ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU writes that the General Overseer, Kings Embassy Church Agba, Ekwulobia , Aguata local government area of Anambra state, Reverend Dr Emeka Ezike and two others, a traditional chief, Sir Ignatius Ezike (Ochudo) and an Ichie, Mr John Ilo Okafor have been bashed for allegedly conniving among themselves and outsiders to deprive their village members their rights from government palliatives meant to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
Rev Dr Ezike who is a factional President General of the Community and a Village Chief, Sir Ignatius Ezike as well as an Ichie of the representing the village, Mr John Ilo Okafor among unmentioned others were unanimously accused of conniving to deprive the village their share of Governor Willie Obiano’s rice palliatives during the village half year general meeting at the Agba village town hall.
The over 500 male tax payers of the village had before protesting to the homes of Sir Ezike, Rev Dr Ezike and Mr Okafor to register their grievances on their meddlesomeness in the affairs of the village, described them as enemies of the village, urging them to ensure the bags of rice from Obiano’s first and second palliatives for the village were returned within one month to the Agba village hall or face the wrath of the villagers particularly its youths.
Agba people in a meeting presided over by Chairman Agba village Development Union (ADU), Mr Bethran Uchechukwu Okoli unanimously agreed to place palm fronds in front of their three houses, worship places, or offices as a way to register their grievances and mandate them to within one month return the bags of rice and other benefits the village have from Anambra state government as they have not elected any of them as their leaders.
The villagers said the village, unanimously agreed to give the three persons sabotaging the progress and peace of the village 1 month ultimatum to produce the first and second palliatives the state government gave to Agba village for onward distribution to the rightful beneficiaries.
They appealed to the three to see reasons to rescind their stand on continual meddlesomeness in the affairs of the village negatively as it is not worthy of their standing in the society as such acts appear belittling.
Carrying placards of various inscriptions, the Chairman of Agba Village Union, Mr Bethran Uchechukwu Okoli flanked by the high and mighty in Agba insisted that Rev Dr Ezike is not the President General of Ekwulobia People’s Assembly and therefore has no rights to withhold or share the rights of Agba people when they have elected leaders.
But reacting to the allegations, a traditional chief in the cabinet of Ekwulobia traditional ruler, Igwe Emmanuel Chukwukadibia Onyeneke , Ezejiofor 11 of Ekwulobia, Sir Ignatius Ezike, Ochudo who literally shade tears on the damage to his reputation by the villagers, vowed to deal decisively with the Chairman of Agba village and others for bringing his reputation to the mud, wondering why they should be accusing him of confiscating their rice when he is not the Village factional chairman, Igwe, or President General even an Ichie. He was worried on how he came in contact with the said bags of rice.
Sir Ezike further said he has already made entry to the Nigerian police to arrest all those involved in sealing off his home, as he plans to sue them to defend his integrity whatever the cost, recalling that the village factional leadership has no rights asking him or anyone they disowned for anything.
He pointed out that the share of the rice they were seeking for is still with the Nigerian police where they rejected them after Aguata Area Commander and Ekwulobia DPO shared the 26 bags for the 2 factions for peace to reign.
He even alleged that they wanted to kill him when they came to seal his house with palm fronds and he escaped, though no such thing happened.
Sir Ezike informed that the 13 bags given to the group loyal to Igwe and Rev Dr Emeka Ezike shared their 13 bags to people between 60 and above as directed by the government, alleging that it was envy and backbiting that led the villagers to seal his house with palm fronds and debris when he has nothing to do with the matter at all.
He reiterated that he is neither the Village chairman, Ichie, Igwe nor PG and recalled that the village had earlier fined him and two others one cow each for an offence he knew nothing about aside disowning them publicly because of associating with Igwe Onyeneke. He described dragging his name to the matter as a pity.
As well, the General Overseer, Kings Embassy Church Agba, Rev Dr Emeka Ezike dismissed the allegations against him, insisting that he is a government recognized President General of the Ekwulobia community known as Ekwulobia Development Union and that the Ekwulobia Peoples Assembly has since seized to exist because of lack of government backing. He wondered why government should give him palliatives for his people and he would take it to people who disowned him publicly last December after passing a vote of no confidence on the traditional ruler. He wondered why he should divert 26 bags of 10kg rice out of 200 government provided for aged people in his community shared among the 9 villages, when he transported them from Aguleri to Ekwulobia.
Rev Dr Ezike who claimed he has been the PG for 8 years, informed that the Aguata Area commander and DPO Ekwulobia intervened in the mater as they urged him to share the 26 bags into two for his faction and faction of Ekwulobia Peoples Assembly led by President General, Ekwulobia Peoples Assembly, EPA led by Engr. Emeka Madubuchi, though deregistered by Anambra state government, adding that the rice is still at the police station as he speaks.
As at the time of filling this report, Mr John Ilo Okafor has not responded to esquires to him by our correspondent, even though sources close to him said as an old man, he was dumbfounded to say the least. They said he already had a court case against some Agba over alleged threat to his life and the matter will be coming up in court soon.
Ekwulobia village begs Obiano over 1 Km road under construction for 15 years
Meanwhile, the Agba village Ekwulobia, Aguata local government area, Anambra state yesterday appealed to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state to as a matter of urgency order for the completion of the construction of the Isuofia- Agba Ekwulobia- General Hospital-Eke Ekwulobia road which has been under construction in the last 15 years.
The villagers with peaceful protest placards unanimously made the appeal to Governor Obiano after its half year general meeting at Agba town Hall Ekwulobia.
Making the stand of the village known, the Chairman of Agba village, Bethran Uchechukwu Okoli flanked by over 500 tax payers of the village said the situation of the road in the last 15 years has made their lives miserable as they were cut off from their kith and kin.
They begged Obiano to come to their rescue as only him could do that since the road has suffered neglect severally.
‘’The abandoned road is a separator because it has quarantined us and put us in jeopardy. We are saying that Governor Willie Obiano should be kind to us and order for immediate completion of the road awarded 15 years ago, just one kilometer road’’.
The Agba village chairman wondered if the road will continue to be unattended to until next election and the promises should reoccur.
He further informed that the miasma oozing from debris on the road is worrisome and reiterated the need for attention to be given to Agba village as they have been voting APGA in the last 15 years.
He pointed out that the state government after they raised alarm last 6 months returned to the road site, but has abandoned the work again with flood flushing away the sands filled on the road for construction.
He informed that some portions of the road already have 15 meters deep gully on the them and wondered why the 100 meters distance from the town hall to Eke market could not be easily accessible.
‘’Please Your Excellency, kindly listen to our cries and come to our aid. We are pleading with you to hasten the efforts on that 1 Kilometre road. How can one kilometre of road be constructed for 15 years, yet uncompleted?
‘ The road is killing. Imagine that after sand filling the road, it was left again abandoned and flood has washed the sand away. Please attention should be given to Agba village, host of the Ekwulobia General Hospital ’’.
Recall that a cross section of Ekwulobia indigenes from Agba village took to the streets seven months ago on a peaceful protest over the dilapidation of the general hospital, Ekwulobia and abandoned Isuofia- Agba Ekwulobia-Eke Ekwulobia road for several years now.
The villagers said the general hospital in Agba Ekwulobia is in total mess and bereft of any form of government presence. The borehole there is a source of disease as the water is yellow. They said it has been a total shame to what could be described as a government establishment as most of the structures within the hospital environment numbering over 10 were long dilapidated and abandoned.
But, on this situation, they didn’t talk about the hospital but the road, appealing to Obiano to order for the completion of the construction.