Nkwelle Ezunaka Community Elects New Monarch 23 Years After
Barely 23 years after the demise of the traditional ruler of Nkwelle-Ezunaka community, Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State, late Igwe Raphael Nwakobi, a new monarch, Ogbuefi Obiora Anachuna, (a.k.a. Omenife), weekend emerged as the new traditional ruler of the community in a keenly contested election among three candidates.
Anachuna garnered 406 votes to beat his closest rival who was a former President General of the community and former chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter, Ogbuefi Chris Eluemuno, who got 236 votes while Ogbuefi Damian Odiche, was placed in the third position with 174 votes.
Declaring the result amidst water-tight security, by the electoral committee from the office of the Commissioner for local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hon. Anthony Nwabunwanne, led by Mr. Ikechukwu Mgbike, the venue of the election, Hilltop Primary school, was rented with jubilation.
Expressing satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of the election, the incumbent Presided General of the Community, Ogbuefi Willie Okafor, said the election has become a success story that would be told in future as the community has existed without monarch for over two decades.
"It is a success story that will be told many years to come. We have been without Igwe for over two decades and it is telling on us as we are being denied of so many things. We wiill give the Igwe-elect up to 10 years to focus and be able to take the community to the promised Land because there are crises that hindered the community from moving forward.
" The major crisis is land grabbing, we have credible men who can move the community forward. I hope the Igwe-elect will call his rivals and members of his communty together to move the communty forward. The Igwe-elect needs strength and cooperation of the community to work, the task ahead is much," he affirmed.
Also reacting, a former President General, Chief Ikechukwu Nnalue, (a.k.a. Akunne), while expressing satisfaction with the conduct of the election, said that it was a very transparent one that nobody would like to challenge the outcome of the election in the court.
He lamented the lack of a monarch in the community for over 23 years, describing the emergence of the new monarch as one of the best things that have happened to the community.
Ogbuefi Obiora Anachuna, (a.k.a. Omenife) and wife
He recalled that, "Because we don't have a monarch most times as the President General I will be forced to go and represent our community during traditional rulers' meeting and on getting there I will be humiliated as they will ask me to turn back since it was meant for traditional rulers, no proxy. Thereby denying us so many things. So am happy with the election.
On advice to whoever that may protest the outcome of the election in court , he querried, "Where will the person start from in making his case in the election described as unique and very transparent since the existence of Nkwelle-Ezunaka community. We were all at the venue of the election and after casting my vote I left.
"I commended the security operatives, the electoral body and people of Nkwelle-Ezunaka for the free, fair and credible election. I started this process of having a new monarch and it continued through all my successors and finally to the incumbent Presided General, Ogbuefi Willie Okafor, who conducted the election that produced the Igwe-elect," he further disclosed.
In his post election speech, the Igwe-elect, commended the people in the area for finding him worthy to be elected their monarch hinting that he saw it coming that he would be the succesor to late Igwe Raphael Nwakobi.
"I am happy and I thank God for everything. I saw it coming even if two years ego some people tried to thwart it. Now that I am the Igwe-elect I will bring peace to the community to move it forward. I thank the incumbent Presided General, Ogbuefi Willie Okafor, electoral body, Anambra Government and Nkwelle-Ezunaka people for the peaceful conduct of the election that was free, fair and credible.
"It is my wish to serve my people, to restore peace that has eluded the people more than two decades now. My election is a victory for Nkwelle-Ezunaka people and not me," he affirmed.