Thugs allegedly sponsored by a serving Commissioner in Enugu State, Prince Lawrence Eze, on Sunday attacked supporters of the newly elected traditional ruler of Mburubu community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of the state, Igwe Jerry Onuokaibe.
Members of the community had gathered to welcome the Igwe elect on Saturday 3rd February 2024, by the next morning thugs descended on them, stripping them naked and carting away their properties for going against their instructions.
Speaking with newsmen, the chairman of PDP in Mburubu Ward, Egbo Stephen thanked God for saving his life, that of his family and other community members. He stated that some of the villagers have run to other villages in search of safety.
“I thank God for my life. I was beaten by some thugs for attending the grand finale of our Igwè elect, Ozọ Jerry Patrick Onuokaibe. They had warned us earlier but we refused their intimidation and attended the event as we unanimously chose him to lead us.
“It started on Friday when One Mr Ambrose Anobi used a metal gong to go round the villages telling people not to attend Ọzo Jerry Patrick Onuokaibe’s grand reception or face a penalty of ₦100,000 which they refused.”
“When we came back, they started attacking our people, especially the vulnerable. Some ran away to bushes, some were locked inside their houses while others ran to Ọzo Jerry Patrick Onuokaibe’s house where the law enforcement agency that arrived, came and saved them.”
“The security agencies wanted to arrest but were told not to do it as we are still one Mburubu, and making arrests of Mburubians isn’t part of the plans of our ìgwè elect.”
Hon Egbo who went down the history lane, stated how Prince Lawrence Ozoemena Ezeh has been imposing candidates and leaders on them.
“Ezeh, the son of our late monarch, has been insisting on being the one who would produce his father’s successor.”
He has made it a must to be the sole person that appoints people for us into various positions that come from the Government starting from counseling down to President General, Neighbourhood watches, that even if there is any opposition, they will still be asked to respect him because of his father.”
“Prince Eze started this From Obinagu village when one Mr Orji Emmanuel was brought out by the community after screening to become our PG which Prince refused and brought out one Emmanuel Edeh despite all refusal from Obinagu and Mburubu as a whole, even when people were beaten at the local Government headquarters, he still led.
When it was the turn of Amanatọ to produce Councillor, Vicky Nwobodo, Benjamin Nwaumeanu, Abel Umeanu all contested but Prince Ezeh from nowhere, brought Chris Onyema who has never participated in our party activities to become councillor and when people reacted he said, nobody will stop him from doing what he wants to do. Mr Chris Onyema later finished his first and second tenure.
“When it was Town Union presidency, which was the turn of Uhuegbe, one Mr Cornelius Okorie, Ọzo Kenneth Igbudu, Mr Calistus Chukwu all from Uhuegbe were contesting. Uhuegbe people wanted to screen them and bring the best candidate, but Prince Lawrence Ozoemena Ezeh came and vetoed, thus imposing Cornelius Okorie on them, they revolted and still calmed down for peace to reign.
“When it was the turn of Amachi Village to produce the current councillor, Prince Lawrence Ozoemena Ezeh, went as far as Uhuegu to pick Innocent Ukpabia denying One Kingsley from Amachi the opportunity to do so even when it was their turn. As the party ward chairman, we insisted and he still had his way. We even went to the Government house to protest but were asked to allow peace to reign “
“When it was the turn for Town Union presidency again for Obinagu, they brought one Mr Sylvanus Chukwudi after thorough screening to be their rep, the same Prince Ezeh went and brought Hon Emma Edeh, who just finished his councillorship to take over the position, as against wishes obinagu people; an incident that brought avoidable crisis leading to the breaking of chairs, canopies amongst others during the said election. “Even when his father, late Ìgwè ogbuzuru Ezeh urged that both of them step down for another person,he refused saying that, nobody questions his authority in the village.
“When Igwè died in December 2022, while still in the mortuary, Prince Lawrence wanted to crown one Simon Anubi the Ìgwè of Mburubu, but was refuted by all Mburubians, saying it was wrong.
“He went to Alfred Nwachukwu to take over the throne, but he refused because he was allegedly given a bad condition which he wasn’t comfortable with.
“Prince Ezeh later went to Cornelius Okorie, who refused; saying that the PG which they gave him was just ceremonial as he didn’t have any power of his own but just carrying instructions while on seat.
“Augustine Chukwuogbu was approached but he refused saying he isn’t capable in all spheres to give Mburubu a modern leadership she desired.
“This was what Linus Igbudu was asked to do, which on the day of his declaration, our people were forced to follow him to the local Government headquarters. The people of Mburubu refused to be forced into following Prince Lawrence Ozoemena Ezeh.”
“We are perplexed by this current harassment of our people and call on the state government to intervene, Chief Jerry Patrick Onuokaibe Is our ìgwè elect and no form of intimidation can deter us from supporting him”