Calls for his suspension as Eze
By Kelechi Ugo
No fewer than one thousand five hundred people from Obile Autonomous Community in Ohaji/Egbema Council Area of Imo State stormed Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Secretariat Complex, New Owerri yesterday demanding for immediate suspension of their traditional ruler Eze Abyssinia Ogbuji over alleged forgery of certificate of recognition and other related atrocities.
The protesters’ placards read, “Abyssinia Ogbuji should stop fomenting crisis in our community, Abyssinia Ogbuji Forged certificate of recognition to claim the Ezeship stool of Obile Autonomous community, Government should investigate Ogbuji now, Ogbuji is sponsoring cultists in Obile Community, Ogbuji is not our Eze, Government should suspend him now among others.”
Speaking, the leader of the protesters and President General of Obile Town Union, Comrade Kingsley Chigozie Omuruka popularly called “Blocker” disclosed that they have uncovered fake certificate of recognition which Ogbuji continued to parade as the substantive traditional ruler of their community and had written to the appropriate authorities including security agencies for necessary investigations.
Comrade Omuruka recalled that their community never had an Eze since it broke out from Assa/Obile Autonomous Community in 2002/2003.
He however revealed that they only have one Eze-elect whom they have presented to their Local Government Headquarters during the reign of Hon. Luke Chukwu as the chairman wondering how Ogbuji bribed his way to claim the traditional ruler of their community. The president General accused the embattled traditional ruler of written a personal constitution claiming to use it to oversee their affairs of the entire community, a situation that has left the community in crisis. He called on Government to quickly investigate Mr. Ogbuji pointing out that the community is no longer safe for his people under the watch of Ogbuji as the traditional ruler.
Meanwhile, an aggrieved member of Ogbuji’s cabinet, Chief Sabbinus Alua revealed that he actively took part in their autonomy and Ezeship struggle expressing disappointment over Ogbuji’s conduct in the community. “I am surprised that Ogbuji has been deceiving us by parading fake certificate of recognition. The certificate of recognition was signed by the then SSG not the governor himself as applicable to others. He is currently facing criminal charge number OW/8C/2017 on the alleged forgery of documents, impersonation, threat to life and conduct likely to cause breach of peace. And also, in suit No. HOW/316/2004 for his deposition as Eze. Obile people have never experienced peace since Ogbuji assumed throne as the traditional ruler. He has been sponsoring cultists who kill and rape our women. We have not been getting what belongs to us from the oil companies operating in our area since Ogbuji became the traditional ruler. Enough is enough, Government should sack him now,” Chief Alua submitted.
The youth leader of the community, Comrade Amaechi John Prosper narrated that Ogbuji has injected crisis in their community calling on Government to suspend the embattled traditional ruler.
While, the woman leader of Obile Community, Mrs. Augustina Ngozi Enyioha recounted the atrocities of the traditional ruler to include sponsoring cultists and diverting what belong to the entire community to his private pocket.
“These cultists have been rapping both young and old women of our community, and we want Government to sack Ogbuji now”, the woman leader pleaded.
Responding, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Nnamdi Agwunobi who spoke on behalf of the SA to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs urged the protesters to be law abiding as Government will leave no stone unturned in order to ensure justice thanking them for maintaining peaceful posture.
The SA to the Governor further urged them to go home in peace as justice will be ensured within the next one week.
Meanwhile, documents made available us revealed that Ogbuji’s certificate of recognition has been in contention. However, report from the Special Adviser to the former Governor, Rochas Okorocha on Peace and Conflict Resolution, Engr. Peter Ohagwa revealed that Ogbuji parades Certificate of Recognition signed by the former secretary to the Government of Imo State during Achike Udenwa’s regime and not signed by the Government himself as appliable to others.