By Chijindu Emeruwa
Hundreds of youths of Mbaocha Ndume Ibeku Community, in Umuahia North local Government of Abia State, on Friday, staged a protest against the purported presentation by Chief Vincent Nwankwo to occupy the vacant and revered traditional stool of the Community following the demise of the former Occupant, Eze Rufus Ohaeri(Ocha 1 of Mbaocha).
The youths led by Ugbaja Clement, while speaking with newsmen, in Umuahia North local Government Council premise, claimed that Nwankwo who presented himself to the Umuahia North Local Government for the stool did not come from the clan and stressed that it was the right of Umuakpu village to produce the king after the demise of the first traditional ruler who also hailed from Ohokobe village in the order of seniority.
The youths appealed to the Abia State government to intervene in order to save Mbaocha Autonomous Community from calamity and further berated those they described as “disgruntled elements” for subjecting the Abia community to unending crisis and as well feeds fat in it.
According to them, “It will be unfair and unjust to cede the Traditional Stool to their Umuakpu Umuohu Community. Let no one be deceived,it is sacrilegious if we are denied our right. This is not what to use and play politics, because, it has been, based on seniority for decades.
“We will continue to toe path of peace, but we will not condone imposition and any other act of injustice. Check the constitution binding the Mbaocha Community, it is based on seniority, it is not what to politicize about”.
The youths were armed with placards with the following inscriptions,
“IT IS THE RIGHT TO PRODUCE THE KING, “OUR TRADITIONAL STOOL IS NOT FOR SALE, “MBAOCHA CLAN IS NOT FOR SALE, and “WE WANT EQUITY AND JUSTICE”.
A titled Chief from the clan and Cabinet member of Mbaocha Traditional throne, Chief Boniface Ikediuwa, backed the youths in their agitation.
But in swift response, another indigene and youth leader from Mbaocha Community, Mr. Obinna Onyebuchi, dismissed the claims of the youths as acts of ignorance.
He said Vincent Nwaknwo presented himself in line with a due process screening exercise conducted for candidates from Umuohu Okpula whose right it was to produce the traditional ruler.
He named four villages in Mbaocha autonomous community in the other of seniority as follows Ohokobe, Umuohu Okpula, Umuafia and Umuezeocha,
Onyebuchi pointed out that the traditional stool of the community rotates among the villages in the other of seniority, adding that Ohokobe being first among the village produced the first traditional ruler.
Also in a statement made available to journalists by the Palace Secretary, Mr. Uche Ugele, urged the the Transition Committee chairman of Umuahia North Local Government area of Abia State to expedite other processes for the formal presentation and handover of the Traditional Staff of Office by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, to the most senior hamlet in Umuohu Okpula Community.