5 January 2010

Nigeria: Nteje Community Rejects New Igwe - As Monarch Sues for Peace

Awka — The people of Nteje in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State have dissociated themselves from the election of a new monarch for the community in place of Igwe Roland Odegbo.

It would be recalled that Odegbo was elected last year after he had defeated three other contestants and had already resigned his position as President General of Nteje before becoming the monarch.

Also, it was learnt that a group of people planned to unleash mayhem in Nteje to create a state of insecurity which would force the conclave of Nteje elders to revert the victory of Igwe Odegbo, but for the intervention of the state police command.

According to a statement signed by Nteje's Concerned Elite Forum, "We the people of Nteje cannot watch our community go into bloody communal clash just because of the selfishness of one man who wants to play God. We also wish to state that Igwe Roland Odegbo remains our traditional ruler and any attempt to impose an imposter on Nteje people would be met with stiff resistance.

"We also urge the entire Nteje people both home and abroad not to allow themselves be used by enemies of peace and messengers of anarchy, who are out to cause trouble on our land. We were witnesses to the election that brought Odegbo into power as the Igwe and we all know it was through a free and fair process, hence we should not be bought with a cheap pot of pottage due to one man's selfish ambition."

Confirming the plot, Igwe Odegbo said, "What these people are trying to do is to divide our community into factions and our fathers never did that. I know that my people are not happy about this plan but I urge them to remain calm and not to take the laws into their hands.

"What actually matters is the peace in the community and people should not take the laws into their hands by trying to impose an illegal leadership on the people. I also urge the state government to come into the matter in order to ensure peace in Nteje town."

Meanwhile, the state police command has warned against unlawful assembly in Nteje, adding that the law on such assembly is still in force and shall be implemented fully.

According to the statement, all parties in the dispute have been warned against unguarded utterances that may snowball into breakdown of law and order.

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