The Ondo First Lady,Her Excellency,Mrs.Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has washed her hands off the allegation that she imposed an Eze on Emeabiam Autonomous Community, Owerri West Local Government Area, Imo State.
Mrs Anyanwu-Akeredolu who was responding to allegations levelled against her in a newspaper publication with the caption:” Emeabiam Ezeship Stool: We Do Not Have An Eze Elect, Betty Akeredolu Cannot Hold Ezeship Election For The Community” , credited to one Chief Ndubuisi Iheakam, stated in unequivocal terms that she never conducted any Ezeship election for the community.
In the response signed by Rowland Onyeukwu, Senior Special Assistant to Gov Rotimi Akeredolu on Media, Mrs Anyanwu-Akeredolu disclosed that her only link to the said Ezeship selection process was that she only attended the election as an observer, since it held on a day she visited Emeabiam to witness the wedding of a daughter of the community who is an appointee in her husbands government.
According to her she never participated in any way or manner in any of the Ezeship selection processes which included setting up screening committee and the screening of the candidates proper. She also noted that she is not a member of the (Oha na Ikoro), which is the body of king makers.
The Ondo state First Lady who hails from Emeabiam expressed shock that she is being fingered by one Chief Iheakam and cohorts to have influenced a process she was not part of from beginning to the end.
She also wondered how she, as a single individual could by fiat discard a process she knew nothing of, to impose an Eze on the community.
She stressed that she has nothing to do with the Ezeship issue and in fact does not care who emerges as long as due process was observed and the person who emerged the choice of the people.
The Ondo First Lady accused her traducers of trying to hide under the Ezeship tussle to wage personal and selfish war against her as could be seen in their deviating from the issue at hand to pursue personal vendatta against her.
She stressed that contrary to the lies peddled against her all she had wanted for her community in particular and Imo State in general is true development.
She explained that it was in keeping with that philosophy that she influenced the appointment of ten Imo sons and daughters into the government of Ondo State.
Similarly, she added that she has ensured that all her empowerment and poverty alleviation initiates in Ondo state such as BEMORE Empowered Initiative for girls and Widows Care Initiative are brought home to Emebiam and Imo as a whole to positively touch the less privileged.
This, she further stated is in addition to several development projects she has been able to bring home to her people to empower them socially and economically.
She berated Chief Iheakam for attempting to disparage her status as a woman and on the basis of her marriage to a Yoruba man, regretting that in this 21st century in which women are becoming agents of change some people would still be parading the archaic mentality of seeing them ” as being married off, or, that” they should always be by their husbands side.”
The Ondo First Lady called on the people of Emeabiam to be wary of those bent on mortgaging their future, even as she urged them never to allow any individual or group to impose an Eze on them.
According to her they must insist on fairplay, due process, transparency and community participation in the Ezeship process.
She demanded unreserved apology within seven days from Chief Iheakam to avoid legal action.