From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
Some stakeholders of Alor community in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra state yesterday placed a curse on the Nigerian Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige for leading a protest against its traditional ruler.
The protest to Awka Government House was for immediate removal of the community’s traditional ruler, Igwe Mc Anthony Elibe Okonkwo.
Igwe Okonkwo was among the twelve traditional rulers recently suspended by the Anambra state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano for traveling out of the state without permission.
Last week, some section of the community led by Ngige called on Gov. Obiano to revoke the certificate of recognition given to the suspended traditional ruler, Igwe Mc Anthony Okonkwo.
In a counter protest around the community on Saturday, which began from Obi Alor, the stakeholders said that Senator Ngige should be sanctioned for misleading the people of the community.
The protesters which comprise cabinet members of Igwe-in-council, Ndi Ichie, women and youth groups carried placards of various inscriptions which include: Ngige, why did you hate Igwe Alor, be warned, Say no to an ex- convict ruling Alor, Onwa, Alor is not your father’s property, Ngige leave Alor alone, Say no to APA Social Club among others.
Addressing the protesters, the traditional Prime Minister of Alor, Chief Ben Udeze while lending support to Igwe Okonkwo prayed God to curse anybody instigating crisis in the community.
“It will never be well for anybody causing division and sewing seed of discord in Alor community. May it never be well for anybody that said it will not be well with Alor town. We need unity in Alor kingdom. Let Governor Willie Obiano forgive our monarch having apologized for his actions,” he said.
In his own contribution, the President General of Alor Peoples Convention, Hon. Chris Okudo reiterated their support to Igwe Okonkwo and called on the Governor to disregard any call for his dethronement.
“Though, we are against the actions of our traditional ruler for not officially informing and securing the approval of the Governor before traveling out of the state for a function which may either be in favour or against the office of the Executive Governor, but irrespective of that, we sincerely and humbly tender an unreserved and unalloyed apology to that effect.
“We also plead with our amiable governor in his own wisdom as a mentor to our king to grant clemency not just to our traditional ruler alone but to others whom also made the mistake of not informing him before traveling out of the state for a function.
The President-General also described the activities of Alor Peoples Club as illegal whose stock in trade was to foment trouble in the community.
“Their rebellious actions are not just inimical to the growth of the town but also undermining the directives of the state government especially when involving rural compliance.
“We therefore inform not just Anambrarians but the entire Nigerians to kindly jettison any statement that maybe associated with the club, the APA for they are insignificant vociferous minority whose chest thumping activities is backed by the Honourable minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige… ”
A community leader and member of Igwe’s cabinet, Chief Chukwuemeka Azubogu (Enyi Alor) noted that the entire Alor community are behind their monarch, asking Gov. Obiano to forgive him..
“Anybody causing trouble in Alor should be careful. Whatever Ngige claims he is starts and ends in Abuja and for causing problem in our land, he should be sanctioned. His punishment is that he will be deployed to serve as a guard for one month in Obi Alor pending when he mends his ways.”
A woman leader, Mrs Chikodiri Anoruka said the torrent of problems in Alor town causes women to have sleepless night and shed unwarranted tears and prayed God for peace, unity and progress.
He extolled Igwe Mac Anthony Okonkwo for his passion and philanthropy, saying that anybody fighting him is fighting God.
On his part, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Local Government Matters, Hon. Ike Moedu frowned at the rate some stakeholders like Sen. Ngige are causing problem in the town, beckoning on him to live an exemplary life.