Posted by By MATTHIAS NWOGU, Umuahia on
The Okija Autonomous community in Ihiala Local Government of Anambra State has given the PDP Governorship candidate in the April 14 election seven days to apologize to the community for disparaging its name before the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia.
The Okija Autonomous community in Ihiala Local Government of Anambra State has given the PDP Governorship candidate in the April 14 election seven days to apologize to the community for disparaging its name before the Election Petition
Tribunal sitting in Umuahia.
The community is equally denying knowledge of one Isaac Olisabueze who gave witness in the tribunal for the petitioner as the secretary of Okija Shrine.
In a protest letter to the chairman of the Election Petition Tribunal, Umuahia, signed on behalf of the community by members of the Okija Igwei In Council titled “NEGETIVE IMPACT OF MEDIA PUBLICITY OF TRIBUNAL PROCEEDINGS ON OKIJA”, the community considered as misleading to the public and injurious to the community the contents of the media reports of the proceedings at the tribunals.
Warning Chief Ugochukwu to tender the apology within seven days or face the wrath of the community, they said the reports had created the wrong impression that Okija people were occultic.
Correcting the wrong impression, the Igwe in Council said that apart from the obvious presence of some inconsequential shrines that constitute part of the historical monuments of their ancestral past, like any other African community, there are no secret cult groups in Okija that engage in the inhuman act of initiating people in chains.
In the protest letter jointly signed by Chief Cletus C.D.Onyilioha (Ochiagha Okija) Chief Basil J. Umeh, secretary and Chairman respectively as well as Obi Maurice C. Ikokwu, and Chief Jude Ikwuanusi (Ichie Ezioku) and made available to The Sun in Umuahia, they said that Okija, a fast growing South Eastern sub-urban city is largely inhabited by Christians which informed the siting of Madonna University by the Catholic Church. While lamenting that the negative media publicity arising from the Tribunal has stigmatized Okija as a community of fetish people, they dissociated themselves from the false testimonies of Olisabueze who they described as a collaborator hired to malign the good image of the community.
Their word: “The negative media publicity arising from your tribunal proceeding has further stigmatized us as a community of fetish people, a development that has further discouraged genuine investors from the city. We hereby give Chief Onyema Ugochukwu the chief promoter of this callous desecration of our cherished home land seven days from the publication of this letter to tender unreserved apology or face the consequences of any action we may deem fit to redress this obvious attack on our community.
Also in a press conference at his palace, the Igwe Okija, His Royal Highness Igwe Ben Baarnabas Okeke, Ezegedegeun 1v of Okija, said the community was disturbed by the scandalous stories being carried in the media linking the community to occultic practices.
The Igwe, who was surrounded by his Igwe-in-council, said that Okija town and its people were deeply-rooted in christainity, a virtue that made the Catholic church establish the Madona University as well as the Atlantic International University.
Igwe Okeke described as rubbish testimonies of the said Olisabueze before the Tribunal alleging that the incumbent Governor of Abia State was initiated in the
shrine in Okija.
According to him there was nothing like initiation in any shrine at Okija not to talk of outsiders being initiated in chains.
“There is no community without a shrine. Okija is not a shrine that you go and initiate somebody by swearing or in chains that allegation is completely false. What we have today is a historical monument of our ancestors and nobody has any business to initiate somebody, more so, an outsider from Abia State.”