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Tussle over traditional throne tears Anambra community apart

Azia, a community in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State is currently in turmoil over a battle for the traditional stool of the community.

It was reported that the community has been polarized into two lines, with some people opposing the crowning of the monarch-elect of the community, Chief Felix Ifeanyimuo, while others insist he is the right person for the throne.

The monarch-elect has called on Anambra State governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, to intervene before the crisis snowballs into violence.

Last week, elders of the community, who are opposed to Ifeanyimuo’s ascension to the throne, took a protest to the Anambra State Government House, accusing the Igwe-elect of holding the community hostage and insisting on a fresh election.

But Ifeanyimuo, at a press briefing on Friday, lamented that three individuals were using their enormous wealth to plunge the community into turmoil.

He described elders of the community who protested at the Government House, Awka, as hirelings.

“Those people you saw were just hired people, you cannot call them elders. They are the main problem of the community and they know that once I’m crowned, their business is gone, because the problem in the community is their only means of livelihood.

“We held election nine years ago and I contested with Prof Titus Eze. We emerged as double Igwe-elect and were presented to the governor for him to crown one of us, but later Eze died and I was the one to be crowned and some people have been fighting me since then.

“They have brought several persons to contest the Igweship with me in a fresh election and I said no. You can’t hold a fresh election. They have tormented me, fought me with gunmen, bullied me with police, petition everywhere.

“They have been bringing many people and presenting to the government, but they have received the same answer that this is a constitutional matter and that the community already had Igwe-elect in me.

“I have even been advised to call a stakeholders peace meeting of Azia people, so that I can appease especially the three people that are behind the problem, which I did. We agreed that they will go and fashion out an agenda that can engender peace in the community.

“But the next thing I saw was that they started circulating letters that the town has agreed to start a fresh election process, and to me that was betrayal. One of the men lives overseas, I bought his ticket to return for the meeting, the other charged me N500, 000 and other made demands and I paid.”

The monarch-elect called on Soludo to wade into the crisis before it degenerates.

“We are calling on the governor to please come to Azia and restore peace. He should prevail on these people causing problems in the community.”

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