BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI
Some concerned indigenes of Ogboji Ezzagu autonomous community in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have called on the state government and the Nigeria Police Force to intervene in the crisis rocking the community as a result of the tussle over who becomes the next traditional ruler of the community.
Members of the community, led by Chief Nwonu Okeh, Mr. Donatus Nwekpa and Ekene Ogba raised the alarm over sudden disappearance of those who had indicated interest in contesting the throne. They also alleged killings, destruction of properties, harassment and threats to life by one of the contenders.
According to them, since the demise of their traditional ruler, Eze Linus Enyiukpo in 2004, many of them had encountered series of threats by unknown persons suspected to be assailants.
They claimed that one Mr Michael Chinedu Nwankwo, popularly known as Omereme, was instrumental to the alleged abduction, destruction of properties, assault, intimidation, harassment and breach of peace that had been bedeviling the entire community for a long time.
In a petition addressed to the Nigerian Police and entitled, “Complaint of Murder, Kidnapping, Serious Threat to Life, Willful Destruction of Properties, Grievous Bodily Injuries, Assault, Intimidation, Harassment, Breach of Peace Against Mr. Chinedu Michael Nwankwo a.k.a Omereme,” a copy of which was obtained by The Point in Abakaliki, the petitioners urged the Police to curb what they described as the excesses of Nwankwo to prevent further disappearance of humans and douse tension in the land.
The petition reads in part, “Sometime in 2004, the traditional ruler of Ezzagu (Ogboji) autonomous community in Ishielu LGA of Ebonyi State, HRH Eze Linus Enyiukpo died. Suddenly, some persons, including Mr Nwankwo, declared their interest to succeed the late monarch and in the process of lobbying, the same interested people also turned the community into a bloody land where innocent persons were being attacked with cutlass and guns while the villagers are being kidnapped and raped on a daily basis.
“With the hope that all these nefarious activities will enable Mr Nwankwo and the rest become the successor of the late monarch and in spite of the several physical attacks on Mr Okey and others with the continuous threat to their lives by the accused persons, on 9th April, 2022, Mr. Donatus Nwekpa was again attacked through which he was inflicted with life threatening injuries all over his body.
“But, as God would have it, some of the hoodlums working for the accused person were chased by the villagers and those who were arrested confessed that they were working for their paymaster and some other persons in the community.
“On this note, Mr Chinedu Michael Nwankwo was declared wanted by the Ebonyi State Government over his atrocious and murderous activities in the community, but following the government inability to arrest the man, he thereby continued in his atrocities while boasting that no force could stop him or any of his boys. The alleged attacked persons said that life is nothing anymore in the area because of Mr Nwankwo who is currently claiming to be the lord over the entire community while his perceived enemies and their families now live in fear of being attacked and killed at any time.”
The petitioners added that if urgent action was not taken to arrest the unfortunate situation, the entire people of the community might find themselves in a more chaotic situation than was being experienced.
Several attempts to get the reaction of Nwankwo proved abortive as his telephone lines were not reachable as of the time of filing this report.