10 die in Azia traditional rulership crisis


By Tony Okafor, Awka

No fewer than 10 persons have died in the crisis rocking the tractional stool of Azia in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.

One of the contenders of the community’s traditional stool, Chief Felix Ifeanyimuo disclosed this to The RAZOR NEWSPAPER in an exclusive interview.

Claiming that he was the rightful monarch of the community, Ifeanyimuo said no fewer than 10 persons had died mysteriously since the conflict about the stool began.

He said many people ganging up against him over the stool were getting the repercussions.

He said,”We held election nine years ago and I contested with Prof Titus Eze. We emerged as double Igwes-elect and were presented to governor for him to crown one of us, but later Eze died and I was the one to be crowned and some people have been fighting me since then.

“They have brought several persons to contest the Igweship with me in a fresh election and I said no.

“They have tormented me, fought me with gunmen, bullied me with police, petition everywhere.

“They have been bringing many people and presenting to the government, but they have received the same answer that this is a constitutional meeting and that the community already had Igwe -elect in me.

‘I have even been advised to call a stakeholders peace meeting of Azia people, so that I can appease especially the three people that are behind the problem in the community, which I did.

Continuing, Ifeanyimuo said,” For us to maintain neutrality, the meeting was held in Asaba and they agreed that for peace to reign, they would go an fashion out an agenda that could engender peace in the community.

“But the next thing I saw was that they started circulating letters that the town had agreed to start afresh with a new election process, and to me that was betrayal.

“One of the men lives overseas, I bought his ticket to return for the meeting, the other charged me N500, 000 and others made demands and I paid.

Recall that some red cap chiefs and other stakeholders of the community had last week protested to the Anambra State Government House, Awka, accusing Ifeanyimuo of hijacking the traditional stool of the community.

They alleged that Ifeanyimuo was not qualified to contest the traditional stool of the community according to Azia constitution, because his ( Ifeanyimuo’s) father was still alive.
“Nobody becomes a king above his own biological father in our community.It’s an abomination,” the stakeholders stated.

Dismissing the Azia protesting stakeholders’ claim, Ifeanyimuo said there was nothing like such condition in the community’s constitution, culture, and tradition.

He said,” Assuming but not conceding to the so-called stakeholders’ claims, would that not be repugnant to equity, fairness, justice and good conscience, and against the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ( as amended).?”

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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