Mystery! Awka chief priest dies over kingship crisis
Obi Gibson Nwosu
.Protest trails crowning of Ndigwe
·Obiano insists on Nwosu’s reign
Obi Anozie Ikegbunam, the chief priest of Imo-Awka deity, is dead.
Ikegbunam, who died on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, while alive, allegedly gave the spiritual approval of the dethronement of the reigning monarch of Awka, Obi Gibson Nwosu, and crowned Austin Ndigwe as Nwosu’s successor.
Ikegbunam’s decision to dethrone a reigning monarch
is said to have caused his death on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 300 youths and women on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 took to the streets of Awka, the capital of Anambra State, protesting the crowning of Ndigwe contending that Obi Gibson Nwosu remains the King of Awka town.
Confirming the mysterious death of Imo-Awka Chief Priest, a member of the Awka ruling cabinet and a high chief of the town, Chief Benjamin Muorah, said in Awka that the spiritual consequences of illegally crowing Austin Ndigwe the monarch of the town has claimed the life of the town’s chief priest.
“What happened in our town is a taboo and an abomination. You cannot crown a new king while the old one is on the throne and the incumbent king has not done anything wrong for that to happen.
“The consequences are grave and highly spiritual and due to the complacency of the conspirators over this abominable act, our chief priest, the chief priest of Imo-Awka deity, just died mysteriously.
“This is just the beginning of what would fall out of this crisis and we do not know what would happen next or who would die next as a result of the taboo committed by Austin Ndigwe and his cohorts.
“You can see the crowd of protesters in Awka today and many more are on their way. This is as a result of the evil Ndigwe brought down to Awka. Government should come into this matter and call Ndigwe to order.
Between the popular Zik Avenue, across the Awka main market down to the Government House Awka through the Enugu-Awka express way, the protesters carried banners and chanted songs seeking the assistance of the Anambra State government over the crisis.
Some of the banners and placards read: “Awka people are tired of Austin Ndigwe,” “Austin Ndigwe will never be king, we stand with Chief Obiano to stop the impending danger,” “Gibson Nwosu remains the king of Awka.”
An executive member of Ozo title holders from Ifite Awka clan, Ozo Emmanuel Chukwudi Muodozie, spoke during the protest. He said: “Ndigwe tried to bring me into this crisis and I refused. There is nothing he did not tell me to make me join his gang of conspirators but I cannot be part of this abomination people are trying to attract a deadly plague to this town and God will not allow that to happen.
“Obi Gibson Nwosu is the Eze Uzu II and the incumbent king of Awka town and anybody pretending or claiming to be the king would certainly face the wrath of the land.”
When contacted the duo of the commissioner for Local Government, Mr. Greg Obi; and the Councilor of Awka town, Mr. Paulson Okeke, reiterated that there was no going back on the position of the state government.
“There cannot be two monarchs in a town. Eze Uzu II Obi Gibson Nwosu is the King of Awka town. He has our staff of office and certificate of recognition since 21 years now.
“We do not know who Austin Ndigwe is and government wishes to warn that it would not take kindly to any act of illegality and impersonation by anyone.”
In a statement by the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters and the special adviser of the same ministry, the state government
noted: “For some time now Awka community had been restive on account of the antics of some of its citizens masquerading as members of this group in concert with few misguided elements within the Ozo Awka Society, giving rise to a situation in which government had to intervene in the management of the Awka Development Union Nigeria on the side of the rule of law.
“Government noted that institution being a solid structure around which many of its programmes are hinged ought to be protected and must not be allowed to be desecrated.
“The state government therefore affirms the status of H.R.M. Obi Gibson Nwosu as the traditional ruler of Awka Community.
“In the same vein, government reaffirms its recognition of the Engr. Anthony Okechukwu-led Executive Committee of Awka Development Union Nigeria pending the outcome of the application lodged before the Court of Appeal.”
The state government has therefore warmed the Awka Council of Kingmaker and its collaborators in Ozo Awka Society to stop forthwith further attempts to embarrass the respected institution of the Eze Uzu Awka.
Already, the state government has advised all security agencies in the state to be on the alert to forestall any attempts to cause a breach of public peace.
All efforts to hear from the police on the issue were futile, as the Police spokesperson in Anambra State, Nkiru Nwode, did not pick her phone calls.