Enugu youths ask traditional ruler to vacate stool
Youths in four out of the five villages that make up Aguobu Iwollo Autonomous Community in Ezeagu Local government Area of Enugu State have held a protest demanding that Chief G.O.N Ofodile vacates the stool of traditional ruler of the community.
The youths from the four villages including, Ndibunagu, Obunagu, Amagu and Owolloti, marched through the community yesterday, carrying placards that had such inscriptions as: Chief Ofodile should stop parading himself as Igwe of Aguobu Iwollo; Chief Ofodile should give peace a chance in Aguobu.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, oldest man in Amagu, Ozo Ezeako said that Ezeonyia village, from where Ofodile comes, being the most senior village, had produced the 1st traditional ruler in the person of H.R.H. Igwe C. E. Achu and a Warrant Chief equivalent to an Igwe for Aguobu Iwollo Autonomous Community.
He recalled that the Aguobu Iwollo Community drafted a constitution in 2005, after it became autonomous and before the death of the previous Igwe C. E Achu and it provided that the Igweship would be rotated amongst the five villages that make up the community.
“When it was the turn of the next most senior village which is Ndibunagu to produce the next traditional ruler of the Community, Chief Ofodile went behind and got the certificate of Igweship without the support of the people and he has refused to step aside despite opposition from other villages” he said.
He noted that the constitution of 2005 was intended to prevent previous villages that had produced an Igwe or his equivalent from producing an Igwe until those villages, which had never produced one, had their turn.
A community member, Nichola Mbaduhga noted that both the High Court of Enugu State and the Court of Appeal have nullified the igweship of Chief Ofodile.
He explained that the courts held that Ofodile is not the rightful traditional ruler because the Ezeonyia village was not entitled to produce the ‘next’ traditional ruler.
“Ofodile has to step aside and give peace a chance in order to allow the next village in line to produce the ‘next traditional ruler’ for Aguobu Iwollo” he said.
Speaking further, he said “There is no peace in our community because people are angry,”. “We are divided more than ever before, and we have not had progress ever since he stole that mandate”.
He called on the government to restore peace in the community by stepping in and ensuring that Chief Ofodile is stripped of the position of traditional ruler which he stole.
One of the youth leaders in the community, Engr Ernest Aliozo who also spoke to the newsmen said that the community had been held stagnant for over 15 years since Ofodile stole the mandate of the traditional ruler.
He said that Ofodile grabbed the certificate of traditional ruler of the community because of the connections he had in government then and that he had not even done the traditional rights expected of traditional ruler.
“He was not the choice of the people, “he said. “Ofodile does not have the interest of our people at heart and that is why he could not do anything ever since he became the traditional ruler”.