New Telegraph

Pandemonium in Awka: 5 injured, as police, soldiers stop new yam festival

  • Ndigwe, an impostor, says Soludo

Five persons were said to have been injured when pandemonium broke out in Awka, Anambra State capital, as officers and men of the Nigerian Police and Army sealed off the palace of a self acclaimed traditional ruler of Awka town, Ozo Austin Ndigwe, who had planned to celebrate this year’s New Yam Festival.

 

As early as 7.30 am Saturday morning, the Umukwa road, Awka town was blocked by security operatives stopping vehicular movement in the area.

An eye witness before the arrival of reporters said that some guests were tear gassed when they refused to leave the venue for the New Yam Festival and led to stampedes at the entrance of the palace.

An elder in the village said:”They woke me up this morning telling me that police wanted to seal off the palace and I told them that there were traditional rulers from the South East and beyond who were already in the palace. The one that is more disturbing is that the security operatives were firing live bullets at the people mostly youths who came to find out what is happening.

 

“I am not sure if anybody died but there were casualties of those who got injured and I think about five persons were injured during the stampede.”

He further explained that he made contacts at the Police Command and that the order to stop the celebration came from Government House Awka and it was also confirmed at the zonal command.

A policeman at the scene said that he was only carrying out an order from their superiors adding that he was not in the position to provide details.

This recent development seems to be connected to the lingering crisis over who is the substantive Eze Uzu of Awka Kingdom which has pitted cabinet Chiefs against each other following the emergence of Ndigwe who claim to be Eze Uzu the 3rd.

 

When contacted Igwe Gibson Nwosu said that he was not aware of any Eze Uzu the 3rd adding that Awka Community has only one traditional ruler and that is him.

But in a release signed by the Commissioner for Information Mr. Paul Nwosu, stated that Ndigwe is not the monarch of Awka town.

“It has come to the attention of the Anambra State government that one Chukwuezube Ndigwe A.K.A Uzu Awka, is still parading himself as the authentic traditional ruler of Awka..

“Not only that, he is also taking steps to perform one of the major harvest seasonal traditional rites known as New Yam Festival or Iwa ji of Awka people and thereby threatening the peace and tranquillity of the town.

“The state government will not tolerate this.
‘For the avoidance of doubt the state government wishes to state emphatically that the only recognized traditional ruler of Awka is His Royal Highness Igwe Obi Gibson Nwosu the Eze Uzu 2nd of Awka whose recognition by state government has not been withdrawn and he is the only one empowered by section 15 of the Traditional Ruler’s Law of Anambra state 2007, to preside over such festival or carry out any of the functions of traditional ruler in Awka.

He said: “It is a criminal offence for any other person to do so by virtue of section 20 of the Traditional Ruler’s law of Anambra state 2007.

The said Austin Ndigwe is not recognized traditional ruler of Awka and should henceforth desist from parading himself and portraying himself as the traditional ruler of Awka or attempting to usurp the right of legitimate and duly recognized traditional ruler His Royal Highness Igwe Obi Gibson Nwosu.”

“Any such unlawful act in any part of Anambra state will not be condoned by the Anambra state government and the state will not hesitate to sanction such an imposture according to the relevant law of Anambra state.”

When contacted Ozo Austin Ndigwe, the factional Traditional Ruler said that he was in a meeting and cannot talk at that moment

Read Previous

UNIBEN staff commits suicide over unpaid salary

Read Next

Nigeria to improve wheat production with locally modified seeds

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *