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By Daniel Ohamadike
In what appears like the final push to end the contentious Oriade Ezeship tussle, principal Stakeholders, Kingmakers, Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership, Igbo Speaking Community,residents,have unanimously and in unison discredited the purported Ezeship claims by Eze Umenwekwe Chukwukadibia , Calling him a liar and imposture.
Indeed more facts continued to emerge,as stakeholders clamped down on Eze Chukwukadibia’s reported claims and evidences which he had projected, thereby faulting all of them.
With an unexpected overwhelming and unalloyed support ,Oriade LCDA principal Stakeholders gave Chukwukadibia,the Ezeship Claimant ,what a sympathetic resident described as “a head boot and bleeding nose”, by denying him in total, saying that ” Chukwukadibia was late Eze Ogidi of Amuwo Odofin’s ‘OBI’ and was never approved or crowned Eze by Oriade People and kingmakers”.
In what many described as rubbishing Chukwukadibia’s acclaimed credentials, Oriade LCDA principal Stakeholders advised him to stop further parading himself as their Eze, stating thus : “He doesn’t reside or cast his electoral votes here. His purported Ezeship is Unknown to us all and he is not a member of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Igbo Speaking Community .He does not fellowship or pay dues with us in all our activities. He does not have a traditionally standard proper palace in Oriade LCDA, other than his recently rented N100,000 apartment ,with which he laboured in vain to hoodwink some unwary members of the public “.
During a lengthy kingship authentication verification investigation carried out by our Correspondent, all the principal Stakeholders interviewed, were apparently and obviously unhappy with Chukwukadibia for creating what they saw as “a baseless crisis in their hitherto peaceful community, whereby they claimed that Chukwukadibia is a ‘foreigner’ and not part of them”.
The first Stakeholder to release his barrage of criticisms, was Eze Ndigbo in Riverine, Eze Chinaedu Mozie, alias “Nwatakwacha, “he said ” the authentic Eze Ndigbo in Oriade LCDA is Eze Udo, Eze Emmanuel Chukwuakalikamadu, who lives and built his house and palace in Oriade LCDA.Sometimes ago, the Supreme Council of Ndieze in Lagos state deliberated on this Ezeship issues and directed Chukwukadibia to stop parading himself as Eze Ndigbo in Oriade LCDA.He can’t reside in Agric area, Ojo local government Area and be claiming to be Eze in Oriade LCDA.
Querying Chukwukadibia’s 15 years claims as Eze Ndigbo in Oriade LCDA, Eze Riverine asked him to mention who crowned him. Who crowned him?, Eze to which People?.” Before Oriade LCDA was created,from the year 2003 to early 2020’s, I was a member of ‘ime Obi’ and Chief Security Officer, CSO, Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Oriade, Amuwo Odofin , I never knew him as Eze or who crowned him.It was only Eze Anthony Elui and late Eze Udo, Eze Ogidi , that we knew as Ezes in Amuwo Odofin before Oriade was carved out “.
Counseling Chukwukadibia, Eze Mozie Opined, ” We should respect ourselves as Igbos, because we have rich traditional heritage when it comes to Ezeship, a tenant can not be an Eze.Chukwukadibia can’t be living in another place and be claiming Ezeship in Oriade.In this matter between two of them, even everything goes, truth can’t go.Let Chukwukadibia go to the place he resides, bought and built house to contest for Ezeship, he Lacks that quality here in Oriade, I don’t know why he doesn’t want to give up his baseless struggle “.
Speaking for the Kingmakers in Oriade, Kingmaker ,Ochiagha Gurugburu, Chief Ikechukwu, released his own salvos and challenged anyone laying claims to Oriade LCDA Ezeship to show his certificate.
“It is not an issue, anybody, whosoever that says he is Eze Ndigbo, Eze Udo in Oriade LCDA, should show us his certificate.Anyone who claims that I played any role in his life as Eze Ndigbo, must bring the certificate that I signed.As an Eze, you must show us your certificate and palace,” Ochiagha mocked Chukwukadibia .
While Challenging those he said that are using police to intimidate them over the Ezeship tussle, the Kingmaker declared his stand stating that, ” the only man, who is recognized as Eze Udo in Oriade LCDA, is Eze Emmanuel Chukwuakalikamadu, Eze Ohazurumee, who the Igbo Kingmakers , political groups , Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Igbo Speaking Community in Oriade LCDA, have all agreed to be our Eze, because he agrees with the terrain.If they like, let them use police to threaten and intimidate us, at the appropriate time, truth will overcome and we can’t fight with the Yorubas, because they are our landlord”.
Clarifying their earlier relationship with Chukwukadibia, Ochiagha stated thus: ” Yes, at the earlier stage, we invited and interviewed Chukwukadibia and he deceptively showed us a building in Oriade, claiming that it was his own and based on that,we issued him with a certificate that I signed recommending him to be crowned Eze by the Igbo Speaking Community in Oriade LCDA.But when we now found out that he rented a two bedroom flat, everybody withdrew , let him exhibit the content of the certificate that I signed .The truth is that he doesn’t vote in Oriade LCDA, he votes in Ojo and the two people that were following him, Chief Alex Ezeobi, aka, Biafra and ichie Sunday Edyson Okeke, known also as “Mmiri Oma na Isuofia”, later found out the truth, that Chukwukadibia is not the real man that they thought that he was and they withdrew”.
On way forward for lasting peace in Oriade LCDA over the Ezeship tussle, the Kingmaker Ochiagha said that” If Chukwukadibia really want to answer that Ezeship name, no problem but there are certain things to be done, we should come together”.
“But as at today, the Eze Ndigbo in Oriade LCDA that we know and following, is Eze Udo, Eze Emmanuel Chukwuakalikamadu and we found him worthy of these and that is why we are aligning with him.let me limit it this way, but I have my own story to tell,if they want to drag me into this.They can’t intimidate everybody with the police, no, no, no ,no.You can’t fight with the Yorubas, Omoniles. You can’t come from nowhere and say that you are building a kingdom, which kingdom?. I have been following President Bola Ahmed Tinubu before AD party to APC . At the appropriate time, the APC Party will make a statement and give instructions to the police, Ochiagha concluded.
Going down memory lane In his own contribution, Chukwukadibia’s estranged Cabinet Chairman, Chief Sunday Edyson Okeke, alias ‘Mmiri Oma na Isuofia’, who indirectly accepted to be the innocent Initiator of the Ezeship tussle, however,stated that ,”Apollos Umenwekwe Chukwukadibia , has been lying and very economical with the truth”.
He stated that he did not know when and who coronated Chukwukadibia as Eze.He accused Chukwukadibia of initially brain washing them and that when he later discovered that he never had any residential property in Oriade, he advised him to purchase a property in Oriade, even it was a bungalow, if he truly wished to become an Eze in Oriade, but he ignored them.
He said thus: ” It was late Eze Udo Amuwo Odofin,Eze Ogidi, who initially crowned him “Obi ” Onireke, Obi Amuwo Odofin, Obi Oriade and because late Eze Ogidi was living in a street in Oriade, I felt I could use Chukwukadibia to retain the legacies of the late Ogidi .I was the person that reconciled him with Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Oriade LCDA.I know the bungalow he lives at Ilufe area of Ojo local government Area, he has no tenant there and iam not trying to mock him financially but he is not living in Oriade LCDA,it is as simple as A,B,C,D “.
When our Correspondent drew his attention to the fact that Eze Chukwukadibia, had in a recent publication with an Online Newspaper Stated that he resides at No. 8 Olubodun Crescent, off Galaxy Olola Community, Ijegun, Satellite town, Chief Okeke retorted angrily and explained thus :
” Iam an Ichie, an “Ozo” titled holder in Isuofia, Anambra State,meaning that I shouldn’t lie. That address he provided is a false information and claims.I was the person that paid N100,000 for that rented apartment in the compound known as”Malaysia ” , owned by an Igbo landlord from Umuchu in Anambra State”, Okeke stated.
According to him, “I was his back bone and our initial plot was that Chukwukadibia will hold on to the rented apartment, pending when he buys a house in one of the streets there, so that when people hears our fabrications ,that he was crowned by late Eze Ogidi as Eze Oriade, it will become believable .I have spent over N300,000 of my own money on him, just in a bid to make him Eze Ndigbo in Oriade LCDA and while i and my colleagues were suffering for him, he disappointed us “, Mmiri Oma regretted.
Regretting further his unfruitful efforts towards helping Chukwukadibia, Chief Okeke advised Chukwukadibia to step down and stop parading himself as Eze Ndigbo Oriade and cease forthwith from peddling false hold in Oriade.
Mmiri Oma therefore concluded that as far as Igbo tradition is concerned,it is Eze Emmanuel Chukwuakalikamadu that is the authentic Eze Ndigbo because he lives and built his house in Oriade ,”As an Ichie in my town, somebody can’t be living in another place and be King in another place ,an Eze must have an “Obi” in his kingdom.Surposing someone wants to visit him?, It should not be in a hotel.It was on the account of these things that I withdrew from him, because he is not serious to be an Eze , he doesn’t seek advice and doesn’t operate like an Eze”, Chief Okeke opined.
Confirming some of the positions of Chief Okeke, the former Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Oriade, Chief Alex Ezeobi, popularly known as “Biafra”,stated that : “the only recognized Eze in Oriade LCDA now, is Eze Emmanuel Chukwuakalikamadu”.
This affirmation ,Biafra said, is based on the report of the committee set up by Chief Edwin Egboka, alias Nze Eze Eziokwu , which after summoning and interviewing both parties, issued a certificate of recommendation and recognition to Eze Chukwuakalikamadu,as Eze Udo in Oriade LCDA.
Reacting to Chukwukadibia’s allegations that “Biafra” ganged up with Mmiri Oma, on the account of his cabinet members refusal to make him Onowu,traditional Prime Minister, Chief Ezeobi, blasted Eze Chukwukadibia, describing as ” a drowning man, looking for someone else or something to hold on to”.
Said He : ” Chukwukadibia should embrace peace, so that progress will come.infact , I was the first democratically elected Chairman of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Oriade LCDA, this crisis started after my tenure and there was no time that I ganged up with another person against Chukwukadibia, because of Onowu title. On the contrary, Chukwukadibia was the person disturbing me to be his Onowu and I have a witness that he came with”, Biafra stated.
It would be recalled that at the height of the Ezeship tussle, the Supreme Council of Ndieze in Lagos state and Chief Edwin Egboka,alias Nze Eze Eziokwu ,led Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Oriade, were said to have constituted an Adhoc Committee headed by Chief Victor Nnotum, which was said to had started by inviting the two Claimants to Oriade LCDA Ezeship .
However, while Eze Chukwuakalikamadu was said to have attended the verification process, Chukwukadibia was said to have sent a representative.
After the deliberations, certain conditions were said to have been stipulated as conditions for approval towards a proper recognition of any of two of the contestants.
While Chukwuakalikamadu was praised for had hastened and fulfilled what Chief Egboka called “The needful”, and was given recognition as Eze Udo in Oriade LCDA, Eze Chukwukadibia till date was accused of not complying with Ohanaeze Ndigbo Oriade laid down procedures and conditions.
Confirming the above information, Chief Eboka, who initially was foot dragging when Our Correspondent contacted him for interview, later stated thus : ” I met this crisis when I became Ohanaeze Ndigbo Chairman in Oriade LCDA. I summoned the two Claimants and set up a committee to make peace and we succeeded in bringing peace”.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo is not kingmakers but we can only recognize Eze”, Egboka posited .
“However,in Igbo Culture, you can’t be an Eze without followers. That was why we gave them conditions for recognition, which Eze Chukwuakalikamadu fulfilled and he is the Eze Udo in Oriade LCDA for now.You can verify the documents from Eze Chukwuakalikamadu because the Committee Chairman said that he gave them copies”.
Explaining the impact of his peace process, Chief Egboka noted that there are factions of Eze Ndigbo title holders in Lagos, ” so if Chukwukadibia wants our recognition, he should do the needful”.
On way he attended Chukwukadibia’s ill fated and disrupted “Ofala” event held very late on November 11th ,2023,at Safaya event center, Egboka claimed that it was the Ohanaeze Ndigbo logo symbol that he saw on the invitation that propelled him to attend.
The Oriade Ohanaeze Ndigbo Chairman derided and chastised the two combatant Ezes and declared thus : ” We came to Lagos to make money and not to farment trouble.I don’t understand why an Igbo Man should come to Lagos state and be dragging what I don’t understand, despite that they don’t receive salary for this thing”, meaning the Eze Ndigbo title in diaspora.
Commenting on the counter allegations by Eze Chukwukadibia that he had fulfilled the needful by providing money, drinks, kolanuts, yams and live cow for the conditions spelt out for recognition by the stakeholders through the Kingmaker Ochiagha Ikechukwu, Egboka, who tried to conceal his anger, stated thus : “Chukwukadibia is my brother, he knows me well , I was the person that called him but if he claimed that he has done the needful full,why did he present himself before the committee and why didn’t he inform them then. Eze Chukwuakalikamadu did it without stress, Let him come and meet with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Oriade LCDA and if he meets up with the “needful”, we will discuss with the stakeholders and come up with our position “, he assured.
Speaking on how to bring total peace between the two Contestants, Egboka said,” both of them knows what to do, they should embrace themselves”, he advised.
Chief Victor Nnotum, the Adhoc Committee Chairman, had earlier declined to comment, after appreciating our Correspondent for his understanding and resilience, however , Stated that his reason for declining to comment on the tussle, was based on his knowledge of the ‘Standard Operating Procedure or Practice’ ,whereby when an Adhoc Committee has winded up sitting and submitted it’s report to it’s parent body, it is deemed disbanded and therefore lacks the power to state facts based on the report,
“hence the onus lies with Chief Egboka,the Chairman, who in the first place,set up the committee and should speak to give a verifiable statement on the subject matter, except he had resigned from his position or perhaps avoiding something “, Chief insinuated.
When Eze Chukwukadibia was contacted for his own comments, he raised the alarm over his alleged unsubstantiated plot against Ochiagha, Biafra, Mmiri Oma na Isuofia , Chukwuakalikamadu’s and others purported plans to kill him .
He revealed that the reason for the alleged gang up by Ezeobi,(Biafra) and Chief Okeke (Mmiri Oma) against him and his Ezeship, was because of his cabinet members rejection and vote of no confidence on Biafra’s desire to become his “Onowu”, traditional Prime Minister and council Chairman respectively.
Further Narrating the genesis of the tussle, Eze Chukwukadibe explained that he was crowned Ezendigbo of Oriade LCDA in 2015 and his palace is located at No. 8 Olubodun Crescent, off Galaxy Olola Community, Ijegun, Satellite town, Oriade LCDA, before Eze Chukwuakalikamadu started laying claims to be Ezendigbo in Oriade LCDA, just two years ago and lied to the Police that he does not have property in Oriade LCDA.
On how he became Ezendigbo in Oriade LCDA, he narrated that it started with Eze Ogidi as Obi Onireke and after that, late Eze Ogidi offered him the Ezeship in Oriade, which was a new community as at 2015.
“Initially I declined but according to the then President of Ohanaeze, Nnia Nwodo (2015), it was the last Ezeship coronation for any person. So I came back from Germany to accept the Eze.
“After 2015, I was doing my duty and Eze Ogidi carried me to Ohanaeze thenas the chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s Eze in Council for 18years. Then in 2019 when Eze Ogidi died, the council people said that I must carry out customary rites by killing a cow and do an event in Oriade. I did all that I was asked to do and I have proofs.”
Accusing Ochiagha, he said,“In 2021, one Ochiagha, who was a chief in the council and self acclaimed king maker, who killed the cow in my compound for the event, said he was not very comfortable the way I handled politics and Biafra. He told the council he will get a new Eze, who will favour his political views. I came back from Abuja one day and i heard that another Eze has been crowned. I wanted to take action but people told me that I shouldn’t bother because there are some places in Lagos that had more than one Ezes for instance Ejigbo which had four Eze, same with Ojo and Ikeja.
Angry over the disruption of his 11th November Ofala, said, Chukwukadibia said “The Title of Eze does not come with money instead you spend, so I left the new Eze alone, who happened to be Eze Chukwuakalikamadu. This is the 5th Ofala that I am celebrating and I suddenly got a call from Area E Command, FESTAC to see them. I declined because I was not feeling too well. I later heard that the man I had paid the event centre venue was taken to the Police station and forced to write an undertaking that the Ofalla event will not take place on the day of the event.”
All of these problems started from Eze Chukwuakalikamadu, who was not even crowned as Ezendigbo of Oriade LCDA rather coronated by Ochiagha, the king maker as Eze Udo Oriade.”
Threatening to take legal action over the disruption of his 5th Ofalla, he said all members of the opposition have been attending his last Ofalla festival,but because of the petition against him, this year’s Ofalla party started by 5pm, and by that time,all his guests had gone and the food he cooked were therefore given to beggars.
Claiming lost of N6,154,000 due to the disruption, he said that he will write to the chairman council of Ndi Eze and copy the letter to Area ‘E’ before he takes legal action .
He beat his chest in confidence, saying that he has all the necessary approvals, documents, such as the ones from Oriade LCDA council, Igbo Speaking Community, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, King Maker, Chief John Uche, Eze Ndigbo in Lagos State, His Highness, HH, Eze Dr.Christain Uchechukwu Nwachukwu, JP and others.
Reacting, Eze Chukwuakalikamadu maintained that Chukwukadibia is not an Eze in Oriade and doesn’t not reside in Oriade, rather he lives in Ilufe area of Ojo Local government Areas, far away from Oriade and there was no way he would come to Oriade LCDA to be an Eze.”As at the time I was a Chief and Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Igbo leader in Amuwo Odofin local government Area, I never knew Chukwukadibia as an Igbo leader or even Eze, so , how come, he just sprang from nowhere to be claiming 15 years Ezeship?”.
Eze Chukwuakalikamadu berated those behind the rumors and peddlers of falsehoods about his expulsion from his hometown ,Uraukwu community, he challenged them to prove their concorted information even as he provided a copy of a letter written by his kinsmen during his coronation .
” These jesters and rumor merchants have been peddling false hood that my house that I built belongs to my phantom elder brother, whereas Iam the first born of my family, just as they are peddling rumours that I was expelled from my community. Can a community that expelled their son, send a letter of commendation and recommendations to the same person during his Ezeship coronation?, this fact exposes their stupidity and baseless struggle to daint my integrity and reputation.This is the reason for sending you a copy of Uraukwu community letter to me”, Eze Udo Oriade blasted his Critics .
Indeed, like palm nut being chewed and read to be thrown out, Oriade LCDA Stakeholders appears determined to finally do away with Chukwukadibia’s acclaimed credentials and Ezeship, as they for the umpteenth time threw their undivided and undisputed loyalty and support to Eze Chukwuakalikamadu as their accepted Eze Ndigbo and traditional leader.