|THERE is disquiet in Governor Willie Obiano’s community of Aguleri in Anambra East local government area of Anambra State after the recent demise of the traditional ruler of the area, Igwe Christopher Idigo as two persons are laying claim to the traditional stool.
Despite the fact that the state government had already recognized a member of the royal family, Dr Michael Idigo, as a successor to the late monarch and presented him with a certificate, another member of the royal family, Chief Chuka Idigo, has started laying claim to the throne. The development had brought a division in the community, forcing the state government to issue a stern warning to those supporting another person not recognized by the government.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr Don Adinuba, the state government said it had noted with dismay the strange trend by some people to lay claim to the leadership of traditional institutions in some communities in utter violation of the customs and traditions of the communities and in total disregard of the laws governing the selection and recognition of traditional rulers in the state.
According to the state government, there were laws protecting the dignity of the royal institution and those who occupy it, adding that government resolved long ago not to brook any act from any quarters which could bring the royal institution to odium or public ridicule and disgrace. The statement read: “It is intolerable that one Chuka Idigo has in the last few days been posting on the social media, pictures depicting him as a traditional ruler. The pictures were taken in his living room, making the action look like a comic relief. “Even if Chuka Idigo set out to attempt a comedy appropriate for the Nollywood industry, he has gone too far. The monarchy is too important and sacred an institution for any grown-up person to toy with.” Going down memory lane, the statement continued: “Following the passage of Igwe Christopher Nwabunwanne Idigo, the kingmakers and people of the ancient Kingdom of Aguleri nominated Dr Michael Idigo as their next Igwe, and he was subsequently presented to the Anambra State government which has since recognized him as the traditional ruler of Aguleri by giving him the appropriate certificate.
“He was crowned at a ceremony which was attended and celebrated by hundreds of thousands of Aguleri people, their in-laws, friends and well wishers. “Chuka Idigo knows that there cannot be two traditional rulers in the same community at the same time. To pretend that there can be more than one traditional ruler in one community at the same is to show gross indiscipline and an unmistakable proclivity towards chaos and anarchy. “To pretend that a traditional ruler can emerge in a place without the endorsement of kingmakers is to exhibit the kind of thinking and conduct incompatible with the decorum expected of any person who aspires to be a traditional monarch. “To pretend that a traditional ruler can emerge without following due process and without recognition from the state government is to demonstrate crass ignorance of the 1976 law guiding the selection of traditional rulers in the country and the 1981 amended law in Anambra State dealing with the same subject. “Chuka Idigo and all pretenders to the throne of traditional leadership in Anambra State must come to terms with the fact that the state government will not condone any act of indiscipline and lawlessness from them because they will be made to feel the full weight of the law.”
SOURCE : VANGUARD
On a related note ,BVI Online contacted Chief Chuka Idigo to react to Anambra State position that he is an impostor .Chief Chuka told our Reporter that he was the person chosen by THE IDIGO ROYAL DYNASTY as the new Igwe.He referred BVI Online to the public statement issued by The Idigo Royal Dynasty .The Statement reads in full ; ‘ The attention of the Idigo Royal Dynasty has been drawn to the press release titled: WARNING TO ROYAL PRETENDERS IN ANAMBRA STATE by the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment circulated in the print and the social media. The press release is malicious, mischievious, malevolent, hateful and intended to denigrate and bring to ridicule the name and person of His Royal Highness, EZE GABRIEL CHUKA IDIGO V, (Ogalagidi-Ezedioramma), the Igwe of the ancient kingdom of Aguleri.
Ordinarily, the Idigo Royal Dynasty of Aguleri, and indeed the generality of Aguleri people would have totally ignored the said public statement in its entirety; but for the fact that the several gross misrepresentation of sacred facts and the fabricated mendacity about Aguleri traditional kingship over the more than a century old Idigo Royal Dynasty which may likely deceive the good people of Anambra State and the public in general were therein contained. This rejoinder statement by the Idigo Royal Dynasty of Aguleri is meant to correct and truly rectify these fabrications and deceitful inf ormation regrettably circulated by the officer of the Anambra State Government and provide an accurate account to the public.
The truth and sacred facts of the matter remains that upon the passage of the late Eze Christopher Nwabunwanne Idigo IV (Ogalagidi) Igwe of Aguleri kingdom unto eternity on January 11, 2019 and the formal narration of same to the Ndichie Aguleri according to custom, the Idigo Royal Dynasty was directed to select a new King to succeed the late Igwe. Thereafter, at the historic royal conclave of the Idigo Elders Council held on 19/01/19 (a great day in history), Prince GABRIEL CHUKA IDIGO (A Prince with a rich royal background. His mother is from the Onwudiwe Royal family of Ogbunike and his grandmother from the Amobi Royal family of Ogidi so he can never be a pretender) was selected by a unanimous vote and presented same day to the larger Iruokechi royal kindred who overwhelmingly accepted and endorsed same in a meeting presided over by Chief Mike Ejoh in the residence of Dr. Clement Idigo. He was later presented to the eldest-living patriarch of the royal kindred, the 97yr old Pa Gabriel Chiatula (Onolueze Aguleri) who prayed for him and imparted his paternal blessings on him. Thereafter, the choice of Prince Gabriel Chuka Idigo as the Igwe-Elect was duly communicated to other elders and stakeholders in Aguleri, and later to the Governor of Anambra State (who has lived in Aguleri all his life) in January 2019, who also endorsed the choice during a private visit to the Governors Lodge by a delegation of the Idigo Elders Council with the said Prince Chuka Idigo present.
Things began to take a different dimension on Sunday March 24, 2019, less than 5 days to the scheduled coronation of Prince Chuka Idigo, at a hurriedly-packaged meeting of Iruokechi kindred surreptitiously convened by Chief Mike Ejoh, (an appointee of the State Government to the Federal Civil Service Commission) by 9am when Sunday masses were ongoing, and with less than 13 members present. At the said meeting, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Primus Odili informed that he was sent by the Governor to transmit the information that the choice of Prince Chuka Idigo is no longer acceptable to him, and that he has directed that a certain Dr. Mike Idigo (a medical officer in the Obiano government) be rather selected to succeed the late Igwe Christopher Idigo. This was rejected and rebuffed by members of the Idigo Elders Council and the entirety of the Idigo Royal family; as well as the Iruokechi Royal kindred in separate meetings held on Monday March 25, 2019; and Wednesday March 27, 2019 respectively; and thus reaffirming the choice of Prince Gabriel Chuka Idigo as was collectively made on 19/01/19.
Surprisingly, by Wednesday, March 27, 2019 a heavy presence of men of the Nigeria Police not only descended unto the Eze Idigo palace and not only precluded royal household members from access into their homes but also barricaded all the multiple road entrances into the Ama-Igwe (Kings Square) as well as blocking all major roads in Amaeze Aguleri. Indigenes and residents of Aguleri were denied free movement both within, and in-and-out of Amaeze Aguleri, resulting in close-down of shops and business units in Amaeze Aguleri. When confronted, the policemen averred that they were acting on the instructions and directives of the Anambra State Government. This lockdown of the Idigo Royal palace in particular and Amaeze Aguleri in general continued until Friday March 29, 2019 when even a heavier detachment of heavily-armed policemen and operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) numbering over a 100, held the entire ancient Eze Idigo palace compound and Amaeze Aguleri under a temporary incarcerated captive, with Police armed-Helicopters hovering ferociously at virtually roof-top levels. Under this frenzy and horror of government-induced terrorization, with some of the terrified and scared elders and chiefs inside the Isabanka (Kings court) looking bewildered, the Governor in the company of his wife, the Chief of Staff, Chief Mike Ejoh and a few others directed and facilitated the installation and crowning of the said Dr. Mike Idigo purportedly as the new Igwe of Aguleri, and immediately issued him a hurriedly-written Certificate of Recognition and presented him keys to brand new Toyota Prado SUV and Hilux van.
After the heavy Police presence and intimidation which lasted over the 4 day Last Ovala ceremonies in honour of the late Eze Idigo and which prevented the participation of Aguleri people and other invited sympathisers in native week-long funeral had died down, the Idigo Elders Council and Royal family made a formal report of this orchestrated anomaly to the Ndichie Aguleri during the traditional “Mputa-Ito” ceremony. Thereafter both the Idigo royal family and the Iruokechi royal kindred had in their meetings of Saturday April 20, 2019 and Wednesday April 24, 2019 respectively discountenanced and disregarded the purported coronation as a nullity, and reaffirmed, for the umpteenth time, the collective decision of 19/01/19 in favour of Prince Gabriel Chuka Idigo as Igwe-Elect, to which the said Dr Mike Idigo is a signatory.
It is on the basis of the several reaffirmations of this collective resolution that on the traditional “Mputa-Isaa” (7 native weeks) ceremony of the late Igwe Christopher Idigo held on Friday April 26, 2019 that the elders of the Idigo Royal Dynasty and the Iruokechi royal kindred as well as other elders of Aguleri present, formally crowned Prince Gabriel Chuka Idigo as the Eze Gabriel Chuka Idigo V (Ogalagidi-Ezedioramma), Igwe of Aguleri as the new Igwe of Aguleri to succeed the late Eze Idigo IV. The ceremony was marked with traditional pomp and peagantry characterized by the beating of the Ikolo drum and the dancing to the rhythmic tunes of both the Uvio and the Okanga royal bands.
Again, shortly after the coronation ceremony, members of the royal household and the residents of Amaeze Aguleri were again shocked to herald another heavy presence of men of the Nigeria Police who, yet again, invaded the royal palace building and the Ama-Igwe in great numbers. They forcefully chased away the jubilant elders and people of Aguleri, including members of the Okanga royal band, and prevented any form of entrance into the royal palace. When confronted, they again averred that they are acting on the instructions and directives of the Anambra State government. Worse still, about midday, about 3nos Policemen forced their way into the palace compound and headed to attempt to arrest Eze Gabriel Chuka Idigo V in his palace house and in the process manhandled his 87 year old mother. It took the screaming, yelling and howling of women and children to make the Police do turnabout to escape. As we write, up till Monday April 29, 2019 and continuing, the Idigo palace and Ama-Igwe are under heavy Police lockdown.
The Idigo dynasty acknowledges the good performance of Chief Willie Obiano as the governor of Anambra State and urge him to keep up the good works for the remaining tenure of his administration. We are however astonished and astounded that he has continued to meddle unduly and unjustifiably in the kingship culture and tradition of Aguleri, his home town. We wonder and ponder what is the interest of Governor Willie Obiano in the Aguleri kingship? We also further wonder and ponder why he seems to be destroying the Idigo dynasty of Aguleri despite the several recognitions he has received from the Idigo dynasty.
We use this opportunity to call on Governor Obiano and his cohorts to please desist from further interference and intrusion into the affairs of the Idigo royal dynasty of Aguleri; which is arguably the oldest-surviving dynasty in Igboland having lasted for an uninterrupted period of over 140 years. We plead with Governor Obiano to allow the duly selected and crowned rightful successor to the throne, Eze Gabriel Chuka Idigo V to assume his duties as the new Igwe of Aguleri. We further plead that Governor Obiano desists from further deployment of armed Policemen into the Idigo royal palace to harass and intimidate members of the Idigo royal family. We finally call on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu to please direct the immediate withdrawal of men of the Nigeria Police who are acting on the directives of Governor Obiano and laying constant siege on the ancient palace of Eze Idigo and the Ama-Igwe.
For: IDIGO ELDERS COUNCIL
Crown Prince FIDELIS C. IDIGO (OmabalaAguleri) & Okpala Idigo
Prince MIKE O. IDIGO (Ezennia), Palace Secretary
Prince GABRIEL IKE IDIGO (Agaba-Idu)