After months of town union leadership crisis which polarized Ibeku communities in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, peace has at last returned to the ancient kingdom as stakeholders met over the weekend to resolve their differences.
The controversy followed the emergence of Chief Emeka Enyeazu as the President General of Ibeku Egwuasa Development Association ( IEADA) as some persons not comfortable with the development elected Chief Princewill Ukaegbu a factional President.
Reluctantly, the hitherto united clan was thrown into leadership crisis that almost threatened its unity until recently when some concerned indigenes intensified efforts to end the tussle and restore peace in the land.
The peace meeting held at Isieke Ibeku Civic Centre was attended by eminent personalities from the 15 autonomous communities that make up Ibeku ancient kingdom.
Setting the tone for the meeting, former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Emma Nwabuko stressed the need for peace and unity in Ibeku land, saying that Ibeku people are peace lovers and cannot afford to live in crisis.
He said that brothers could disagree but should not allow mischief makers take advantage of their disagreement to sow seed of discord between them, while urging all parties to sheath their swords.
“ Offense against a brother does not get to the marrow”, he said, maintaining that Ibeku has always stayed united.
Nwabuko noted with delight that all parties had realized the need for reconciliation while thanking God that the crisis did not last for too long or escalate to bloody feud.
He thanked all those who were instrumental to the return of peace in Ibeku land and expressed the confidence that the people would continue to live together as one.
Highlight of the meeting was the annulment of alleged pronouncements made against some Ibeku persons by the paramount ruler of the kingdom, HRM Eze Samuel Onuoha ( Ogurube 4 of Ibekuland), as the monarch poured libation on the ground to bless the people.
The monarch said he made the outburst in annoyance following a provocation by certain individuals but added that he had come to annul the pronouncements and to pronounce blessings and prosperity upon his subjects.
His words: “ Peace is what we want in Ibeku land. Anybody opposed to peace, let the gods of the land query him! Ibeku is united and will remain one.
“I did not curse anybody. It was in December 26, 2016 when I got a letter that I had been suspended, and I became angry and made some pronouncements against those behind the letter. But today, I annul every provocative outburst I made against anybody in Ibekuland.
“Curse will not trail any Ibeku son or daughter, rather peace, prosperity and progress shall be our portion all through the four native days of the week”, he declared while the curious crowd echoed a thunderous ‘amen’ in affirmation.
This is coming less than a week the monarch had affirmed that Senator Theodore Orji representing Abia Central district at the senate “is a true son of Ibeku land “ contrary to insinuations in some quarters.
He dismissed the insinuation as the antics of political detractors and mischief makers while urging the public to ignore them.
In his remarks, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Charles Ogbonnaya, applauded the ‘ Ogurube’ of Ibeku land for his peaceful disposition and courage to annul the alleged harsh utterances against some of his subjects.
Describing him as a man of integrity and symbol of authority in Ibeku ancient kingdom, Ogbonnaya who recalled that his chieftaincy title of ‘ Evulogu Ibeku’ was conferred on him by the ‘ Ogurube’, said the monarch “ is highly respected and revered by all.”
He further remarked that he had enjoyed a personal relationship with the ‘Ogurube’ , and would always accord him his due honour as the paramount ruler in Ibeku land and custodian of the people’s “ofor” ( symbol of authority).
Ogbonnaya thanked all those who contributed in the return of peace in the clan particularly the Enyeazu-led IEADA executive.
Adding his voice, member representing Umuahia East state constituency at the Abia House of Assembly, Hon. Chukwudi Apugo, expressed delight that peace had finally been restored to Ibeku land.
He declared that Enyeazu- led executive of IEADA “is the one that has the mandate of the people and the support of Ndieze”, and commended Enyeazu as well as the ‘Ogurube’ for facilitating the peace process.
“It is not in doubt today that Enyeazu is the authentic leader of IEADA because he convenes meetings at Ibeku Town Hall and the people including Ndieze and prominent sons and daughters of Ibekuland answer to his call”, the lawmaker declared.
Making his contribution, the Chairman of Ibeku Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Eze Henry Ezekwem expressed joy that peace had finally returned to the land and urged everyone to key into the process.
He pledged the support of traditional rulers in ensuring a lasting peace in Ibeku while warning politicians against playing politics with the unity of the ancient kingdom.
“We will queue behind Ogurube to ensure a lasting peace in Ibeku land”, Ezekwem promised.
The meeting was attended by nine traditional rulers from the 15 autonomous communities in the kingdom while some sent representatives.
Others in attendance were the President General IEADA, Chief Emeka Enyeazu; the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) , Chief Johnson Onuigbo; Chairman , Abia Board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Udochukwu Ogbonna; Special Adviser to Senator Theodore Orji, Mr. Eddy Onuzurike, among other eminent personalities from Ibeku land.
Some of the traditional rulers present were: HRH Eze Donatus Aguiyi of Ndume autonomous community; his Amuzukwu counterpart, HRH Eze J.O Ibezim; HRH Okechukwu Onwubuariri of Azueke Ndume autonomous community; and HRH Eze James Ogbonna of Amoforo.
Others included HRH Eze P. K Ukaegbu of Afaraukwu community; HRH Eze Eddy Ibeabuchi of Okwulaga Afara; and HRH Eze Iheanyichukwu Ezeigbo.