The people of Mbu Amon in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area on Friday besieged the Enugu State Government House to protest the alleged imposition of a traditional ruler on the community.
The protesters, who were in their hundreds, accused the state’s Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters, Mr Emeka Abugu, of compromising himself in the matter.
Speaking during the peaceful protest, the leader of the protesters, Mr Amechi Ezendu, accused the commissioner of taking sides and not playing according to the rules.
Ezendu said that two communities, Mbu Amon and Mbu Akpoti, were involved in the matter as their previous traditional ruler had died.
He said that the two communities had a written constitution which stipulates rotational “igweship” between them.
He said that the last traditional ruler of Mbu, Igwe Gabriel Ugwualor, hailed from Akpoti, claiming that tradition had it that the next ruler should come from Amon.
Ezendu said that the Amon community had selected Dr Ralph Ossai to replace the late igwe, pending his ratification by other stakeholders.
He condemned the commissioner for hurrying to organise the election on a Friday without informing the people of Amon.
“It is sad enough that the commissioner for chieftaincy in Enugu is desperately hurrying to carry out a kangaroo election less than 14 days to the end of his tenure.
“It is disturbing that the students in the venue of the illegal election were ejected out of their school; even civil servants from the communities were disenfranchise because the election was conducted today being Friday,” he said.
Responding, the Special Adviser to Gov. Sullivan Chime on Conflict Resolution, Dr Chris Asadu, thanked the group for the peaceful protest and promised to look into the matter.
He said that he would ensure that the allegation levelled against the commissioner was investigated thoroughly.
Efforts to get the commissioner’s comment failed as his phones could not be reached.