…PG, Igwebuike replaced with Agughalam
…Nze Everest elected traditional ruler
By Stanley Okehie
The people of Ejemekwuru Autonomous Community in Oguta Local Government Council have removed their President General, Chief Kyrian Igwebuike through the dissolution of Ejemekwuru Town Union, an umbrella body of every indigene of the community.
The reason for the dissolution was not unconnected with the Ezeship tussle rocking the community and failure of the deposed President General to conduct free, fair and credible ezeship election.
Igwebuike was said to be partisan in the Ezeship contest and once, accused of taking N4million bribe to install his preferred candidate, Nze Hypolite Duru as the monarch of Ejemekwuru.
The last straw that broke the camel’s back was on February 27 when the former President General in cahoots with few members of his executive and Interim Management Committee Chairman of Oguta, Emma Mazi, brought-in soldiers to intimidate and harass people of the area while conducting what some members of the community described as a kangaroo election where his choice candidate, emerged unopposed.
This he did, in defiance to an order from the State House of Assembly suspending the February 27 election.
However, on Sunday March 7, youths and women from the 18 villages in Ejemekwuru marched round the community in solidarity with Nze Everest Obiukwu, one of the ezeship candidates said to be the people’s choice. The jubilant indigenes converged at the Community School Playground where they unanimously passed vote of no confidence on the former PG, dissolved the Town Union and constituted an interim executive with Hon. Emeka Agughalam and Louis Durugbo emerging the Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively.
Other appointed officers were, Richard Nwoke – Secretary, Andrew Olekanma – Treasurer, Stan Dike – PRO, Igwe Eze – Provost and Barr. Ngozi Osigwe – Legal Adviser.
The interim officers were at the venue inaugurated and charged with the task of piloting the affairs of the Town Union pending general convention on Easter or Christmas.
However, election for a replacement monarch was also, at the venue conducted and Nze Everest Obiukwu emerged winner, polling 3,415 votes to beat the other two contestants – Nze Dominic Opara and Nze Hypolite Duru who were said to have secured less than 1500 votes combined.
Speaking with Nigerian Newsguide shortly after the election, the new President General, Hon. Emeka Agughalam accused the former PG, Igwebuike of gross misconducts and acts capable of stoking flames of discord among members of the community.
He said the people of Ejemekwuru spoke with one voice and assured that election for the leadership of Ejemekwuru Town Union will be conducted during their next convention in Easter or Christmas.
The Eze-elect, Nze Everest Obiukwu promised to reciprocate the love and overwhelming support extended to him by his people.
He lamented lack of government presence in the community and promised to change the narrative.
Other members of the community who spoke to Nigerian Newsguide including Okey Duru and Olekanma Frank both who had held several positions in the community, expressed joy that the community has been relieved of bad leadership that plagued it since the former PG, Kyrian Igwebuike was elected.
Efforts made to speak with Igwebuike proved abortive as his phone line was said to be unreachable as at 9.10PM, 7/3/2021.
But, Igwebuike had prior to the event of Sunday told Nigerian Newsguide that he conducted election on 27th February and Nze Hypolite Duru emerged winner.
He also said the election was conducted peacefully in the presence of the representatives of IMC Chairman of Oguta LGA, the DSS Oguta, DAGS and other security personnel.
Igwebuike hinted that the community had on 3rd of March, presented the winner of that election to the local government as required by law.
According to him, prior to the election, the community got the mandate of the state government through the IMC Chairman.
“Even though there were criticisms, the town union was neutral throughout the election”, he added.
Igwebuike admitted introducing use of cards for the election for easy identification.
“Election is over, a new eze-elect in the person of Nze Hypolite Duru emerged and has been presented to the government”, Igwebuike told Nigerian Newsguide.