Anambra community rises against cleric, two others over alleged hijack of COVID-19 palliatives

Posted by News Express | 30 July 2020 | 761 times

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No fewer than 500 people from Agba village, Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State have accused the General Overseer of Kings Embassy Church, Rev Dr Emeka Ezike, and the duo of the traditional chief, in the cabinet of Ekwulobia Traditional Ruler, Sir Ignatius Ezike, and an Ichie, Mr. John Ilo Okafor, of hijacking the two palliatives given to the village by the State Government.

The palliatives were meant to cushion the effects of the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic.

The angry villagers took their grievances to the homes of Sir Ignatius, Rev Dr Ezike and Mr. Okafor, describing the trio as enemies of the village warning them to ensure that the bags of rice meant for the village were returned to the village hall within one month or face the wrath of the villagers particularly from its youths.

Earlier on a meeting of Agba people presided over by Chairman Agba village Development Union (ADU), Mr. Bethran Uchechukwu Okoli, they unanimously agreed to place palm fronds in front of the three houses of the accused persons, worship places, or offices as a way to register their grievances and mandate them to within one month return the bags of rice and other benefits the village was given by the Anambra state government, saying they have not elected any of them as their leaders.

They however urged them to see reasons and rescind their continuous negative meddlesomeness in the affairs of the village, describing it as belittling.

Reacting to the allegations, Sir Ignatius Ezike, wondered why they were accusing him of confiscating their rice when he is not the Village factional chairman, traditional ruler or President General.

He vowed to deal decisively with the Chairman of Agba village and others for bringing his reputation to the mud.

Sir Ignatius, who got emotional while regretting the damage to his reputation by the villagers, said: “I have already made entry to the Nigerian police to arrest all those involved in sealing off my home.

“I plan to sue them to defend my integrity whatever the cost. The village factional leadership has no right asking me or anyone they disowned for anything.

“The share of the rice they are seeking for is still with the Nigerian police where they rejected them after Aguata Area Commander and Ekwulobia DPO shared the 26 bags for the 2 factions for peace to reign.

“They wanted to kill me when they came to seal my house with palm fronds and I escaped.”

Ezike explained that the 13 bags given to the group loyal to Igwe and Rev Dr Emeka Ezike were shared among people between 60 and above as directed by the government.”

Sir Ignatius alleged that it was envy and backbiting that led the villagers to seal his house with palm fronds and debris when he has nothing to do with the matter at all.

On his part, the General Overseer, Kings Embassy Church dismissed the allegations against him, insisting that he is a government recognised President General of the Ekwulobia community known as Ekwulobia Development Union and that the Ekwulobia Peoples Assembly has since seized to exist because of lack of government backing.

He wondered why government should give him palliatives for his people and he would take it to people who disowned him publicly last December after passing a vote of no confidence on the traditional ruler.

He said: “Why should I divert 26 bags of 10kg rice out of 200 government provided for aged people in my community, shared among the nine villages, after transporting them from Aguleri to Ekwulobia.

“I have been the PG for eight years. I informed the Aguata Area commander and DPO Ekwulobia who intervened in the mater as we urged him to share the 26 bags into two for my faction and faction of Ekwulobia Peoples Assembly led by the President General, Engr. Emeka Madubuchi, though deregistered by Anambra state government.”

Ezike added that the rice was still at the police station as he spoke.

Okafor was yet to respond to enquires posed by our correspondent at the time of filing this report.

But sources close to him said he already had a court case against some Agba people over alleged threat to his life and the matter will be coming up in court soon.



•Protesting Agba villagers, Ekwulobia, Aguata, Anambra State . . . on Wednesday

Source: News Express

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