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The people of Amuri Ancient kingdom, in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State yesterday invoked the spirit of their ancestors and forefathers to avenge the assassination of the Labour Party candidate for Enugu East Senatorial District, Oyibo Chukwu.
Chukwu, who is a former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Oji-River branch, was gruesomely assassinated on February 22, at Amechi Awkunanaw, in Agbani, Nkanu West LGA headquarters, while returning from a campaign, ahead of the February 25 election.
Although, his younger brother, Kelvin Chukwu, who was later nominated to replace him by Labour Party won the senatorial seat, condemnation and rain of curses continue to trail his assassination.
The community leaders meanwhile are unhappy because no state government functionary, including the sitting governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi have openly spoken against the dastardly act.
Security agencies, especially the police, have though attributed his killing to activities of the unknown gunmen and separatist agitation. The family however debunk the police report, insisting that their son’s killing was politically motivated.
While performing the traditional ritual, which held at the community’s ancestral square, the late Chukwu’s kith and kinsmen rained curses on those behind the gruesome assassination, their sponsors and their immediate families.
Natives of Amuri from the four communities that make up the Ancient Kingdom, led by the eldest men in the locality and two traditional rulers – Igwe Charles Nwoye and Igwe Fidelis Nsiegbu – were also at the popular Obodo Okolo, Chukwu’s ancestral square, as early as 9am, “with one voice to place curses and invoke the spirit of our forefathers and gods of the land to go after those behind the vicious killing of Chukwu,” a community leader informed.
Igwe Nwoye and his colleague, in their separate remarks, said as a people, they believe strongly in natural justice and philosophy of ‘live and let live’, urging their ancestors to arise and bring justice to their late son.
The monarchs, equally prayed the gods of the land to ensure that any one involved, directly or indirectly in the unholy act, young or old is made to face the consequences of their nefarious act, adding, “he who kills by sword, must surely die by sword.”
Addressing journalists shortly after the rituals, Chukwu’s younger brother and senator-elect, expressed appreciation to his kinsmen for the love and solidarity extended to the family since the ugly incident occurred.
He specifically thanked the two monarchs in attendance and elders of the kingdom, stressing that rituals seeking natural justice for his late brother has never failed the community from inception, especially when such present calamity befalls any of the localities.
Chukwu disclosed that his family was yet to recover from the shock of the politician’s murder.
The senator-elect remarked, “So, what our people are doing here today is important, because it is in consonance with the tradition of our community, it’s our way of seeking justice through traditional means.
“His spirit, and those of our ancestors will definitely find the perpetrators and make them pay dearly for their wicked and barbaric act.”
Also speaking, the crown prince of one of the communities and immediate past chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Enugu State, Dr. Ben Nwoye, observed that, “Amuri is a great Kingdom, and we are descendants of warriors. And in Amuri, the gods of our ancestors guide everything we do.
‘We are spiritual people, we don’t engage in war without a just cause. We don’t spill blood, but due to the last election, the blood of an Amuri son was spilled.
‘So today, we have gathered here in our village community square, to invoke the spirit of our ancestors to speak justice for the spirit of our son, Barrister Oyibo Chukwu. We have come to ask all the gods of Amuri Ancient kingdom to avenge for us.
‘You can see that all the elders from the kingdom, both those who can walk and those who can’t walk, some are above one hundred years of age; have all come out to invoke the spirit of our ancestors, the warrior spirit to come and fight for us, so, that all those who joined in the conspiratorial meeting to eliminate Chukwu for political gains and their generations will get the justice they also deserve, Nwoye declared.