Tension is currently high in Ije Naiki Community, Enugu East Local Government Area, Enugu State, due to an alleged removal of the Chief General of the community and Chief Ekwe Ekpe Tinker, Chief Chukwuemika Anyeke by the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Julius Nnagi.
Njie was accused of installing another individual on his own without the consent of the elders and against the wishes of some members of the community.
Talking about how he was allegedly removed, Chukwuemeka Anike said that the action of the traditionalist was null and void as he did not maintain the strength to remove him on his own.
He said that he had not committed any crime either against any individual or the customs of the land that deserved his removal, adding that even if he was accused of any wrongdoing, the elders and iguy called him to defend himself.
They called on Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Inspector General of Police, Director of State Services Department, to offer their assistance before the crisis instigated by the Igwe Nnaji escalated in the community.
“I just want to let the general public know that some groups are trying to cause a crisis in the Iji Nike community which consists of Umuchigbo and Umu Enwene where I am the general chief.
“I was sworn in as PG by the Igwe Nnaji at the residence of the most senior man in the community, Elder Dominic Okoye-Ivens in 2021, two years ago for barely five years. The Igwe single-handedly decided to remove me.
I have never committed a crime for which I should be removed. Let the Igoi tell the elders of my crime. Let him tell the whole community what you’ve done.
“I am calling on Enugu State Governor Ifene Ogwanye who has done this before now in the Igwe Nike community to come help us. The IGP and DSS director must help us as the Igwe are inciting violence in our community. I have been stopping the youth but I am tired of stopping them,” he said.
Speaking to reporters at his residence, the oldest man in Igwe Nike, who bargained for Omochegbo and Omoenweni, Elder Dominic Okyore-Ivens condemned Igwe Njie’s action, saying it was illegal.
He said that the traditional ruler admitted his mistake when summoned by the elders but refused to return to the palace to explain the allegations against the ruler.
“What the Igwe did is not in line with our customs and traditions. It is illegal and cannot stand. He did it without consulting the elders. We have processes to install PG and Ikwu Chief Ekpe masquerade.
“We summoned him and after all accepted his mistake but he refused to come back on the day we were scheduled to meet. The elders and chief of Ekpe masquerade were at the meeting but Igwe failed to attend. As far as I am concerned Chukwuemeka Anike is still chief of Ikwu Ekpe,”
In response, Igwe Njie said it was in his power to oversee the community as a custodian of culture, adding that he did not need the consent of the elders to remove anyone who became a threat to the community’s culture.
He alleged that members of the community had filed several reports against the masquerade chief Eko Ekpe and had decided to remove him and install another person chosen by the community.
He said, “In the Enugu State Traditional Rulers Act, the duties of traditional rulers are laid out and it is my duty to ensure that nothing goes wrong in our society.
“I have removed him for several wrongdoings of his and his conveyancer. I do not need the consent of the elders. I have raised someone else’s hand and this is final.”
Crisis rocks the town of Enugu due to the alleged illegal removal of a community leader