The King of Umueri in Anambra East Local Government Area, Igwe Ben Emeka, has alleged that some persons in the community plan to burn down his palace over a leadership dispute.
Emeka told newsmen in his palace on Sunday that Chief Pius Okonkwo, the President-General of Umueri General Assembly, and others planned to execute the plan.
He alleged that Okonkwo and his group had made an attempt to carry out the plan before but were repelled by security personnel.
“Okonkwo was impeached on April 27 of this year by the community but he attempted to hold Umueri General Assembly meeting and was prevented.
“Thereafter, he commissioned some hoodlums to come and burn down my palace but they were repelled by security operatives,” Emeka said.
The traditional ruler traced the crisis to the president-general’s refusal to abide by the peace agreement signed by both of them and urged the state government to act fast to forestall a breakdown of law and order.
“After this matter was reported to the state government, the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftain Matters brokered peace and we agreed that the president- general should set up an electoral committee, audit committee and should not dissolve any existing committees.
“Knowing quite well that his tenure will end by December, he refused to abide by the provisions of the agreement and rather chose to promote acts capable of igniting crisis,” Emeka said.
When contacted, Okonkwo claimed that Emeka was usurping the function of the town union.
“Umueri community has been without a traditional ruler, more than 22 years that our last Igwe died.
“Because of the long wait, our people allowed the Igwe to perform both the work of a traditional ruler and the town union.
“But the last straw that broke the camel’s back was the inauguration of a 30-man Discipline and Implementation Committee,” he said.
Okonkwo claimed that the membership of the committee included people of questionable character whose activities might cause problem in the community.
He said that it was after he engaged the traditional ruler on the matter personally that things fell apart.
Okonkwo who equally called on Gov. Willie Obiano to intervene in the matter added that the traditional ruler accused some innocent indigenes of kidnapping and got them arrested and detained at a police station in Abuja.
He claimed that Emeka’s sinister motive was to re-ignite the Umueri/Aguleri communal crisis as some of the people being accused were from Aguleri.