Enugu Govt Refuses To Recongnise Traditional Ruler Over Claims He’s An Osu Caste
Youths of Obuno Akpugo in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State are pleading with Enugu State Governor Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to accord their Igwe-elect, Prince Okwudiri Agbo, the status of a traditional ruler.
Prince Agbo’s coronation after his election has become a subject of litigations as a result of allegations that the he belongs to the Osu caste and not a ‘free borne.’
But supporters of the Prince have described the allegation as laughable and “simply the imagination of some people who claim to have upper hands,” in the community.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with THE WHISTLER in Enugu, the youths bemoaned the continued under-development of the community due to the state government’s failure to recognize the man they said was ‘overwhelmingly elected” to be their traditional ruler.
One of them, who identified himself as John, said, “This is marginalization. Some people don’t want the person we democratically elected because they claim he is ‘a stranger’, and not legitimate to hold such position.
“We protested this anomaly even before our governor, who condemned the act and promised to urgently intervene in the matter. But for over two years now, nothing has happened.
“We elected Prince Agbo democratically, and efforts of some interests to thwart our collective choice will never work.”
Another one who pleaded anonymity said they expect Gov. Ugwuanyi to have acted faster, adding that the community was yet to benefit from the developmental projects of the state government due to non-recognition of the traditional ruler.
Prince Agbo, in a telephone interview with THE WHISTLER said, “We have gone to the Enugu Government House on several occasions on peaceful protests. We have gone to courts. The constitution has made it clear that it is unconstitutional and obnoxious to call anybody Osu or a slave.
“My community, formerly they were saying Osu, and now they baptized it to Obia, meaning a ‘stranger’, which I know that we are not. I am a free born of Akpugo. In the history of Nkanu land, nobody ever said he bought anybody with money. Everybody came to settle, not only in Akpugo, but the world over.”