Human Interest

Nanka: Associating me with sand mining height of denigration – Igwe

Human interest

The traditional Ruler of Nanka in Orumba North Local government area of Anambra State, Igwe Godwin Ezeilo has described the allegation of his involvement and that of President General of Nanka in illegal sand mining as height of denigration and insensitivity to his throne and the people of his kingdom.

Igwe Ezeilo made the statement on Friday shortly after appearing before the Anambra State House Committee on Public Petition to answer questions on his involvement in illegal sand mining.
Some people from Amakor village in Nanka had petitioned the Anambra State House of Assembly alleging that the monarch and PG of the community are involved in sand mining against governor Soludo directive.

The Monarch said it is very sad and painful that some people could concoct such an allegation and put his name and that of the PG of the community.

“Some people just levelled allegation against me and our PG of excavating sand against the governor’s orders of banning sand mining. It is too bad and we cannot continue to take it.

“The so called mining site has no road to carry out sand. No motor can go there . Their allegation is defametory to my character and my throne. How can I be mining sand, what kind of insult is that?
ABS has gone there and did a story that there is no sand mining taking place at the place yet they went ahead to make the false allegation against me” he said.

He stated that the truth is that the village is using the allegation of sand mining as a precursor to getting the Traditional Prime Minister ‘Onuwu’ Nanka.

According to him, Nanka has a constitution which it operates and it specifically states the condition for the emergence of Onowu which is not invested in him.

He said that, they cannot be looking for Onowu and mandate it on the Igwe to do it for them, noting that it is only the town union constitution that can give the Onowu position to anybody.

Obu Nanka said that Onowu Nanka issue is being handled by the cabinet members and not Igwe, stating that igwe is just an observer in the selection of Onowu.

“I am not among those eligible to vote during the selection of Onowu. Even one of their persons contested with the present Onowu and he stepped down for him,” he said.

The vice president of Ohaneze World-wide Chief Damian Ogene Okeke said he came to the venue of the petition because they mentioned sand mining.

According to him, no functional motor can ply the road to the site, adding that no tipper no matter how strong can ply the road.

“At my level and my position I have attained in life, if the Igwe is mining sand, I will personally report him to the governor. There are a lot of things I cannot do, including lying, no matter the situation. He is our traditional ruler, he is Igwe Nanka and not of any village. The entire Nanka community voted for him to be Igwe, he was not appointed, so we must be careful how we treat him,” he stated.

On the said Nanka constitution, they are faulting, he said he kicked against it during amendment but the majority said it was what they wanted therefore it become our law.

“The constitution they are faulting now, I was one of minority opinion that objected to it but the majority of the community adopted it as a working documents and since it is a popular opinion,so shall it be .I will defend it anywhere , everywhere and any day. It will be wrong for me to disrespect the Constitution because the community did not follow my opinion.
The minority will have their say but the majority will always have their ways.
Any person who said it is not good can only set for the amendment and not asking for the discountence of the constitution because it did not specifically address his needs. As for me, as far as the constitution is fully operational ,I accepted it . As a leader,I don’t think I know it all , whatever the community said is what I will do” he said.

Also speaking,the president General of Nanka Patriotic Union Reverend Canon John Ezeike commended the people of Nanka for gathering at State House of Assembly complex for the wonderful solidarity.
According to him,the good people of Nanka are not happy with the false allegation against their PG and traditional ruler, noting that Nanka is peaceful only that few disgruntled elements are sowing seeds of discord.
He called on those who feel aggrieved for whatever reason to calm down,and approach dialogue to solve whatever are their problems.
According to him,there is no community that does not have problem but there are needs to sit down and resolve them amicably .
On the issue of sand mining in Nanka,he described that allegation as false,unfounded and untrue, stating that no such mining exist in the town.
The PG said that immediately after governor Charles Soludo stopped sand mining,the community set up a committe to monitor activities of sand mining, and committe has been working till date.
On the constitution and Onowu,he said Nanka community acted on the interpretation of their constitution which is their grandnorm in the selection of Onowu Nanka.
According to him,if any person is not happy with the interpretation,he should approach court and stop not making false allegation against the Igwe and the PG.

” If you are not comfortable with the Constitution,you push for amendment or go to court for interpretation and stop messing up the community” he said

The former commissioner for Health in Anambra State and current Chief Medical Director MD of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Teaching Hospital Awka, Dr Joe Akabuike who came in solidarity with Igwe and PG said Nanka is a peaceful community, regretting that few individuals are destroying the community for no just reason.

According to him,nobody love what is happening in Nanka and appealed to the agrieved persons to apply dialogue towards resolving whatever are their grievances.
The women leader of Nanka community, Mrs Okafor Chinyere in her emotion laden statement said she was disturbed and pained by what is happening in Nanka today.
“How can someone be dragging our traditional ruler. A traditional ruler elected by the entire town made up of seven villages. Obu Nanka is our traditional ruler,few individuals are dragging him here and there because of issue he knows nothing about. Because of the same issue of sand mining,the leadership of women have been dragged to Amakor village . When we went there,the road is not motorable and they wondered how any motor could go there to carry sand. We the women,we want peace in Nanka. All these men destroying Nanka, their wives are still with us and loyal to me” she said.

Chief Emmanuel Obuekunie
said the village in question Amakor is his village and they generally accepted to be merged with other village called Umudala.

According to him, they signed and agreed on that, noting that after that, they went for the election of Prime Minister which he personally witnessed.

“During the election day of Onowu, Igwe Godwin Ezeilo rang bells more than five times asking if any person was against the elections and no body objected.
Amakor and Umudala merged together for one sharing formula in Nanka.

“At the election day our brother from Amakor High Chief Tony Ezeokafor and High Chief Kofi Obijiofor of Umudala came out and later Tony Ezeokafor stepped down for Obijiofor. One of us suggested that despite the stepping down, we most allow elections to go on to know those who did not want Obijiofor to be Onowu but every body lined up for him.

“All the cabinet chiefs including my village Amakor lined up for Obijiofor. The election was peaceful and after, we celebrated the emergency of new Onowu of Nanka.

“After some days, some few lawyers said they did not agree on what was done in the traditional ways. They are not members of the carbinet and they have no rights to question and discuss what is done in Igwe in council because they are not members. We are over 2000 people in Amakor only about few people that are creating the problem. They wrote a letter and pulled themselves out of Nanka community and majority of us who want to forge ahead still remain in Nanka.
They alleged that our Igwe is mining sand and that is not true. The village is my village,there is nothing like sand mining there , infact no motor can ply the road.
We in Amakor of the Nanka went ahead and registered our village Union with CAC and we are paying our dues and others to Nanka Igwe and the PG. Those making noise are break away faction with less than 20 persons” he said.

The lawyer to the petitioners, Emmanuel Ilo who described himself as an indegene and Stakeholders in Amakor Village of Njikoka said they are fighting against injustice in the Nanka.

According to him, Amakor union operates under the auspices of Amakor Njikoka Development Union and not Nanka Patriotic Union.

“It is just like the way we have Nanka Patriotic Union, which we were members before we have issue. The summary of today petition has to do with injustice against us by Nanka Patriotic Union. It has to do with the Prime Minister “Onowu” Nanka. Nanka has seven villages and it share rights and privileges in order of seniority. Igwe had come from 1,2 and 3 villages. If the Igwe is from 1st village the second Village will take Onowu. But this time it came from the 3rd Village and it is our turn as the fourth village to produce Onowu. They brought in one constitution that we are merged with other village but Onowu has no merger in the Constitution. The constitution is silent on the Onowu. Merger come to play only on Igweship. The Constitution says Onowu shall come from next Village not next structure. We believe it is our right to produce the Onowu by the seven villages that make up Nanka.

He however admitted that they have pulled out of Nanka and the Village is factionalised.

He also accused the Nanka leadership of sponsoring an Amakor man to disorganize them and stop the village from getting what rightly belong to them.

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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