BY Stella Njemanze-Neboh
The 2023 election is over and Owerre is on its way to peace, love, and happiness like in the past. But it is with a heavy heart that I am writing to inform you that our alleged Land Vultures and Land Hawkers are back, alive and well. Now, their target is Area K and the two groups are already fighting over control. The Amawom Welfare Association (AWA) and the autonomous Ezes,I was told are fighting over who is Gazetted and who is not. There is a struggle for control of the said land. The funny thing is that none of these groups are reportedly trustworthy or reliable. Their track record is said not to be very encouraging. They have no records to show. AWA is a defunct and dissolved group by the late Eze of Owerre, HRM Emmanuel Osuji Njemanze, Ozuruigbo V of blessed memory. AWA was allegedly dissolved because they were very unproductive and a problem for the late Ozuruigbo. AWA was just resurrected from the grave recently by a current chairman who is allegedly being said not to be an Amawom citizen; he reportedly used a Kangaroo election to vote himself into office.
The Autonomous Ezes on the other side are the current Balkanizers APPOINTED by the previous Imo State Governor and some of them are allegedly NOT members of the community they are ruling. These Balkanizers have done absolutely nothing for their respective villages or Owerre Nchi Ise as a whole. No accomplishments to brag about. Remember one of the Balkanized Ezes was given allocated lands by our Godly and good hearted Governor to distribute with members of his community. Instead he allegedly sold the allocated plots with his brother and reportedly bought himself a very beautiful Lexus Jeep, while others are hungry.
My Governor, are these the people our government is negotiating with on behalf of Nde Owerre? Please, I am pleading with you to stop the negotiations right now. These alleged Land Vultures are not negotiating for the best interest of Nde Owerre. History should teach us not to repeat the same mistakes. Owerre Nchi Ise needs to return to the cultural and traditional set up that brought peace to our community and worked for all. We need to return our village heads, esteemed Ohas, Oshiezes and Onye Ishi ala Owerre with the Ozuruigbo VI of Owerre as the Paramount ruler. The Ozuruigbo of Owerre was set up by our ancestors and forefathers as the “FATHER” of the five compounds who made sure every member of the Owerre Nchi Ise Community had a voice and was treated fairly with dignity and respect. The current Autonomous set up is costing Imo State millions of Naira in salaries with these Ezes walking around in their robes and with no worthy accomplishments to boast about. Do you blame them? I would be complacent if the government was depositing money into my account monthly for doing absolutely NOTHING. The Ozuruigbo of Owerre will never allow that to continue.
I am speaking as the proud daughter of Ozuruigbo IV of Owerre, HRM Igwe Alexius Anumaku Njemanze alias “Nakwa Echeki”. I saw my late dad rule Owerre Nchi Ise with love, honesty, and empathy. Owerre Nchi Ise is suffering under the Autonomous set up with the Eze selling communal land without prior consent from his constituents. My Governor, can you trust these groups with Area K??? What will happen to the poor, voiceless, and the “little” people? Who will be their voice? There are families in Amawom that currently have 5-10 plots of allocated land with the rest of the families showing ZERO LAND allocated, it is not fair.
Let’s discuss the history of this so called Area K Land. Our parents told us that the land was given to our grandfather King Njemanze Ihenacho after his family member was killed in Umuguma. My crazy and powerful grandfather sent his warriors in anger to Umuguma to destroy and desecrate the whole town as a payback for the death of his loved one. The people of Umuguma out of fear gave up some land and other things to stop my grandfather from destroying them. Our fathers in turn allowed their wives to use the land as farmlands. Our fathers out of the goodness of their hearts loaned some of the lands to other members of their community for farming. I guess that explains the reason everyone is claiming ownership of Area K. Even the names our fathers gave the different sections is a testimony to the fact that Area K belongs to the Njemanzes.
The sections are as follows:-
-Obaji Umu Njemanze,
-Ogbazukwu Umu Njemanze,
-Nkwo Ori Utara,and
Uzo Ubi Umu Njemanze.
The Njemanzes are always willing to share; but please do not get greedy and decide to take it all. We can always fight back if need be!. A system is never corrupt for the people benefitting from it as long as they continue to benefit from the corrupt and broken system. When the new Ozuruigbo VI of Owerre is selected using the established selection process and then crowned, he should appoint a commission to address all sections of Area K. He should also make sure everyone benefits from the negotiated agreement. We need to know who got what from the previous released allocations making sure they DO NOT get any more until all families have at least received a fair share.
In conclusion, these Autonomous Ezes or Amawom Welfare Association cannot be fully trusted to negotiate with the government on our behalf with regards to our farmlands. So please, Governor Uzodinma, cut that cord and stop the negotiations until the Paramount Ruler of Owerre is selected and crowned.
I remain your vocal servant,
Stella Anumaku Njemanze-Neboh