The crisis has stalled the installation of the traditional ruler since the demise of the late Oluoha, Dr. Comas Okechukwu, who died in 2017.
The state government recently instituted a panel headed by Mr. Paul Odenigbo, a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) to hold a public hearing on the crisis.
Odenigbo, who presided over the hearing on Wednesday, said the state government was determined to resolve the crisis in the community and restore lasting peace. He told members of the community, from the two contending factions that only the truth could help the panel ascertain the rightful person to ascend the community’s throne.
According to him, the panel will ensure that the right recommendations are made to the state government.
“Government is determined to end the crisis in your community, and only the truth can help us resolve the problem. I am sure that Ihiala people love peace, and we will ensure that this panel makes the right recommendations to the state government to help it settle the crisis in Ihiala amicably,” Odenigbo said.
The seven-man panel, which consists of eminent traditional rulers and government functionaries in the state, also held separate closed door meetings with leaders from both factions.
Odenigbo, who declined interview from journalists, said that details of the meeting would form its recommendations to the state government.
Leaders of the community, who had earlier submitted copies of their memoranda, expressed confidence in the composition of the panel to resolving the crisis in their community. The two persons, Thomas Obidiegwu and Azuka Alagwu both from Umunnebogbu community of Ihiala, are laying claim to the traditional stool. (NAN)