What started as mere disagreement or misunderstanding over who between the traditional ruler of Obollo Ugiri, HRH Eze E.N Mbaeyi, Ogwugwu I of Obollo Autonomous Community and Tony Black Nduka, the SDC coordinator of Obollo and former mayor of Okigwe on who should collect funds meant for the payment of arrears of pensioners in the area, has since snowballed into a cataclysm of very dangerous magnitude.
The highly revered Eze, after complaining to members of his cabinet that he was humiliated and embarrassed at the Imo International Convention Centre (IICC) Owerri by his subject Tony Black Nduka, then persuaded the Eze-in council to withdraw a chieftaincy title he had earlier conferred on Tony Black Nduka. The development elicited series of ugly reprisal actions from Tony Black Nduka and cohorts who petitioned the Governor accusing Eze Mbaeyi of working for the Governors political opponents, especially in Isiala Mbano LGA.
The crisis of confidence however took another uglier dimension when youths suspected to be on the payroll of Tony Black Nduka recently razed down the palace of HRH Eze E.N Mbaeyi at Ogbor Obollo Ugiri.
An eye witness account reports that every single belonging of the royal family including documents to landed properties were completely burnt and obliterated.
Our source states that though some suspects were arrested in connection with the arson, they were quickly released on bail by a combination of forces allegedly powered by Tony Black Nduka who is said to have boasted that he will teach the aged traditional ruler a lesson of his life. To buttress his claims, Nduka last Saturday got other traditional rulers in Ugiri clan to confer a chieftaincy title on him at a time he ought to be sympathetic to the plight of his traditional ruler, benefactor and mentor, who is grieving over the burning of the symbol of authority and cremation of his heritage and artefacts.
It was also learnt that the decision of HRH Eze E.N Mbaeyi, to publish the resolution withdrawing the “Agunechemba” title from Tony Black Nduka in several Newspapers, forced the youths, some of who are loyal to Nduka under the aegis of “Obollo Youth Association” to set his house on fire.
This is because the youths had earlier in a communiqué dated August 21, 2017, and signed by its Chairman directed the now embattled Eze to rescind his decision and reverse the withdrawal of the chieftaincy title within seven days or face the consequences of his actions.
Eze Mbaeyi had in his publication posited that Nduka “lacks the moral justifications to parade as a titled chief” which also caused the said youths to invade his palace on September 12, 2017 to set the entire home on fire. Both the police and some leaders of the community are presently working round the clock to resolve the crisis but were stunned when Tony Black Nduka presented himself for yet another title during the nearly aborted Iriji ceremony rather than sympathize with his Eze who nominated and handed him over to Okorocha for political appointments, empowerment, etc when the goings were good.