Stakeholders Petition Okpanam Monarch Over Obodogwugwu Youth Crisis

In an apparent reaction to the recent peaceful protest carried out by some youths, under the aegis of Concerned and Patriotic Citizens of Obodogwugwu Community, Okpanam (youth) highlighting their grievances, a counter petition dated January,25 2018 by another group, captioned “Progressive And Stakeholders of Obodogwugwu Community Youths Okpanam” and signed by eight (8) village youths Chairmen, including the caretaker youth Chairman of Obodogwugwu, Mr. Emmanuel Nwanze (Ochie) has been forwarded to the Ugoani of Okpanam, HRM, Michael Mbanefo Ogbolu. It debunked all the allegations levelled against the Elders of Obodogwugwu Community, Okpanam. The counter-petitioners described the allegations as baseless, anchored on deliberate falsehood and desperate determination to cause confusion and also make Obodogwugwu Community ungovernable.
The Progressive and Stakeholders of Obodogwugwu Community youths, Okpanam averred that “in traditional Nigeria, Okpanam and Obodogwugwu in particular, the Diokpa-Isi and his elders councils are the custodians of authority, which comprises, administrative leadership, control of landed properties, maintenance of law and order, among others, the youth does not dictate or give instructions or directive and or orders to the elders as attempted to achieve by the protesting concerned and patriotic citizens as contained in prayers and that if they are concerned and patriotic as claimed, they should be proactive towards peace in the Community.”
The counter petitioners alleged that “these same disgruntled and dissident elements who have converged themselves into outlaws, causing disturbance in the community, intimidating every one, threatening lives, causing native war/uprising and crisis from the month of August 2017 till date simply because of Obodogwugwu youth election, ” drawing the attention of Ugoani of Okpanam to the crisis over the recent abortive Obodogwugwu youth election which ended up with unpalatable parallel Caretaker Committees in the community.
The eight (8) village youths chairmen and Obodogwugwu youth caretaker chairman, Emmanuel Nwanze (Ochie), Onochie Nwanze, Mordi Jeff Sunday, Stanley Ajudua, Peter Ejiogo, Jude Issah, Chukwuedo Okafor and Ifeanyi Ijeh, under the aegis of Progressive and stakeholders of Obodogwugwu Community youths Okpanam lamented that on Obodogwugwu youths election and other communal issues, the protesting youths and their sponsors are involved as they initiated about eight (8) different court cases, against Obodogwugwu elders and Diokpa, apart from the fact that the group and their Anchor men and sponsors had called the Police from Abuja where they arrested Chief P.K. Obanya, Chief M.N. Dunkwu and other executive of Obodogwugwu elders committee, and also they allegedly petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Lagos zone on frivolous allegations”.
They emphasized that “it is said that he who goes to equity must come with a clean hand, where is the conscience and equity of this group of concerned and patriotic citizen lies, when it is common knowledge that their Anchorman who have served as chairman, Land Committee of Obodogwugwu Community for eight (8) (between 2007-2014) should not be made to account for the 20 plots of land meant for various villages as stated in their prayers,” stressing that the parcels of land located at the government de-acquired area and Enugwu-Egbu to (2) plots each for the seven villages as stated in the petitioners prayer.
The counters petitioners have also stated that “The Land Committee Chairman position is the prerogative reserved right of Diokpa-Isi of Obodogwugwu Community to appoint or dissolve as he deemed necessary and not the youths to determine, and that the Land Committee is very distinct and different from the youths body and not by election, as the seven villages have their respective delegates sent by them to form the land committee, and if there is any issue about land, the various delegates should furnish their constituencies.”
The group equally emphasized that as specified in Okpanam Native Land Oordinance that guides the ownership of land, “All Land are communally owned and the Diokpa-Isi and Elders of the various quarters hold it in trust on behalf of the people, while expressing our unwavering, total and undiluted support for the present Diokpas. Elders-In-Council and the present land committee, who are working tirelessly for the good equity and fair play in Obodogwugwu Community and the future”.