There is tension in Mbaise nation, a clan of people that make up three of the 27 local Governments in Imo State.
Politically, they constitute the largest voting population in the State and known to have notable political leaders and those who have excelled in various fields of human endeavour.
The annual New Yam festival (Iri Ji) is a well known cultural norm of the people and this year’s event is generating so much controversy as reports reaching this newspaper indicate that a planned chieftaincy title by all the traditional rulers from the area on a top Imo State government official is generating ripples.
Governor Rochas Okorocha’s Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu is fingered to be the one that will be conferred with a chieftaincy title on the day of the New Yam festival, a move said to have sharply polarized the entire Mbaise clan.
In a statement seen by this newspaper on Thursday, the apex social cultural organization of the entire Mbaise nation, Ezurezu Mbaise disassociated itself from any planned conferment of chiefaincy titles on anyone on the day of the New Yam festival.
The statement signed by Chief Barr. Cyril Anyanwu described such planned conferment as an aberration and a desecration of the cultural heritage of Mbaise people particularly on those who have not contributed or attracted any economic or social benefit to the people.
They have further advised Ndi Ezeji and the good people of Mbaise to observe the 2018 Iri Ji festival in their various autonomous communities, noting that the group is not part of any kangaroo Iri Ji Mbaise Purportedly planned by some elements to justify huge funds said to have allegedly collected from their “client”.
Chairman of all Traditional Rulers in Mbaise nation led by His Royal Highness Eze Leo Nwokocha has reportedly denied any form of inducement to confer the title of the State government official.
Based on the foregoing, traditional rulers and Ezejis were reported to have been directed to celebrate the festival in their respective communities.