*Security operatives deployed to maintain peace
*Book launch, commissioning projects cancelled
*Buhari gave me Special Police, Burutai backed me with soldiers, Ngige boasts
By Vincent Ujumadu
BLOODBATH was averted at Alor, the home town of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State when two opposing traditional rulers presented themselves to the people during their annual home coming.
Tension had enveloped the town a day before the event, with some of the residents relocating to neighbouring communities to avoid being caught up in the supremacy battle between Igwe Mac Anthony Okonkwo, who is recognized by the Anambra State government and Igwe Ebele Onyemesili, another traditional ruler crowned by Senator Ngige’s group.
Both groups had vowed to hold the event at the same venue and were prepared for a showdown with each other, but the intervention of security operatives stalled any fracas.
The development made the state government to issue a statement clarifying that Igwe Okonkwo is the recognized traditional ruler of Alor and that security operatives had been duly informed to ensure that lives and property were protected during the annual festival in the town scheduled to hold later in the day.
Following a complaint by the state government to the presidency, Ngige’s group decided to shift its event to another venue in the town to allow peace to reign, while Igwe Okonkwo and his group held theirs at the community’s square.
Addressing the people during which Onyemesili also installed six chiefs, Senator Ngige accused some people of causing trouble in the community and commended the newly installed chiefs for remaining peaceful in the face of undue provocation.
He said: “We took a decision to relocate this event from Eze Agbudugbu for security reasons. I had wanted us to hold the event in my country home, but some people would interpret it to mean that our opponents have defeated us.
“Some people want to cause mayhem so that lives and property would be lost in Alor, but God forbid. There was a security report from Abuja that Anambra State government had complained that Alor would be in flames in the next few minutes because we were accused of forcing ourselves into the venue where the other group wants to hold its programme.
“As peace makers, we relocated to avoid bloodshed, but we just discovered that they are not doing anything there as the place is empty. Their aim was to cause confusion and give Alor a bad name.
“I therefore thank those who agreed with us that there should be no confrontation and it is not necessary to wage war against them because they are our brothers and sisters and even our in-laws.
“Unfortunately, some of them have gone to the social media to claim that they have conquered Ngige and his group in Alor, but I want to inform them that the President gave me special police, while the Chief of Army Staff sent some soldiers to come and take instructions from me. Our opponents brought some soldiers and those soldiers have been ordered to return to base.
“We cannot fight with them because that would amount to giving them credibility, which is why we came here to do our programme. The sad aspect of it is that a lot of people ran away from Alor because they thought there was going to be war.
“Some of my guests who came from Abuja also left and the book launch they came for had to be cancelled. The skills acquisition centre we planned to commission was also cancelled as my staff who came from Abuja also had to leave immediately.”
Ngige said that at a stage during the whole saga, the President General of Alor, Chief Uzoma Igbonwa, almost cried, adding that he had to console him.