September 18, (THEWILL) – The last has not been heard of the crisis rocking Awka, capital of Anambra State. It started five years ago when Obi Gibson Nwosu was accused by some kingmakers of violating the Traditional Rulers Amended Constitution for Awka (1986).
He was also said to have violated the Code of Conduct that he signed when he was made a traditional ruler in 1999. He was dethroned and Chief Austin Ndigwe was installed in his place.
The immediate past Governor of the state, Willie Obiano, had frowned at the development and warned Ndigwe from parading himself as king. However, Ndigwe ignored the warning and has been performing the duties of a traditional ruler in the community.
Nwosu also ignored the kingmakers who dethroned him and continued ruling the affairs of the Awka community, representing the kingdom in top government functions as he is the monarch recognised by the government. The two factional heads clashed in 2019 when they both announced two separate dates for the celebration of the annual Ofala Festival in the community.
The state government had to step in support of Nwosu. Ndigwe was warned to desist from any act that might further jeopardise the peace of the community and he was stopped from observing his own Ofala Festival.
Another crisis erupted last week after the two traditional rulers fixed the same date for the New Yam Festival (Otite Awka 2022). The two monarchs had invited guests and dignitaries for the festival, which they planned to stage on the same day but at a different venue. There was tension in the community as a result of the actions of the two monarchs.
The state government had to dispatch policemen to seal Ndigwe’s palace, while guests were chased out of the place. A letter, signed by the Minister of Information, Sir Paul Nwosu, instructed Ndigwe to step down and stop parading himself as the traditional ruler of Akwa.
It was stated in the letter that Nwosu is the only recognised king, according to Section 15 of the Traditional Rulers Law of Anambra State 2007. Ndigwe was told to be prepared to face the wrath of the law since he was not ready to comply with the state government’s directive.