers: Chief Dennis Ezebuilo and his relation (name withheld) are at war over who occupies the throne left by the departed king of the town, Igwe William Ezenwa over 30 years ago.
Chief  Ezebuilo was allegedly approached by the community to be their king which he accepted and was subsequently crowned by the eldest man in the community, Chief Anaemene Nnaama from Umuonala village (now late) in line with their tradition, some influential persons wooed his relation who reportedly never had interest to come in with a promise to make him the king by all possible means. He resigned his plum job in  Anambra local government service to accept the offer.
The Igweship tussle
According to a community leader, Chief Christian Ofora from Umuonala village, the community unanimously crowned Chief Dennis Ezebuilo (popularly known as Ezeuba) as their monarch but few individuals in government imposed his relation on the community which the people rejected.
“There is no peace in this community” he noted. “We have two groups of unequal proportion. Amanuke community unanimously crowned Chief Dennis Ezebuilo as our traditional ruler but few persons who have vowed never to allow this community breath well started fighting the community just because they’re in government” said Ofora.
“The situation in Amanuke is very pathetic. We are in a state of serious war but we are not using weapons. But no war is greater than the one we are fighting in this community. Few elites within the corridors of power have vowed never to allow the community have peace” he further lamented.
Also speaking, Mr Udegbunem Udegbunem from Enuagu village simply said that “Amanuke have crowned Chief Dennis Ezebuilo as their monarch. We don’t have to speak grammar about that.”
Another community leader, Mr Zephaniah Oyemezie from Umuokpala-Eri, Isiogwugwu village, alleged that because the community led by their elders have chosen for themselves who would lead them, some politicians installed their stooge and were using their powers in government to intimidate them.
“The elders of this community under the aegis of Oke-Okpa Amanuke, and Irunese Amanuke invited them to Chief Anaemene’s residence, the eldest man’s house where we usually hold our meeting to explain to us their roles in this community but they came and insulted us. They said that they were in government and as such have powers to do whatever they liked and nothing would happen.”
“The other man, a doctor, insulted us. They abused us and left. One of them called himself  Mkpala , ‘’the cane that flogs Amanuke community’’. And he did actually. On their instruction, the police invaded my house in a commando style.”
“I wasn’t around that day. We had to go there to know where we have erred. But the police chiefs, considering our ages and the allegations they levelled against us, laughed and told us to go home.”
Speaking further, Mr Angus Dike (Nnawulu) decried the level of decay in the community which he blamed on the tussle over traditional stool. He also decried that the N20 million Choose-Your-Project Initiative of the state government was hijacked by their detractors to build civic centre even when the community had earlier built four of it through communal efforts.
A woman leader who pleaded anonymity told newsmen that Chief Dennis Ezebuilo was crowned by the community as their monarch because of his good deeds targeted at moving the community forward.
“In 2014, he offset the bills of WAEC, NECO and school fees of our SS3 students which amounted to about N700,000. He also provided electric poles and high tension cables which ran from Oraukwu village down to Enuagu and Anyabala which worth several millions of naira.”
“He has equally empowered some youths to start the business of their own and lifted the financial burden of some people in need both here in the rural area and township. He supports sporting activities in this community every year. I think the community considered these things before they approached him to be their king” she added.
Dilapidated hospitals, schools, roads
When newsmen visited the Amanuke General Hospital, it was deserted and overgrown by bushes. The massive compound contained a 2-storey building and five bungalows estimated at about 150 beds capacity.
From the ground to the top floor, the facility contained no single hospital equipment. Domestic animals’ and human excreta, as well as skeleton of dead animals littered the floor.
Residents told our reporter that the dilapidated facility has been turned to a brothel of sort as hoodlums engage in immoral activities in it. The bungalows have been beseeched by termites even as a tractor belonging to FADAMA III Project allegedly pulled down its fence.
The hospital was constructed through communal effort from 1978 to 1983 and handed over to the government. It was commissioned by the then governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, who was represented by his Commissioner for Health, Dr Ralph Rochas Obi.
The same was the story with the Primary Health Centre in the community. About 2 bungalows in it have collapsed completely while the remaining others are in shambles. The only manageable block was empty without any equipment. There were neither health workers nor patients in it to speak to the newsmen.
At the community’s Secondary School, about 9 buildings were in decrepit condition out of 12 in it. The 2 blocks housing corps members serving in the area are not good for human habitation.
Mrs Grace Okafor from Umueze village told journalists that the residents are living in agony over the decrepit condition of the town. She lamented that it has been over 20 years their General hospital was abandoned by the government.
“Our roads, hospital, primary health centre, secondary school, market and others are all dilapidated” she remarked.
“Amanuke community is one of the major food baskets of Anambra State but we have never received any form of support from the government. We only hear that government supports agriculture only on radio.”
Another resident, Mrs Uju Onwunili, from Eziama Quarters lamented that “Some of us go to faraway Okpuno community of about 8 kilometres in Awka South to register for antenatal because our hospitals are no longer functioning.”
The pioneer Transition Committee Chairman for Awka North council area, Hon. Ebenezer Okafor, lamented that their roads especially the one leading to Awka was a nightmare.
Meanwhile, all calls and text messages to the Commissioner for Information in the state, Ogbuefi Tony Nnacheta, to respond to these issues were neither answered nor replied.


Obiano must hear this: Amanuke community too close to Awka, but too far----Hospitals, schools, roads in shambles as two brothers go to war over traditional stool Obiano must hear this: Amanuke community too close to Awka, but too far----Hospitals, schools, roads in shambles as two brothers go to war over traditional stool Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Saturday, April 22, 2017 Rating: 5

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