The move by the Awka Council of Kingmakers led by Ozo Obuora Essel, to install a new traditional ruler to replace Obi Gibson Nwosu, Ezeuzu II, is almost being achieved as the Izu Awka, the community’s General Assembly, on Sunday announced the emergence of Ozo Nwibe Nwosu ( Ozo Chibueze) as the oldest living person (Otochalu-Awka) in the community.
Ozo Nwosu from Umudioka aged 116 years was named as the oldest living person at the end of a vigorous search for the oldest living persons in the 33 villages that make up Awka.
His emerged after it was ascertained that he was older than the next contender, Ozo Akubue from Umunnoke whose age was put at 110 years. The new Otochalu-Awka replaces Ozo Otue from Umuoranma who passed on about two years ago.
It was gathered that intrigues to stop the emergence of Otochalu-Awka were hatched as opposition groups feared that the installation of the oldest person in Awka would pave way for the crowning of a new traditional ruler of Awka, following the alleged dethronement of Ezeuzu II a fortnight ago.
The Kingmakers had levelled 18 charges against Ezeuzu II, including violating the Traditional Rulers Amended Constitution for Awka 1986, as well as the Code of Conduct which he reportedly signed on January 1, 2000 after his crowning, amidst denials.
The state government had been communicated on the action of the Kingmakers who have threatened court action against the alleged dethroned traditional ruler, if he continued to parade himself.
To scuttle the emergence of Ozo Nwosu as the Otochalu-Awka, the State Police Command had despatched a team of fierce-looking armed Policemen in about 8 patrol vehicles to Umuoranma, the planned venue for the installation ceremony, but the pro-Otochalu-Awka group had beaten them to the game, having earlier named and installed him in a brief ceremony at Ndichie Hall Umudioka.
The police action followed the position of the state government to throw its weight behind the embattled royal father, whose loyalists in the parallel Awka Council of Kingmakers led by Ozo James Eze and President-General of ADUN, Engr. Tony Okechukwu dismissed the General Assembly’s move while reacting to the plot.
The government through the Commissioner for Local Government and Special Adviser to the Governor, Chief Greg Obi and Barrister Ikechukwu Onyeabor had warned against taking action capable of breaching the peace in the community and had given its support of continuity in office of Ezeuzu II as well as the President-General, Engr. Tony Okechukwu, who was replaced by Amobi Nwokoafor after the former’s tenure expire in 2015.
Most indigenes who spoke on condition of anonymity, frowned at government’s seeming partiality and overzealousness, questioning the audacity its audacity to stand in the way of the people’s choice to dethrone and enthrone a traditional ruler and President-General of the town union.
At the residence of the Otochalu-Awka, at Nwosisi Lane, it was celebration galore as indigenes thronged the place to felicitate with him.
It was learnt that the Otochalu-Awka is empowered to crown a new traditional ruler after six months in office of the named Regent, Ozo Essel who assumed the Regency office since April 19 this year.