Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The traditional ruler of Nawfia community in Njikoka local government area of Anambra state, His Royal Highness, Igwe Chijioke Ferdinand Nwankwo, has raised the alarm over an alleged threat to his life by some elements in the community, saying that those who killed his father were plotting to assassinate him too.
Igwe Nwankwo who made his predicaments known in his palace, lamented that his life was in danger and that his throne was being threatened by dissidents in the community whom he said had vowed to dethrone him at all cost.
He said that the dissidents consistently created confusion and rancour in Nawfia town and had equally instigated the community against the traditional ruler. The monarch opined that the said dramatis personae and their cohorts had gone ahead to announce that court had dethroned the traditional ruler, whereas court had not done so.
Apart from threat to his life, the monarch further informed that those who were opposed to his kingship had planted the seed of discord and disunity in the community thereby conducting festivals and other traditional ceremonies without the endorsement and consent of the traditional ruler of the town.
Igwe Nwankwo said, “All I can say is that my life is in danger. I don’t want to be like my father who was assassinated on the throne.
“One or two people organised what they called Nawfia cultural day. They also organised it again in 2019 without my consent or approval while Anambra Traditional Rulers’ Law section 15c and d as well as the Chieftaincy Constitution of Nawfia stipulate that only the Igwe can do it.. These are the statutory functions of the traditional ruler.
“The mischief makers of the town also went to the town hall and addressed a press conference that I am no longer the Igwe of Nawfia; that I have been dethroned. The youths of the town are not happy and I have told them that they can do a peaceful demonstration. I will also seek recourse in court.
“The most critical thing in this whole thing is that the constitution they are using is an illegal constitution. I did not sign it because the constitution that brought me in as the Igwe of this town was written in 1989. That constitution has never been amended nor repealed by the town. They made their own constitution in 2013 at Trig Point hotel and since then I have sued them in court.”
Igwe Nwankwo said he became the regent of Nawfia in the year 2000 when his father was slain and on December 29th 2001 he was crowned the traditional ruler of Nawfia community. On November 15th 2002, the then governor, Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, recognized him as the traditional ruler of Nawfia town.
Igwe Nwankwo who accused his opponents of illegally selling peoples’ lands, instigating crisis in the town as well as committing all manner of atrocities in the community, challenged them also to wrestle with him in court, if they were intrepid enough to extricate themselves from the alleged sins they committed against Nawfia.
According to him, “No court anywhere sacked or dethroned me as Igwe Nawfia. And nobody is after the governor. Not even the suspended traditional rulers. The governor should reshuffle his cabinet and bring in new people so that his exit from office will be peaceful. The government of Anambra state is being deceived by my opponents.
“My father was assassinated in cold blood on February 15th 2000 and some people were accused. Just three days ago, some people were stabbed right in front of my palace. They are inciting violence and they want me dead!” Igwe Nwankwo revealed.
Although the traditional ruler explained further that he had reported the spate of insecurity in his domain to the police severally following the activities of some members of the community, he expressed deep concern that the police seemed not to bathe an eyelid judging from the spate of violent attacks prevalent in Nawfia community.
He said it was time the police and other security agencies waded in the crisis engulfing the community to save it from the grip of malignant forces as well as save him too from suffering the same fate like his late father whom he said was murdered in cold blood by marauders in Nawfia community.