Police Seal Uzu Awka’s Palace, Chase Away New Yam Celebrants
Police have sealed off the palace of the factional monarch of Awka community, His Imperial Majesty, Eze Uzu III, Chief Austin Ndigwe.
Ndigwe was billed to hold the celebration of new yam festival in Awka Kingdom on Saturday when his palace was sealed.
Chief Ndigwe had sent out invitation to too politicians, monarch, journalists and other special guest from across the country to witness the new yam festival, but the event as at the time of filing this report was stalled.
Invitation sent out had read: You’re invited to the OTITE AWKA 2022 (Iri Ji Ofuu) festival of Awka Ancient Kingdom by the Obi of Awka Kingdom, His Imperial Majesty, Ozo Dr Austin Ndigwe.
“Date is Saturday 10th September 2022, by 11am, at the Palace of the monarch.”
Sources said some monarchs from across South East were already at the palace at about 11am, when a huge detachment of police and military men arrived and sealed the palace, almost shutting in the invited monarchs.
The source said: “The police men and military chased everyone out of the palace, shooting canisters of teargas at youths who had attended the event.
“There was pandemonium when they started shooting, and a lot of people ran away, while many youths sustained injuries.”
A policeman who stopped this reporter from accessing the venue said they were acting on orders from above.
The traditional stool of Awka Kingdom has been a source of tussle for a few years now, after some influential members of the community claimed to have dethroned the monarch, Eze Uzu II, Igwe Gibson Nwosu.
In his place, they crowned, Ndigwe, who immediately assumed the position of the monarch of the kingdom, causing the entire kingdom to be divided. While some members of the community supported Ndigwe as their monarch, others supported Nwosu.
Coincidentally, both Ndigwe and Nwosu had slated Saturday for their new yam festival. It was gathered that Nwosu is the government recognised monarch, and holds a certificate of recognition, which Ndigwe does not.
We also discovered that there was a statement issued by the state government on the traditional stool of Awka which was signed by the State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment Mr Paul Nwosu which appear in the image below