–as community commends Obiano’s strides in community development
By Lawrence Nwimo
Stakeholders in Ugbene Community, Awka North local government area of Anambra state have said that there is no crisis in their community, but complete peace and love for the progress and development of their community.
The stakeholders led by the President General of the Community, Chief Emmanuel Nwude made their views known after an emergency meeting last weekend to review a report in the Sun Newspaper sponsored by people they described as detractors of the peace and progress of the community.
The stakeholders included the youth organizations as well as the entire Umuada women group.
The stakeholders said what the detractors of the progress in Ugbene referred as tension in the community is laughable and unimaginable, referring to them as aliens to happenings in Ugbene community.
They maintained that all the due process to conduct the Igweship election by the town union was observed to the later, as the PG announced for the election on 19th October, 2019 that election would hold on 26th, and on that day government and security organizations monitored the election. They added that all the village chairmen congratulated the Igwe elect.
The stakeholders insisted that Ugbene remained a haven of peace, tranquillity and safety, adding that love, kindness and affection reign supreme in the community, against the picture of violence detractors are painting about their community.
The stakeholders informed that there was no conspiracy in the community as alleged in some quarters to enthrone a traditional ruler as the community already elected a traditional ruler in accordance with the constitution of the community as monitored by the state Government.
The stakeholders said the community collectively elected Chief Sampson Mkpuora Chimakwa, a Lagos-based furniture manufacturer and one-time President-General of Ugbene Town Union its traditional ruler and crowned him as Ezu-Ukwu II of Ugbene-Akodu, by the kingmakers led by the oldest man in the community, Ozo Aaron Agumadu who is also the head of Ozo Title Society.
They said Chief Chimakwa emerged victorious with ten votes, the highest in the keenly contested election which took place at the Ugbene Central School field.
The event was witnessed by the President-General of the town union, Chief Emmanuel Nwude; Secretary-General of the town union, Emmanuel Ibeh and three representatives from each of the six villages.
They asked those alleging all kinds of things against the community to stop sulking and accept the election of the new traditional ruler, Ezu-Ukwu of Ugbene-Akodu, Chief Sampson Chimakwa for the community to continue from where late Ezu-Ukwu Ugbene Akodu, His Royal Highness Simon Nnalue stopped when he died in 2014.
The stakeholders maintained that all the positive attributes the community is known with like camaraderie, love and respect for one another among others are on the rise following a renewed commitment and dedication championed by the new traditional ruler, Ezu-Ukwu of Ugbene-Akodu, Chief Sampson Chimakwa.
The stakeholders commended Governor Willie Obiano, the state Commissioner for Local government and Chieftaincy Matters, Greg Obi for the restoration of peace to the community sequel to the approval for the election of their traditional ruler in a free and fair contest.
They said the crowning of the new monarch brought to an end the five year old vacancy and rivalry in Ugbene royal throne.
They discouraged ‘haters’ of the current peace and progress in Ugbene community to stop painting the community in bad light because of their selfish reasons as it pays no one any good.
They urged members of the community to continue to show love to the community if they truly love themselves.
They were warned to stop spreading falsehood against the community in the media by portraying their people as war mongers and lairs simply because their desire weren’t met during the Igweship election of their community.
Three other contenders to the throne were Mr. Okechukwu Okoye with two votes, Chief Jonas Urebe Okeluo with one vote and Chief Aaron Onwelukwue with one vote respectively. They said the people of the community through their kingmakers numbering 21 constitutionally selected to vote on behalf of the six villages that make up the community elected Chief Chimakwa as the new monarch.
They wondered why an election monitored by a team of government officials led by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Chieftaincy matters and community affairs, Chief Sir Benjamin Umerah in accordance with the constitution of the community should be seen as null and void by some losers in the election adjudged free and fair by other observers concerned aside the losers.
They urged the people of the community to join hands and support the newly elected traditional ruler as he needs only their maximum support to excel and also maintain the already existing peace in the community.
The Ugbene stakeholders appealed to those who lost in the election ordered by a High Court in Awka which they took the community to vide Suit No: A/427/2016 through Mr Jonas Okelue Urebe and Mr Emmanuel Ifesinachi Okoye as applicants, for themselves and on behalf of other indigenes of Umualor village, Ugbene town to allow peace exist in the town rather than run to the media daily to run the community down because their candidate or themselves did not win in the election.
Justice D. A. Onyefulu ordered that it was the right of Umualor, the oldest and most senior village to produce the new monarch which would succeed the late Igwe Simon Nnalue who joined his ancestors in 2014.
Justice D.A. Onyefulu had in 2017 asked: “That in accordance with the constitution of Ugbene-Akodu community finally read, adopted and sealed on 18/4/2006, it is the right of Umualor village as the oldest and most senior village to produce the next traditional ruler, “Ezu- Ukwu” of Ugbene-Akodu community.
Office of the Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters authorized the election.
The stakeholders asked the public to ignore the rantings and petitions by Mr Emmanuel Ifesinachi Okoye and his cohorts painting the community black for their selfish reasons.
The traditional ruler, Chief Sampson Mkpuora Chimakwa in his remarks informed that the throne is for one person and since it pleased God that the community supported him to be the traditional ruler of the Ugbene now, others who lost in the contest should give him all the support to perform his duties rather than the unnecessary distractions currently obtainable. He wondered why his opponents were crying wolf where none existed.
He encouraged his opponents and all lovers of the community to give peace a chance since the election that threw him up observed all the constitutional provisions for electing a monarch in Ugbene community with strict compliance to government directives.
He lamented on why people do not accept defeat adding that: ‘’two of the defeated aspirants have gone to court, so, why not let me be and await the outcome of the court’’.
” I am honoured to be elected as the traditional ruler of Ugbene Community. It is not easy for a community to conduct a peaceful election where all the candidates are satisfied with the outcome. At the end of the election, every indigene of the community was in jubilant mood showing that I did not emerge from the back door. Likewise when I was the President General of the community, it was the people that beckoned on me to be their PG.
“The people did not elect me because of my power but due to the character they saw in me. I never expected being the new Igwe of Ugbene but it is God that Crowns king” he said.
He assured the people that his tenure will attract development of the community but urged them to join hands and support his tenure so as to move the community forward.
Auditor General of Ugbene Progressive Union, Chief Agbatu Emeka , Osuofia Ugbene and the Town union secretary, Hon. Ibe Emmanuel Esq as well as a former President General of the community , Chief Albert Ibe described the election of Chimakwa as historic adding that it is a privilege to witness a new Igwe in the community after some years without one.
They informed that the election was very peaceful and bereft of crisis and rancour and commended delegates sent by Governor of Anambra state, Chief Willie Obiano, to ensure peaceful and successful completion of the election.
They said that the constitution stipulated that there will be an electoral college which were duly selected as adhoc committee for the election and they performed well.
Also, a member of the king makers from Enuagu village of the community, Chief Nwune David, said that the community expects the Igwe- elect to deliver to the people dividends of good leadership.
The stakeholders made a passionate appeal to the state government to expedite action in giving the newly crowned monarch a chieftaincy certificate and staff of office, while appealing for attention to the ongoing rehabilitation of Amansea-Ebenebe-Ugbene-Ugbenu-Awba Ofemmili road with a spur to Ugbene.