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Igweship Stool Sparks Tension In Enugu Community

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In Nkanu East Local Council, Enugu State, Mburubu is currently grappling with tension following a violent clash among supporters of two candidates laying claim to the community’s royal stool.

According to information obtained by The Eastern Updates, the clash occurred on Sunday, February 4, leaving several villagers injured, including Egbo Stephen, the ward chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Mburubu.

The community finds itself in turmoil as it grapples with a crisis while gearing up to fill the vacuum left by the late traditional ruler, Igwe Emmanuel Ezeh (Ozulumba I of Mburubu Kingdom).

Patrick Onuokaibe and Linus Igbudu have plunged the community into a dispute as they both claim to be the rightful Igwe-elect.

Last Saturday, Onuokaibe held a reception at the public primary school in the area, a move that reportedly stirred dissatisfaction among certain community members. The day before, town criers had warned of fines for anyone attending the event.

The conflict escalated on Sunday morning when enforcers of the sanction went to the residences of purported defaulters, confiscating their belongings until the fines could be paid. This action, however, led to a chaotic confrontation.

Stephen, speaking with newsmen, expressed gratitude to God for preserving his life, the lives of his family, and those of other members of the community.

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Stephen accused the state Commissioner for Science and Technology, Lawrence Ozoemena Ezeh, of sponsoring the attacks, stating that community members had to seek refuge in other villages for safety.

‘I was beaten to a stupor by some thugs sent by Ezeh for having attended the grand finale of our Igwe elect, Onuokaibe. We refused their intimidation and attended the event because we unanimously chose him to lead us.’

‘It started on Friday, when one Ambrose Anobi, with a metal gong, went round the villages informing people not to attend Onuokaibe’s grand reception or face a penalty of N100,000. When we came back, they started attacking our people, especially the vulnerable ones. Some ran into bushes, some were locked inside their houses while others ran to Onuokaibe’s house,’ he said.

When contacted, Ezeh denied any involvement in the incident. He mentioned receiving information about it while in church on Sunday and promptly instructed the divisional police officer in charge of Nkanu East Council to ensure the return of seized properties to affected individuals.

He accused Onuokaibe of sponsoring a smear campaign against him ‘to see whether he can achieve his bogus claim of being the traditional ruler of my community.’

Ezeh explained: ‘What’s going on is that the man who calls himself Onuokaibe had approached me to help him become the Igwe. He approached me with a mouthwatering price. But I told him, in honesty, that it is not the turn of his village to produce the Igwe and therefore, I will not give my support. When he saw that I wasn’t going to bend, he vowed that he was going to bring me down and ensure that the governor sacks me as commissioner.’

He added: ‘Whatever allegations you hear from them against me are merely sponsored. I’m not a violent man. I have no business with violence, starting from my nursery school to university level until now that I’m a politician; I have never been identified with violence.’

As of press time, Onuokaibe was yet to respond to calls and messages sent to his phone.

The Eastern Updates

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