Ojoto Leaders of Thought Beg Government Panel To Recognise People's Choice As King

 Elders and major Stakeholders in Ojoto kingship matters have called on government to heed the provisions of the Community's constitution and traditions in resolving her traditional rulership tussles, to ensure that the monarch preferred by the people is enthroned.
The call is coming on the heels of the conclusion of public hearing by a Panel set up by Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano to look into the remote and immediate causes of the Igweship crisis in the community.

Also, was the accusation of bias on the part of some members of the Panel whose negative influence, some quarters in the community fingered as the reason why the Panel overstepped its boundaries in going ahead to conduct the screening of Igweship candidates at the government House, Awka.
For the generality of the respondents, never has it been heard in the history of the community that screening and selection of candidates for the traditional stool of the town is conducted outside Ojoto Akanasato Community.
More worrisome to them also, was the fact that the members of the Panel do not have the right to conduct the exercise according to the constitution of the town which clearly stipulates that the Village whose turn it is to produce an Igwe, will select their candidate and present to the community.
First to fault the entire arrangement was One of the kingmakers in the community, an Octogenarian, Chief Dan Ilonze, who as the President General of Ojoto presided over the signing of the current operational Constitution into law, with which two past monarchs were crowned.
According to him, any attempt by government or any of its officers or agent to perform the selection for them would be an aberration that portends great danger not only for the community but also, for Anambra State.
"There has never anything like that since I was born in this community. Ojoto Akanasato Constitution remains the manual with which Kings have been installed in the community. In very clear terms, it envisages and puts to rest several issues anticipated that will crop up in the cause of installing Kings in the town and it has worked so far. Ojoto is a core Igbo community that adheres tenaciously to its cultures and traditions. Let it not be heard that such atrocity is perpetrated in the community, at this time when the State is on a steady course towards growth and advancement."
For Chief Samuel Maduabuchukwu Ezimuo, who is the Ikenga of Ojoto, the Town has selected and installed her monarch in the person of Igwe Elect, Chief Dennis Adindu Okafor and presently awaits the presentation of Certification of Recognition to him by the governor.
He described the present antics of some very wealthy individuals in the community who have no single positive plan for the state government or Ojoto as capable of plunging the town into backwardness.
" I am the oldest living Ichie in Ojoto today, hence can rightly describe myself as the encyclopedia of our custom and tradition especially as it has to do with selection and installation of our monarchs.
I was there when the late Igwe Augustine Obidiwe was installed, later dethroned for the late Igwe Adirika. Then when Adirika joined our ancestors, it reverted back to Obidiwe again and now Igwe Dennis Okafor. All procedures were duly followed, because Igwe stool is not a political office and Ojoto is never a political party. No government official or Dr Menakaya will select or install an Igwe that would reign in Ojoto for us in Awka. "
There was also the testimony of Chief Godwin Efoagui, the Ojomo Ojor(Okpala Ojor) whose inalienable traditional right it was to crown all monarchs for Ojoto, that he crowned Okafor in line with the laid down processes, having emerged from the selection process set out in the constitution of Ojoto and accepted by the Town Union.
"I can testify that the selection of Chief Okafor was done at the village level after which he was duly presented to the Town Union who in turn wrote the local and State Governments. Being the turn of Umuofor kindred of Enugo village, Chief Okafor was selected in line with the traditions of the land. Why would government at this point, want to throw caution to the wind and impose a candidate on the people. I strongly believe there is something wrong", he said.


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