The traditional ruler of Amichi community in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Ofobuike Ezeoke, has insisted that there is no division, no vacancy and no contest for the traditional stool of Amichi.
The monarch also maintained that he is not aware of his alleged dethronement or the enthronement of another traditional ruler to take over from him, adding that ascension to the Amichi traditional stool is based on primogeniture, from the forefathers to the occupier.
Ezeoke added that the right to the traditional stool is not something anybody can take through coup, stealing, brute force, or through the courts.
He warned that anybody involved in unnecessary contest to dethrone him is evoking the wrath and challenging the gods of the land and must be ready to face the consequences of their action.
Addressing journalists in his palace in Amichi, on Monday, Ezeoke, a legal practitioner in Nigeria and United States of America, dismissed the purported enthronement of his cousin as the new traditional ruler by some few individuals in the community, describing it as exercise in futility.
He added that such does not happen in Anambra State and he cannot honour the perpetrators with any engagement or even court action, because they are on a wild goose chase.
It was gathered that some members of the community, had allegedly crowned a relation of the sitting traditional ruler in a secret ceremony, alleging that he hardly stay in Nigeria, because of his legal practice in United States.
However, the tradition ruler, Igwe Ezeoke, dismissed their claims, saying that he has long relocated to Nigeria and Anambra State in particular, adding that he only visits the United States to see his family and also tidy up some legal activities that can’t be delegated to his workers, the same practice he applies here in Nigeria in his legal firm.
He said, “Some people attempted a coup against my stool, yes basically it was an attempted coup. A coup is a take over of a government by force. That was what they did and failed and coup in Nigeria is against the law.
“I heard what every other person heard, just like you heard that some people in the community crowned another Igwe, to me, it is a laughable thing that does not deserve any attention because doing that will be dignifying illegality, I can’t explain whatever it was that they did, but what is clear is that Amichi has only one traditional ruler who is His Royal Highness Igwe Dr Barr. Ofobuike Alphonsus Ezeoke, (Igwe Eneke Amichi)
“As far as I know, trying to illegally remove the traditional ruler or enthroning another one to force him out of office is not obtainable in Anambra State, otherwise other towns will be doing it. Somebody can’t just get up and say I have been crowned and now the Igwe of whatever community, the person or group is only inviting crisis if they do that.
“One thing that is clear is that Amichi rulership or traditional stool ascension is based on primogeniture, from your forefathers before it gets to you and I can trace it back before it got to me. I can trace it from Ezikeoliaku who was the first son of Obiagu, he ruled until his death, and his son Umennuihe took over and ruled until his death, then his first son Ezeoke took over and ruled until his demise, his son Umeohimili took over and ruled until his death, then his first son, my father, Alphonsus Unennanyelugo took over and after the death of my father I took over as his first son, so there is clearly no contest to the throne.
“I was already a practicing lawyer in United States of America when Amichi community selected me to succeed my late father, who died in 1979 and I have been on this throne for 18 years now, I’m the custodian of the Ofor of Amichi, (Symbol of Authority) nobody can just come and say he want it from me.
“I also have the Certificate of Recognition from the state government, there is no other place in Amichi that you can trace the history and say this people were the Obi or Igwe at a certain time before it was stolen, forcefully taken from them through the Court or anything like that, was used to take it away from them, so nobody can take it away from me, I did not crown myself, the community crowned me.
“Amichi Obiship or Igweship is not determined by a group of people that says we don’t like the face of the person on the throne, and we want another person, it is based on stipulated tradition, so the few individuals who purportedly engaged in that shameful journey of enthroning a new Igwe are wasting their time, I can’t honour them with any engagement or Court action, I won’t even arrest them with police or any law enforcement agency, they will answer to the gods of the land.”