Chieftaincy tussle: PDP chairman, other leaders fight for control as new crisis shook Enugu community
In Mburubu, Nkanu East Local Government Area, Enugu State, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) ward chairman, Mr. Egbo Stephen, along with a number of other community members, say they are currently fighting for their lives following a violent attack.
Just a few days prior, they had gathered at the local public primary school, where Chief Jerry Patrick Onuokaibe was acclaimed as their Igwe.
Between Chief Linus Igbudu and Chief Onuokaibe, there has been a contest for the traditional stool.
Nevertheless, the reporter claims that a few hours after the incident, thugs terrorized some of the villagers, sparking trouble.
Some victims were reportedly beaten until they were unconscious while naked.
Addressing reporters, Hon. Egbo Stephen, the PDP chairman for the Mburubu ward, expressed gratitude to God for sparing his life as well as the lives of his family and other members of the community.
I’m grateful to God for my life. After going to see our Igwe-elect, Ozo Jerry Patrick Onuokaibe, be presented, some thugs beat me until I passed out,” he claimed.
We all decided that he should be our leader, so we disregarded their threats and went to the event despite their earlier warnings.
The incident began on Friday when a man named Mr. Ambrose Anobi warned the villagers not to attend Ozo Jerry Patrick Onuokaibe’s grand reception or risk paying a N100, 000 fine. He did this by using a metal gong.
“They attacked our people, especially the weaker ones, as soon as we returned.
Security personnel arrived at the homes of Ozo Jerry Patrick Onuokaibe to rescue those who had fled to the bushes, locked themselves inside their homes, and other places.
According to him, there is still only one Mburubu, so the security agencies were instructed not to arrest the offenders.
Hon. Egbo claimed that Prince Lawrence Ezeh has been forcing candidates and leaders on them while reminiscing about the past.
“Our late monarch’s son, Prince Lawrence Ezeh, has been insistent that he be the one to produce his father’s successor,” he said.
He has made it necessary for him to be the only one who appoints individuals on our behalf to all government positions, from president-general and neighborhood watch to council member.
“Prince Eze initiated this in Obinagu village when the community presented Mr. Orji Emmanuel for consideration as our PG following screening, but he declined.
Emmanuel Edeh was the person he brought out instead.
When Amanato’s turn came to produce a councillor, Mrs. Vicky Nwobodo, Benjamin Nwaumeanu, and Abel Umeanu all put in a contest. However, out of the blue, Prince Ezeh brought Chris Onyema, who has never taken part in party activities, to the council and, upon hearing the outcry from the populace, he declared that no one would stop him from accomplishing his goals. Later on, Mr. Chris Onyema completed his first and second terms.
“In the Town Union presidency contest, which was Uhuegbe’s turn, Mr. Cornelius Okorie, Mr. Calistus Chukwu, and Mr. Ozo Kenneth Igbudu were all from Uhuegbe.
The Uhuegbe people intended to screen them and present the best candidate, but Prince Ezeh arrived and exercised his veto, forcing them to accept Cornelius Okorie. Despite their uprising, they eventually calmed down to allow peace to rule.
“Prince Ezeh went as far as Uhuegu to select Innocent Ukpabia when it was Amachi Village’s turn to produce the current councillor, depriving one Kingsley from Amachi of the chance to do so even when it was their turn.
“We objected as the party ward chairman, but he persisted.
“We even protested at the Government House, but we were told to let peace reign.”
“All Mburubians opposed Prince Ezeh’s attempt to crown one Simon Anubi as the Igwe of Mburubu after the Igwe passed away in December 2022 while still in the mortuary.
He approached Alfred Nwachukwu to usurp the throne, but he turned him down.
Prince Ezeh then approached Mr. Cornelius Okorie, but he turned him down.
Although approached, Augustine Chukwuogbu declined.
“This is how he now approached Mr. Linus Igbudu, and our people were compelled to accompany him to the local government headquarters on the day of his declaration.”
He denounced Prince Ezeh’s “endless intimidation and harassment of the people” and demanded action from the state government.
Prince Ezeh denied any involvement in violent acts when reached.
He said as follows: “I’ve read a lot of what people have been writing, but I don’t have any opinions.
“He should call the police to come and arrest me if he said I beat him up; I’m not really sure what he is talking about.”