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Who is instigating crisis in Aguluzigbo?

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By Udemba-Asika

It is quite disturbing that under Obiano’s watch that so many avoidable crises have been allowed to fester and disturb the peace of communities in Anambra state.

Aguluezigbo, a town in Anaocha local government, is sitting on the keg of gunpowder. Still recuperating from the town union’s election crisis that saw to establishment of caretaker committee by the Anambra state government, Aguluzigbo is once again embroiled in Igweship crisis.

According to the youths of the town, who in their hundreds stormed Anambra State Government House Wednesday, in Agu Awka, the crisis enveloping the town revolves around senator Victor Umeh.

Sen. Umeh, the protesters hold, allegedly plot to subvert the constitution of the town and install his stooge, Mr Rufus Iloduba, as the Igwe Oranyelu II of Aguluzigbo, just like he did in the case of PG.

Aguluzigbo Protest

This one of the protesters said, explains why Sen. Umeh and his installed Caretaker PG successfully imposed a new constitution on the town and hurriedly re-slated the date of the Igweship election to 15th January 2020.

Recall that Aguluzigbo people had on 28th December 2020 – the original date slated for election – came out en-mass to elect their Igwe but was hindered due to the insistence of the PG , Mr. Nweke Madueke, to observe the clause in the new constitution that only financial members of the union are allowed to vote and be voted for.

This is in clear contradiction of norms and traditions guiding the election in the town which enfranchised every adult citizen who is 18 years old and above.

Aguluzigbo Protest

In a letter dated January 9th 2021, concerned members of the town under the aegis of Patriots of Aguluzigbo in a letter to Governor Willie Obiano shed light to another aspects of the story.

resignation letter

“We the Aguluzigbo Patriots, wish to draw your attention to the events that occurred during our Igweship election/contest in 1977 which was characterised by violence, hate and divisions that led to the cancellations of the said election. As a fallout of the cancellation, and to avoid a repeat of the undesirable events of the town-wide Igweship contest in 1977, the Aguluzigbo Community, in our Constitution of 1993, as amended, pages 33, 34 and 35, Igweship Constitution, Section 5, adopted rotation of Igweship among the six villages of Aguluzigbo. It is right to point out that Ihuowele village, the first village, solely presented to Aguluzigbo Community their Igwe Nominee, Igwe A. N. Ezeanekwe, in compliance with the said 1993 Constitution, and peace reigned in Aguluzigbo throughout his 31 years on the throne.

“Fast-forward to 2020 when it was the turn of Etuleze Village to produce the Igwe of Aguluzigbo, you will wonder the rationale behind the change of the goalpost midway in the 2018 Constitution which altered the right of Etuleze village to solely present to Aguluzigbo its preferred Igwe Nominee. This is after the same 1993 Constitution had been used in 2014 to produce an Igwe Nominee for Aguluzigbo as directed by the same ADU, but had the presentation of the Igwe Nominee disrupted, properties damaged and destroyed by persons loyal to those who afterwards went to redraft, alter and present to Aguluzigbo the 2018 Constitution.

“It is pertinent to note that Etuleze village whose turn it is to present an Igwe Nominee to Aguluzigbo had conducted an election/selection on the 10th day of October 2020, the process had four contestants and a winner declared with wide margin to the first runner up. You may also wish to note that the second in this Etuleze election/selection in 2020 also participated in the previous Etuleze election/selection of 2014 and again also came a distant second before the new 2018 constitution was imposed on Aguluzigbo Community. (See attached result of the Etuleze Igweship election/selection of October 10, 2020).

Aguluzigbo Protest

“Considering the fact that the disputed 2018 Constitution of ADU which clearly states that the Igweship election/selection SHALL be held at the General Assembly and that the General Assembly SHALL hold on 31st December each year, it will be a clear violation of the Constitution to conduct any election outside the constitutionally stipulated date.

Concluding, the Patriots urged the governor to:

i. Direct the President General (PG), Aguluzigbo Development Union (ADU), to abide strictly by the provisions of ADU 2018 Constitution, as reviewed.

ii. Direct the PG, Aguluzigbo Development Union (ADU), to suspend forthwith all activities associated with the scheduled Aguluzigbo Igweship Election/Selection of 15th January 2021

iii. Direct the PG to allow all male indigenes of Aguluzigbo of 18 years and above to vote during the Igweship election/selection as enshrined in the ADU 2018 Constitution, as reviewed, and in conformity with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

iv. Direct the PG, Mr. Nwike Madueke, who is actively campaigning for one of the Igweship candidates to desist from such campaigns and interference with the functions of the Igweship Ad-hoc Election Committee.

v. Direct the PG to allow the Igweship Ad-hoc Election Committee independence to function in the discharge of their duties in compliance with the provisions of the constitution.

vi. In the alternative, and considering the history of Aguluzigbo, to direct that in view of the confusions and crisis generat7ed by the ADU 2018 Constitution, as reviewed, as it affects Igweship election/selection, that Etuleze Village whose turn it is to produce the Igwe should be present one Igwe Nominee to Aguluzigbo.

Surprisingly, Obiano led government has turn a blind eye to the above prayers and thus, the PG from all intents and purposes, is moving with the election.

The youths and the rank and file of Aguluzigbo are confused on whom to run to. They are asking: Is Aguluzigbo under siege?

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