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Prevailing Ezeship Tussle in Imo State

The Imo State Government is no longer comfortable with leaders of Obibi Uratta Autonomous Community, Imo State, who have refused to resolve the minor Ezeship dispute in the community using common sense and wisdom, the result of which many sons of the community currently parade as eze-elect at the same time to the utter embarrassment of the State Government.

According to reports, Imo government conveyed to the community leaders her decision that all factions of the community should settle their differences quickly or else government will decide who to make Eze, looking at the crux of their problem which is about rotation of the Ezeship stool in line with the community’s Ezeship constitution.
The state government also made it clear that her interest is to make sure Obibi Uratta does not lag behind other communities in the state being entitled to an eze recognized by the Governor.

According to the SSG Imo State, Hon Mark Uchendu, it would be a good thing if Obibi Uratta gets into the list of communities due to have recognized Ezes in the state, adding however that any decision of court on the matter would always be respected by government where parties fail to resolve their differences out of court.
Meanwhile, four Ezeship disputants in the community have filed their papers with government laying claim to the stool.

It will be recalled that the primary disputant, Chief Amobi Uwaleke, started in 2016 to lay claim to the stool. Chief Uwaleke allegedly announced himself eze when the one year customary mourning period for any deceased Eze in Imo State was still running and had not lapsed. That irked members of the Regency Council of the community who immediately began to battle Chief Uwaleke and continued until the governor formally stopped Chief Uwaleke from parading as Eze in July/August 2017.

The secondary disputants are Sir Boniface (from Umuotobo Village), Kenneth Ekechi and Chief Sylvester Obiakor (both from Umuoboche Village) who came properly for the stool after the customary mourning period of the late eze who died in March 2016 had elapsed. 

These disputants participated in the Ezeship election conducted by the Ezeship Committee of the community on 28th August 2017. Unfortunately, there was no formal screening out of aspirants caught by the rotation principle on the ground that their village benefited from the first rotation of the Ezeship stool. The failure of the Ezeship committee to screen out Sir Bon Ariri, whose village benefitted from the first rotation is the reason why the aspirants from Umuotoboche Village went to court for the interpretation of the rotation clause in their constitution.

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