By Uzo Ugwunze
After about two decades without a monarch, three candidates that include, former chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State, Chief Chris Eluemuno, Chiefs Akpachuna Obiora and Oduche Chimereze, are said to be set to slug it out come October 28, this year to fill the vacant throne of Igweship of Nkwelle-Ezunaka community, Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State.
Recall that Eluemuno was former Chief Press Secretary to the then Enugu State Governor, Chief Jim Nwobodo and also represented Anambra State at the Constitutional Conference, (Confab), in Abuja.
Reacting on the coming Igweship election, the President General, PG, of the community, Chief Willie Okafor, disclosed Sunday, while fielding questions from newsmen during the 2023 newyam festival of the former Ohanaeze chairman, that arrangements have been concluded to elect a new monarch for the community lamenting that the absence of a monarch has caused the community a lot hinting that for more than two decades the community has been without a monarch.
“We are prepared very well for the election of the igwe, you know that the storm has been carrying the thing around for a long time but it now has a date, that day by this hour, the result would have been announced. On 28th October 2023, that day Nkwelle will shake, after the gun powder, at the election venue, everybody should be going to the winner’s house to celebrate with him.
“The three contestants are Chris Eluomuno(Ogbuefi Nwajiugo), Ogbuefi Akpachuna Obiora (Omenife), and Ogbuefi Odiuche Chimereze. God will help us to elect the man of the people. We are being denied so many things because of lack of a monarch.
On the newyam festival of Eluemuno the PG stated that every titled man in Nkwelle is suppose to celebrate his new yam after Nkwelle did hers, pointing out that it is a period of thanking God for abundant farm produce and also to prepare for farming season.
” I have done my own, new yam festival has been there right from time immemorial, it signifies that faming has come to an end, and this is the season of eating, till march when farming will start again. If it were to be in the olden days, yam would be eating all the way, it will be yam, yam all the time.
“New yam reminds us of our tradition, it teaches you that you reserve the yam for planting in the coming season, it will teach you to reserve for the rainy season, so that after making yourself happy you prepare well for march when planting season will start again, if you don’t make yourself happy after work it is not enjoyable, so that is the celebration we are doing today,” he further disclosed.
Earlier, Eluemuno corraborated the position of the PG that the community has not had a monarch for over two decades lamenting that as such the community has been denied of so many good things from the State Government.
“As far as Igweship is concern, I am the forerunner, I am the first among equals and I believe my people will do the right thing. It is my turn to be the igwe, I don’t have any doubt about it. I have served my people severally, I have served my family as the chairman, I have served Nkwelle Ezunaka as the PG, two tenures, I served Anambra state as the President of Ohaneze Ndigbo,I have done enough that warrant my taking the kingship of this community.
“I reclaimed our lands, as PG, even this place I am living was occupied by another community, my people know that, I chased all of them away, Onitsha people occupied this place and I chased all of them away as the PG, so they know what I have done, they know what I am capable of doing. We need peace to prevail in Nkwelle-Ezunaka, and when we do the right thing, our youths will like to do the right thing,
” if the leaders do the right thing, their followers will like to do the right thing, I believe when I will become the Igwe of this community, I will show them the way, they will like to do the right thing and I will bring peace in the community, right now, there is no peace in the community, and I will bring peace as the Igwe of the community,” he affirmed.
In his own reaction, Nwabufo Ogbogu, chairman Umuonuo clan, said that, ” Chris Eluomuno, is suppose to be our monarch, I started hearing his name right from childhood even before I was born. He has done a lot for the community, when I came in and saw all he has done in Nkwelle, I said that he deserves the seat of the Igwe, that is why I designed caps in his honour as campaign for him in the coming election.
“He is more than qualified, I personally did it to support him, to encourage him, I know that Nkwelle has not had an Igwe for a long time, I have not seen with my eyes the Igwe of Nkwelle since I was born and I will like to see him as the Igwe of Nkwelle-Ezunaka, so I give him my support.They are three contestants and he is the best among the three,” he further disclosed.
Iyom Irene Oraefo, Senior citizen, the leader of Iyom, Nkwelle Ezunaka, said that, “We are preparing very well for the election of the Igwe because Nkwelle has lost a lot in the government, when others get theirs due to the fact that we don’t have Igwe. We stand strongly on the election of Igwe on 28th October ,and must support a leader, for his leadership to be successful, to solve all the problems the community has been going through, to bring our share to us,” she stated
Also Wada Nkiruka Nwankwo, the leader of Umuada, Umuonuora family, said, “We came to stay with our brother and we stand with him on the election as the igwe, because he deserves it, we want igwe to come from our kindred,” she explained.
Pic 1. shows Eluemuno cutting the yam. Pic 2. Eluemuno