|Igwe MUN Okonkwo Etusi|
By Alphonsus Nweze
The Eziowelle community in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State has described as ” laughable and false” the allegation that the community collects one million naira to bury the dead in their place.
Speaking to newsmen yesterday in the Igwe ‘s Palace both the traditional ruler, Igwe Michael Okonkwo Etusi and the President General, Hon.Titus. N Akpudo, said the allegation that the community collects one million naira before they bury deaf person was not only false but still part of campaign of calumny against the winners of the election of new executives of the community held last weekend.
Igwe OKONKWO ETUSI who expressed shock at the level of mischief of some people in the community just because they wanted power at all cost said the only levy paid in the community by the relations of the dead was the N3,000 annual development and security levy if the person was owing it before his death. He emphatically stated that clearance for public functions in Eziowelle starts from EIU branches and Age Grades level before getting to the EIU National Secretariat for final clearance.
Igwe Okonkwo Etusi (Owelle Eziowelle) said “this is laughable in the sense that it came soon after the election. I consider it as part of the electioneering. It is not true. It is falsehood. It never happened, unless in the imagination of those peddling the wicked and false rumor. I have never heard about payment of one million naira in my 25 years on the throne. I have never seen that in my life in this community”.
Lamenting that the person behind this was doing his best to dent the image of the town, the Igwe said they cannot be encouraging people to build houses and turn around to collect one million naira, asking how much was left for the building project if one paid such amount to the community for building a house.
The traditional ruler said one Emeka Akukwe who was behind this deliberate fallacy was not living in the community and therefore hardly knew and participated in what the town was doing, yet he did the N20m Government community project for Eziowelle.
Akukwe, he said, bided for the second job but failed and the President-General automatically turned from being his friend to an enemy, saying that Akukwe went ahead to contest the election even though he was not qualified because he doesn’t belong to any Age Grade or EIU branch of Eziowelle until about a week to the election when he went to register with Onitsha branch.
He also accused one of the wealthy sons of the Community, Felix Ezejiugo, of being behind the tension and acrimony the election generated because they wanted to change the mode of the election contrary to the community’s Constitution.
“They were throwing money about in this community. Two days to the election we did not sleep. All the hirelings including those from neighboring communities were in this town but on election day I addressed our people to vote according to their conscience. At the end of the day winners and losers emerged and they embraced themselves”.
Igwe OKONKWO ETUSI urged money bags in the community to help develop their community by giving scholarships and empowerments to the youths and less privileged citizens instead of wasting their money on unnecessary things like litigations, Police cases and crisis .
He stated that the cabinet shall seat soon to deliberate on proper action to take on this issue but appealed to the people of Eziowelle to embrace the path of peace and unity as the only means to move the community forward.
In his contribution, the President-General said the allegations in question were malicious and calculated to tarnish the image of the entire community not even himself, saying that the community has been the most peaceful in the State.
“I emerged victorious with 73 votes, wide margin. Akukwe came distant last with 29 votes, while Barr. Chijioke Iloka came second with 49 votes. Iloka and I congratulated each other as good brothers we are immediately after the election result was announced. The Akukwe and his cohorts just wanted to cause confusion in the community but they will not succeed. Eziowelle will not allow their actions to distract this present administration. We will remain focused to carry out a lot of developmental work we have in stock for the community” said Akpudo, who is a legal practitioner.
He said a lot of lies were told about him for no just cause in the name of politics, but stated that the vengeance is for the gods, not for him and a such leave everything that happened in the hands of God.
The youth leader of the community, Mr. Emeka Okoye Ozo, said if such things existed in the community he would know because it is the youths in the community that would have executed it.
He said” they were cooked up to tarnish our image. We cannot do anything to them. If we want, we will bring it to the table and discuss it. We are transparent people. We are not violent as a town. Ask our neighboring communities, we are peace loving community, we don’t have any problem with them. We pray that God shall touch the mind of this our brothers to repent and be a good Ambassadors of our community” he said.