Tension mounts as 116-year-old is named Otochalu-Awka

There is mounting tension in Awka, the capital of Anambra State as the community’s Council of Kingmakers, led by Ozo Obuora Essel, named 116-year-old Ozo Nwibe Nwosu, from Umudioka as the Otochalu Awka (oldest living person) in the 33 villages that make up the town.

The public presentation of Ozo Nwosu took place at his Nwosisi Lane residence 24 hours after he emerged as the oldest living candidate, beating his closest contender, Ozo Akubue from Umunnoke, aged 110.

The new Otochalu-Awka replaces his predecessor, Ozo Otue from Umuoranma village, who passed on about two years ago.

With this development, the process to install a new traditional ruler to replace the dethroned royal father, Obi Gibson Nwosu, Ezeuzu II, may have started as the Izu Awka, the community’s General Assembly at the weekend announced the emergence of Ozo Nwibe Nwosu as the oldest living person in the community.

It was gathered that the Otochalu-Awka is empowered to crown a new traditional ruler after six months in office of the named regent, Ozo Essel, who had since assumed the regency office on April 19, 2017.

High power play was on display as the state police command allegedly tried to scuttle the exercise for the emergence of Otochalu-Awka, when about 100 policemen were mobilized to prevent the community’s General Assembly from holding at Umuoranma Hall.

Sources say the police action may have been borne out of the decision of the state government to throw its weight behind the embattled royal father.

The state government through the Commissioner for Local Government and Special Adviser to the governor, Chief Greg Obi and Ikechukwu Onyeabor respectively had warned against taking action capable of breaching the peace in the community and gave its support of continuity in office to the deposed monarch.

The kingmakers had leveled 18 charges against the Ezeuzu II, including violating the Traditional Rulers Amended Constitution for Awka 1986, as well as the Code of Conduct, which he reportedly signed on January 1, 2000 and went ahead to depose him on April 19 this year.

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Ozo Obuora Essel
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