Alor (Idemili South LGA)-People of Alor in Idemili South Local Government Area (LGA) turned out en masse under the umbrella of Alor People’s Assembly (APA) to protest continued recognition of suspended Igwe Mac-Anthony Elibe Okonkwo as their traditional ruler.
They urged the State Government to dissolve the Town Union Caretaker Committee leadership and withdraw Certificate of recognition given to the suspended monarch.
The protest was led by the President-General of APA, Mr Uzoma Igbonwa and his executive members, chairmen from all the quarters and villages, Alor Regency Council and Alor Women’s wing.
They claimed that they had remained in pain for about eight years that the State Government imposed a caretaker committee on them and also imposed Okonkwo as their royal father.
According to Mr Igbonwa, Alor people were still basking in the euphoria of the prolonged caretaker leadership, which had even been outlawed by a court of competent jurisdiction; the State Government issued a certificate of recognition to Okonkwo.
“After the former royal father joined his ancestors, the Alor community was still in the process of selecting a monarch, only for us to wake up one morning to hear that Elibe Okonkwo is now the Igwe.
“Alor people are peace-loving and law-abiding. You have seen the kind of person who parades himself as Igwe and how he failed to conduct himself well by working against the Government.’’
The demonstrators went round the community with placards with inscriptions like, `Alor community dissociates self from Igwe certificate to Chinedu Elibe Okonkwo, `No more caretaker undertakers committee in Alor’ and `we are backing Obiano on suspension’
Other inscriptions are, ‘Imposition of Caretaker in Alor for 8 years is not fair’, `Obiano please help’; ‘We the good people of Alor stand with APA and Okife as the people’s P-G’.
The rest are `We reject continued imposition of caretaker’, `we plead with Obiano to obey court orders’ and `disband caretaker in Alor’.
The procession attracted different personalities in the community who went round the town chanting sober reflecting songs before assembling in front of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Prominent Alor indigenes who were part of the protest, include the Minister of Labour and Employment Sen. Chris Ngige; Chairman, the Imo State Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Prof Emeka Ezeonu, Alor Regency Council, Ichie Ifeanyi Obiazi; Traditional Prime Minister/Regent of Alor, Ichie Okwuchukwu Ezekwesili and
Sen. Ngige described Mac-Anthony Okonkwo as a usurper in the throne of their fore-fathers.
“Government should withdraw his certificate and allow the people to select a traditional ruler of their choice, based on their Constitution.
“State government should not only withdraw Okonkwo’s certificate of recognition but also banish all the suspended traditional rulers and drive them out of the state to serve their one-year suspension in another state.’’
A communiqué was issued after the demonstration which was jointly signed by APA PG, Mr Igbonwa (Okife) and Alor Regent, Ichie Ezekwesili, at which they appealed to the Government to remove the Igwe and the caretaker committee.
“We disassociate ourselves from the clandestine visit to Abuja and support the Governor for suspending erring monarchs including the self styled Traditional ruler of Alor.
“We urge the Government to initiate a process of selecting a new Igwe, since it has not done that since the demise of Igwe Nkwoka.
“We pray the State Government to accord due recognition to the elected executive of APA elected in compliance with a Judgment of the High Court.
Source: Anambra State Government