By Ewa Innocent, Abakaliki
The Assistant to Ebonyi State Governor on Human Capital Development, Hon. Uzoma Ani, has described the destruction and demolition of his property by some irate youths of his village, Umueziukwu in Igboeze Onicha, Onicha local government area, as a calculated attempt to stir up crises in the area.
Ani, stated this during a traditional cleansing exercise held with elders of his community in his country home, Igboeze Onicha, in a bid to settle the matter.
According to him, the event was part of the resolution of the elders and Eze’s cabinet,as directed by His Royal highness, Ezeogo Agom Eze of Igbueze Onicha autonomous community.
He further described the act as very barbaric, stating that he has done nothing to warrant the destruction of his personal belongings.
He explained that the property in question was handed over to him as a gift by governor Umahi, who was the original owner of the land, and wondered why the youths would go ahead to demolish his structures, even after clarifying from the Coordinator of Onicha West Development Centre, Mr Ogbonnaya Oti and Chairman, Onicha Local Government Area, Engr. Felix Igboke, who confirmed the position, adding that he was not in his compound when the youths embarked on the demolition of his property.
According to him, “On 12th April, 2020, I was at Abakaliki when one of my boys called me that some members of my community, Umueziukwu, came to destroy my property. They even came with palm fronds (omu), signifying danger,and used it to barricade my compound. I had to let some of my people know, and by now, state government has been intimated.
“The Commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters, Barr. Samuel Okoronkwo, was here last week to see things for himself. I thanked the elders, the town union president of Igboeze Development Union and Eze’s cabinet, particularly, His Royal Highness,Eze Agom Eze for coming here today, to make peace. My heart is full of joy, like a new born baby”, he said.
In a remark,the traditional Prime minister of Igboeze Onicha autonomous community, Chief Felix Ekpogo,said they came to make peace between Hon. Uzoma Ani and his people as that was the resolution reached at Ezeogo’s palace, Igboeze Onicha.
He explained that Eze’s cabinet was not happy when they got wind of the incident, and cautioned the people of Igboeze Onicha for taking laws into their hands, adding that their coming served as a traditional cleansing to enable Hon. Uzoma Ani, enter his compound that was barricaded with palm fronds (omu),which he said was a taboo in Onicha Igbueze land.
Also in a remark, the vice president of Igboeze Onicha Development Union, Sir Charles Chukwu,said they were there to implement the agreement reached in a meeting with the paramount traditional ruler of Igboeze Onicha, Eze Agom Eze, to make peace.
It will be recalled that the Umueziukwu village leadership, Igboeze Onicha, headed by Ogbonnaya Chukwu Uzor had earlier been dissolved by the state government to forestall further break down of law and order.