If urgent steps are not taken to stem the tide of impending crisis that will rock Umuohiagu Autonomous Community in Ngor-Okpala LGA of Imo State, the story of most troubled communities will be a child’s play.
“The crisis that will hit the community will be as a result_ of a sacrilegious and provocative name-calling of Osu allegedly by the wife of the traditional ruler of Umuohiagu Community on a village of the town.
Information reaching our news desk said the incident leading to the unfortunate and offensive comment was triggered off by the burial of the former President General of the Umuohiagu Development Union and former Councillor representing Ward II in Ngor Okpala LGA, Hon. Columba Onu, who was buried on Friday 13.
Then, on Sunday 15 April, the youths of the kindred of Amauga where the deceased hailed from were giving him the final burial rites. As is customary and in tandem with tradition, these youths sang dirge praises and eulogies in honour of their departed patriarch, dancing through the villages in accordance with the custom of the town.
As the youths were singing and got to the neighbouring kindred Egbelu-Ubi, admirers trooped out to cheer the crowd. The traditional ruler of the community and a native of that kindred, Leonard Aguocha and his wife Chikaodi came out of their house to know who the dancers were.
According to the first son of the deceased, Kingsley Onu, when the Eze’s wife saw them, she sighed and retorted “It is these Umu Osu (outcasts) that are disturbing”.
According to Onu, on hearing this derogatory comment the youths of Amauga took umbrage. It was alleged that when Eze Aguocha noticed that an altercation had ensued because of his wife’s offensive comments referring to these people as outcasts, the Eze was said to have gotten enraged and in the cause of the confusion and fracas ordered for his gun.
It was alleged that when the Eze’s senior brother’s Ugochukwu Aguocha rushed into the house, he rather returned with a matchet. According to report, Ugochukwu gave one Isaac Nkwocha a cut in the hand and Ekene Nwachukwu a cut in the right leg. As the youths were struggling to overpower Ugochukwu and wrestle the matchet from him he was said to have sustained injuries on the back and head.
Our reporter was informed that, in the midst of that confusion, the other members of the Aguocha family including the Eze and his senior brother Kevin joined in the fight. The police from Umuneke Ngor Okpala LGA was immediately called in by the Eze. According to the Onu family, when the plain clothes policemen stormed the Onu compound in Amauga in a Toyota Sienna without number plate, they started shooting sporadically in the air and a stray bullet was said to hit the right hand of Chibuike Onu
Chibuike Onu was said to have been taken to the St, Joseph’s Hospital Enyiogugu in Aboh-Mbaise LGA for treatment but was rejected because of lack of police report. He was later treated and then the police arrested Kingsley Onu and Chibuike Onu for three days before they were granted bail on Tuesday, 17th April, 2018.
An extended member of the Onu family, Nwogu Onyewuenyi said he was deeply injured by the fact that in this age and time when other races are fast advancing in technology, and at a time Christendom is doing everything to banish this so-called Osu Caste nonsense, a traditional ruler would have the effrontery to call his subjects Osu.
All efforts made by our reporter to reach Eze Aguocha for comments, proved abortive. He was said to have travelled out of town.