Some elders of Agbiligba Nanka Community in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State, have raised the alarm over alleged attempt on their lives by gunmen suspected to be sponsored by some political and religious leaders within the community.
The elders called on the state government, security agencies and the general public to hold Hon Okwudili Ezewankwor; the traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Godwin Ezeilo; the President General of Nanka Patriotic Union, Rev. Cannon John Ezeke and their supporters responsible should anything unpleasant happened to them.
They alleged that they were being threatened with assassination because they refused to dance to their tune, which include letting Okwudili Ezenwankwo’s Uncle to Become the Isinze of Nanka community, a revered traditional title, which the elders said he has not attained the position of holding.
They noted that the Young Progressive Party (YPP) Ward Chairman, late Joseph Mohale, that was gruesomely murdered few days ago by yet-to-be-identified persons after he organised a meeting between the House of Representatives member representing Orumba North/Orumba South Federal Constituency, Chinwe Nnabuife and her Nanka constituency members, was also a victim of the leadership crisis rocking the community over “Isi Nze Tittle”.
They also alleged that late Mohale was not only killed for political reason but for standing on the path of truth, fairness and justice.
The elders raised the alarm while addressing journalists shortly after meeting with the State Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Matters, Tony Collins Nwabunewanne in his office at the Government House Awka, on Tuesday.
Spokesperson for the elders and legal adviser of Nze-n’Ozo Agbiligba title holders, Dr (Barr.) Chidozie Ezeozue, while speaking further on the leadership crisis rocking the community, explained that Isi-Nze Agbiligba Nanka Title remains the bone of contention.
“To be honest with you the media, the community is existing in two factions, one faction is led by the traditional ruler, Igwe Ezeilo and the other is led by us.
“The crisis started when the Igwe led-faction suggested that the Isi-Nze title that had been in existence for over 400 years should be rotational, which our faction rejected it vehemently. Despite our rejection, they went ahead and installed one Chief David Ezewankwor as the new Isi-Nze Agbiligba Nanka without following custom and tradition of the land.
“Isi-Nze position is given based on seniority traditionally and not as political appointment, or age. It is based on the year you were initiated into the Ozo society of Nanka.
“Selection of Isi-Nze Agbiligba Nanka must be done through its usual process. It is done according to seniority not by age but by ranking as Nze-Ozo title holder. Ichie David Ezewankwor is in the second rank, he cannot be Isi-Nze Agbiligba Nanka for now, even in the next 50-years, it will still not be his turn, because we have very senior Ozo title holders.
“Isi-Nze Agbiligba Nanka is not rotational. It’s being controlled by one unit of the community. The selection of Isi-Nze position is not a political office. The tradition has been there for over 400 years.
“For peace to reign in Nanka Community, Ichie David Ezewankwor must step down from the position and allow the rightful owners, who are also his senior, in persons of Rev Fr (Prof.) Romanus Ikechukwu Moneke or Ichie Paul Ezeobi Ejimofor to man the leadership.
“We appeal to the State Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo to come into Nanka Community to checkmate the excesses. We also call on the security agencies to ensure that those behind the killing of the YPP Ward Chairman are brought to book,” Ezeozue added.
The State Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Matters, Tony Collins Nwabunewanne, in his brief response, assured the elders that the government will do everything humanly possible to resolve the tussle amicably.
When THE RAZOR made attempts to reach Hon. Okwudili Ezenwankwor, on his mobile phones for reaction on the accusation that they are the ones fueling the crisis were not successful as at the time of filing this report.