…After 10yrs on throne
By GILBERT EKEZIE
There was drama at Nkalu Ifakala Autonomous Community in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State yesterday, following the ruling of the High Court sitting at Owerri on the protracted ezeship tussle between the incumbent traditional ruler of the community, Eze Cyril Ahaneku and a retired Director in the Federal Ministry of Defence, Mr Nathaniel Onyenanu. Delivering the judgment, Justice Ngozi Opara said since the constitution of the community has it that the Eze should come from the eldest village, Umuanu, Ahaneku who hails from Aka Owere village, has no legal justification to become Eze of the community.
He therefore nullified the election of Ahaneku and ordered that Onyenanu should be crowned the authentic Eze of the community. Onyenanu took Ahaneku to court about 10 years ago challenging his confirmation by former Governor Achike Udenwa and his onward coronation, claiming that Ahaneku was not supposed to be given a staff of office by the government because he did not qualify for the post and was not elected by the community.
The matter, therefore, tore the newly created community apart and the centre could not hold. Having been crowned, Ahaneku took over the rulership of the community amidst serious opposition that led to division. Hatred and enmity pervaded the well-known peaceful community and many used the opportunity to feed fat on the innocent people. It was so tensed that blood relations who were in different camps refused to see eye to eye.
As a result, development became very difficult to achieve. Some members of the community said the judgment became necessary for the purpose of peace and unity. Reacting, Mr Stanley Chinonye Bassey expressed happiness over the judgment, as that would restore the peace that existed in the community in the past.
The Political Science lecturer called on both parties to embrace peace for the interest of the people. “While I am appealing to both parties to accept the judgment in good faith, members of the community should also rally round the winner of the case, so that the community could move forward, he pleaded.”