A group, under the auspices of the Association Of Ndieze In Diaspora Ohanaeze Ndigbo Ondo State chapter has called the Deji of Akure Kingdom, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi to steer clear of Igbo community matter in the area of choosing leaders.
The Akure traditional ruler recently installed a member of the Igbo community, Chief Umenweke Titus as the new new Igbo leader in Ondo State.
The group, in a statement, condemned the action of Oba Aladelusi, saying the Akure traditional ruler had no right to impose anybody on the Igbo community as their leader.
The statement titled, ‘Rejection of imposition of leader (Asiwaju) of Ndigbo
and threat to peace by Deji of Akure’, was signed by High Chief Cyril Anyaku
and Chief Ikechukwu Anoliefo, the Chairman and Secretary General of the association.
The statement read, “To all intent and purposes, the Deji is not an Igbo and has no right to impose leader on us. If he wants to give Mr. Titus Umenweke any chieftaincy title; he can do that without causing crisis among Ndigbo living in Ondo State.
“This same Umenweke contested with Eze Gregory Iloherika, the current Ndigbo and lost and since 2011 and has not attended any Igbo meeting in Ondo State. For over 100 years, we have witnessed more than Seven Dejis, none in the history of our relationship attempted it, not to talk of imposing a leader on us.
“Our constitution provides election for the leadership of Eze Ndigbo and the constitutional provisions were followed to the letter in the election of Iloherika. Eze Gregory Iloherika enjoys the support of the entire Igbos in Ondo State and he should be allowed to be.
“It is therefore strange and unacceptable that Deji would impose a leader on us. The imposition of someone who contested and lost election can cause rift and destroy the relationship between Igbo and Yorubas in Ondo State. This is a time-bomb that will do no one good.
“We are of the belief that there are many tribes and associations within the state and Akure in particular. We are not unaware that they have leaders duly elected by themselves, ours should not be an exemption.
“According to the rules guiding Ohaneze Ndigbo, the installation and removal could only be carried out by the people as stated in relevant section of the rules and regulations guiding the Ohaneze (Igbo Community) in Ondo State.”
In a reaction, Oba Aladelusi, who spoke through his media aide, Mr Michael Adeyeye, described the allegation as laughable, saying he (monarch) had the right to install a leader in any tribal Community under his domain.
He warned the association to desist from making statement capable of causing disunity in the Akure Kingdom.
He said, “It is important to reemphasize that the conferment of traditional title on the Asiwaju of Igbo Community is not a function of election by a mere club or subjected to her nomination, election or ratification in whatever form.
“We wish to state clearly that there is nothing strange in the appointment to Chief Titus Umenweke as the Asiwaju of the Igbo Community just like the appointment of Seriki Hausawa, Ibira Community among many others who despite their appointments remains the subject of the Deji of Akure Kingdom.”