N1m Funeral Levy: Traditional ruler dismisses media report, says allegation ‘unfounded and laughable’

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 9 July 2018 | 1,083 times

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•Igwe Michael Etusi

The traditional ruler of Eziowelle community, Idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra state, Igwe Michael Etusi has dismissed the story in the media that the community collects a levy of 1million naira for burials in the community.

He described the allegation as not only false but unfounded and laughable.

Some stakeholders from the community led by Emeka Akukwe at a press conference in Awka recently had accused the traditional ruler of allegedly instituting a N1m levy for any burial ceremony to be held in the community.

But, the traditional ruler of the community who could not be reached then for his reaction while speaking to journalists described the statement as a campaign of calumny against the newly elected executives of the community.

Igwe Etusi who expressed shock at the level of mischief some people from the community are striving to achieve because they wanted power at all cost.

He explained that the only levy paid in the community by the relations of the dead was N3,000 annual development and security levies if the person was owing to it before his death.

He added, "I have not heard about 1million naira being collected, I have never seen 1million naira together unless in the newspaper, but for me, I have never seen 1million naira packed together.

"So the person who is telling you that is doing his best to portray the community in a very bad light."

"This is laughable in the sense that it came soon after the election. I consider it as part of the electioneering. It is not true. It is falsehood. It never happened, unless in the imagination of those peddling the wicked and false rumour.

"In my twenty-five years on the throne, I have never heard about payment of 1million naira. I have never seen that in my life in this community".

He wondered how the people who are being encouraged to build houses would be asked to pay one million naira levy, saying "how much would be left for the building project if one paid such amount to the community for building a house?"

The traditional ruler said, "One Emeka Akukwe who is behind the deliberate fallacy was not living in the community and therefore hardly know and participate in what the town is doing, yet we did N20m Government community project for Eziowelle community."

He further accused one of the wealthy sons of the community of being behind the tension and acrimony the election generated adding that they wanted to change the mode of the election contrary to the community's Constitution.

"They were throwing money about in this community. Two days before the election, we did not sleep. All the hirelings including those from neighbouring communities were in this town but on election day, I addressed our people to vote according to their conscience.

"At the end of the day winners and losers emerged and they embraced themselves".

The traditional ruler called on money bags in the community to help develop their community by giving scholarships and empowerments to the youths and the less privileged citizens rather than waste their money on unnecessary things like litigations, police cases and crisis and further stated that the cabinet shall seat soon to deliberate on proper action to  take on this issue.

He urged the people of Eziowelle to embrace the path of peace and unity as the only means to move the community forward.

On his part, the President-General of the community, Hon., Barr. Titus. N. Akpudo, said the allegations in question were malicious and a calculated attempt to tarnish the image of the entire community.

His words, “This community has been the most peaceful in the State.

"A lot of lies were told about my person for no reason, all in the name of politics, but vengeance is for the Gods and not for me."

Source: News Express

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