Concerned Indigenes of Umuezuo Community, in Ahiazu Mbaise LGA, have called on other members of the community, to join hands with it to prevail on the Imo State government to recognise it as an autonomous Community.
The appeal is contained in a statement from the spokesman of the Concerned members of the community, Mr Bede Anyanwu and made available to our correspondent on Saturday in Owerri.
According to Anyanwu, Umuezuo was meant to be created from Umuokirika Autonomous Community, in Ahiazu Mbaise LGA of Imo state.
He said that with the establishment of Umuezuo Autonomous Community, a new traditional ruler (Eze) would be elected and presented to Ahiazu-Mbaise LGA Chairman as detailed in the Imo State Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Community Law.
He said that having an autonomous community would also mean presenting the traditional ruler’s details to Imo State Government for a Staff and Certificate of Office.
Anyanwu expressed regrets that Mr Eddie Anyanwu had been an Eze-Elect for more than 15 years, the longest in Imo State.
“It is believed that powerful lobbies against him prevailed till January 2020 when a rushed coronation was carried out in the traditional rulers (Eze-elect’s) residence.
“Can this be considered a proper coronation carried out by the Kingmakers of the villages that make up Umuezuo? Does Umuezuo Autonomous Community exist in Law? Has any of this been gazetted? These are questions from concerned citizens of Umuzeuo,” he said.
The spokesman called on leaders of Umuezuo and stakeholders to work together to get the autonomous community gazetted as soon as possible so that the benefits from Imo state government could flow to the people who are in need it greatly.
“Imo State is running many empowerment programmes based on autonomous communities and we are missing out.
“We are in August and can not celebrate New Yam Festival in the community. We have not participated in this unique Mbaise culture for so long that some of our childeren don’t even know that it is their culture,” Anyanwu said.
“If the Eze Ezuo cannot attend meetings at the LGA, then Umuezuo is losing all its rights coming to Umuokirika Autonomous Community” opined a concerned pensioner who claimed anonimity.
“The people want the Umuezuo Autonomous Community but condenmed the leadership tusssles raising its head in the community,” the pensioner said.
When contacted the Ahiazu-Mbaise LGA Information Officer, Mr Damian Anyanwu explained that the issue of automous community is a state affair and urged the people to follow due process to obtain its recognition by the government.
According to him, where more than one person comes out for the Eze tool, a plebiscite has to be conducted.