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Chaos as Factional Eze Uzu’s Palace is Sealed by Anambra Police, Stopping Factional Monarch’s New Yam Festival

Eze Uzu
Eze Uzu

By Uche Amunike

There was chaos, Saturday in the Anambra State Capital, Awka, as security operatives stopped the planned New Yam festival billed to take place at the Eze Uzu’s Palace of the factional traditional ruler of Awka, Chief Austin Ndigwe, who declared himself the traditional ruler of Awka, some years back, not minding that the town’s recognized Monarch, Igwe Gibson Nwosu 11, was still alive.

Since then, Ndigwe has paraded himself as the traditional ruler of the community, with alleged support of some indigenes of the town.

On Saturday, he made plans to celebrate the 2022 New Yam festival and had indeed invited prominent personalities from far and wide. While they were seated at the factional Eze Uzu’s Palace, at about 11am, a team of police and military men stormed the venue and dispersed the invited guests, before cordoning off the place amidst the chaos.

A youth in the community stated: ‘The policemen and the soldiers used teargas  canisters to chase us away.There was pandemonium when they started shooting in the air and people ran away from the area and some of us sustained injuries.’

The Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Tochukwu Ikenga however disclosed to newsmen that he was not aware of any order to have the Eze Uzu’s Palace sealed off.

The state government has however condemned the actions of Chief Ndigwe, while describing him as an impostor. This was according to a statement released by the Anambra State Commissioner for information, Mr Paul Nwosu. The statement partly read: ‘It has come to the attention of Anambra State government that one Austin Chukwuezube Ndigwe, alias Uzu Awka, is still parading himself as the authentic traditional ruler of Awka’.

‘Not only that; he is also taking steps to perform one of the major harvest season’s traditional rites known as New Yam festival of the Awka people, thereby threatening the peace and tranquility of the town. The state government will not tolerate this’.

‘For the avoidance of doubt, the state government wishes to state emphatically that the only recognized traditional ruler of Awka is His Royal Highness, Obi Gibson Nwosu, Eze Uzu II of Awka whose recognition by the state government has not been withdrawn and he is the only one empowered by Section 15 of the Traditional Rulers Law of Anambra State 2007 to preside over such festivals or carry out any of the functions of a traditional ruler in Awka’.

‘It is a criminal offence for any other person to do so by virtue of section 20 of the Traditional Rulers Law of Anambra State 2007’.

‘The said Austin Ndigwe is not the recognized traditional ruler of Awka and should henceforth desist from parading and portraying himself as the traditional ruler of Awka, or attempting to usurp the rights of the legitimate and duly recognized traditional ruler, His Royal Highness, Igwe Obi Gibson Nwosu’.

‘Any such unlawful act in any part of Anambra State would not be condoned by the Anambra State government and the state will not hesitate to sanction the impostor, according to the relevant laws of Anambra State’.



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