Tension is high in Akpawfu town, Nkanu East Council Area of Enugu state, following allegations against the traditional ruler of Ajame Ameze, Igwe Christopher Nnamani.
Two of the three communities that make up the locality are accusing the monarch of labelling them outcasts, and then hiding under it to order killing of their people and burning of houses.
The people accused the monarch of using his personal private armed men in perpetrating the unholy act in the two communities of Ishiagu Akpawfu and Ajame Ameze autonomous communities.
They appealed to the Enugu State government and security operatives to come to their rescue before they were completely wiped away by the Traditional Ruler.
Two concerned indigenes of the area, Mr Felix Ani and Mr Ikechukwu Udeh alleged that: “It is in the public domain that the Igwe gave those he alleged to be outcast up to December 2022 to vacate the community or face his hammer.
“Presently, it is on record that he is now burning the houses of those he labelled outcast.
“We are calling on the Government of Enugu State and the state commissioner of police, to as a matter of urgency, come to our rescue by calling Igwe Christopher Nnamani to order.
“They should ensure that he is brought to book for all he has committed against innocent people of the community,” they claimed.
They further alleged that the monarch entered into a deal of policing the localities with the militia wing of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), a deal they said could not be managed well, leading to crisis.
They alleged that: “Instead of facing the matter they have with ESN and finding a way of sorting it out, Igwe Nnamani declared war on the family of Akpawfu, (UMUANIGBIYOVO OYIWODE or UMUODENIGBO).
“Igwe Christopher Nnamani and group organized a private Army, took them to somewhere in Kogi State and fortified them with bullet proof charms (ODIESHI) and brought them back to the town.
“Immediately they came back, they started mounting roadblocks, beating people to stupor and graduated to shooting and killing people all over Akpawfu Oyiwode.
“They even ignored the instructions given by the Peace Committee instituted by Nkanu East Council area Chairman in conjunction with (HRH) IGWE DUME NNAMOKO, of Obodo Uvuru, who asked all to lay down their arms and embrace peace.”
They identified one of alleged murdered victims as Mr Ugochukwu Onovo, adding that people of the entire town had been chased away by the illegal Army constituted by the monarch.
“Our people have deserted the communities for fear of Igwe Nnamani and his private Army terrorizing us.
“So, we are using this medium to call on the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the Commissioner of police to use their good offices to intervene and investigate the atrocities being committed against our people by Igwe Nnamani.”
But when contacted, Igwe Nnamani dismissed the allegation, saying it’s a case of ‘kettle calling pot black’.
He said the victims were alleged criminal elements terrorizing the locality, who were traced to their hideout in a forest by soldiers and the police.
Nnamani said, “what they told you, the journalists, is the opposite of what is going on in our communities.
“They are the ones killing people, kidnapping innocent natives, and making life unbearable for our people.
“Unfortunately for them, soldiers and policemen were able to trace and identify them, and made them face the music of their actions.
“If you are doubting what I am telling you, just go to the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu and the State Police Command to ask them about the matter.
“You will get the correct information of how soldiers and policemen were able to trace these bunch of criminal elements to their hideout in the forest.
“The matter is before the Commissioner of police who has invited me tomorrow, being 4th May 2023; so, if you have the time just feel free to come, so that you can also hear from the police.
“They think they can blackmail me, but no way.
“I am not an illiterate traditional ruler. I am a senior citizen of this country who served the nation for 35 solid good years, and I know my rights.
“They cannot intimidate or tarnish the reputation I built over the years,” Igwe Nnamani declared.