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Campaign of calumny against Imo House of Assembly – Part 1

By Luke Onyekakeyah
25 April 2017   |   3:40 am
My attention has been drawn to a write-up by one Major General Ogunedo (rtd), hereinafter called Mr. Ogunedo, titled, “A Plea (to the Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly...

PHOTO: Imo State Government

My attention has been drawn to a write-up by one Major General Ogunedo (rtd), hereinafter called Mr. Ogunedo, titled, “A Plea (to the Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly (IMHA), Owerri) in Respect of the Report of the House Committee on Judiciary, Chieftaincy Affairs and Autonomous Communities on a Petition from Concerned Citizens of Owu Amakohia, Ikeduru LGA”, in which the writer exposed his emptiness and lack of personal integrity and the fact that he is a vicious liar, a mischief maker who is out to instigate trouble and gain undue advantage in Owu-Amakohia because of his rank in the army, forgetting that he is now retired and expired. Sadly, Mr. Ogunedo does not know that the Speaker of the House is addressed as Hon. Speaker while the Governor is addressed as Your Excellency. Mr. Ogunedo addressed the Hon. Speaker as Your Excellency! What a patent display of ignorance?

I would not have bothered to join issues with Ogunedo except that he dragged my name into his write-up and so it behooves on me to set the records straight by reiterating the facts about Owu-Amakohia that have been laid before the IMHA in respect of its report on Owu community’s name change. Most of the facts are already in the public domain. I am a bonafide indigene and stakeholder in Owu-Amakohia from Umuofor/Obodo kindred, the fifth out of the six kindreds that make up Owu-Amakohia.

The bone of contention is that Eze Ben Nwaneri imposed himself as the traditional ruler of Owu-Amakohia. Not satisfied with that, he unilaterally went ahead to change the name of the community from Owu to Owubinubi against the wish of the people without following laid down legal procedures. Ever since then, there has been no peace in Owu. In an effort to make peace, the community wrote a petition to the Imo State House of Assembly requesting the Hon. House to prevail on the Eze to revert to the original ancestral name. The House set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the matter. The committee took time and carried out a thorough investigation which established that the original ancestral name of the community is Owu and not Owubinubi and that Eze Ben Nwaneri acted unilaterally in changing the name without consulting the people and without following due process. Based on its findings, the committee wrote its report and submitted to the Hon. House. The House adopted the report, debated it and passed a resolution mandating Eze Ben Nwaneri to revert to the original ancestral name of Owu-Amakohia. The House gave the Eze 90 days within which to comply and report back and that failure to comply will attract legislative sanction. The deadline is fast approaching while Eze Nwaneri is hysterical. But Mr. Ogunedo and his co-travellers are deceiving the Eze to stick to his gun and not obey the Imo State House of Assembly. This is the issue that Mr. Ogunedo failed to dwell on and instead went beating about the bush and dishing out unfounded lies and fabrications.

It is very unfortunate, indeed disappointing, that Mr. Ogunedo, with the rank of a Major General, who ought to be a shining star and beacon of hope in Owu community turned out to be the leader of a disgruntled clique that is out to destabilise the community for their own selfish interest. Throughout his 36 years of service in the army, Mr. Ogunedo never cared about what is happening in Owu. He didn’t help anybody get into the army as generals do for their people. He offered nobody scholarship and established no foundation to assist the poor. He could not even pave the eroded footpath that leads to his house in the village. What we are dealing with is a selfish and egocentric persona. After retirement, instead of seeking useful political office in government as some Generals are doing, he holed himself in Abuja from where he joined village politics to intimidate hapless folks with his army rank.

The copious introduction Mr. Ogunedo made in his submission about his career in the army is ridiculous and laughable. It shows that the person writing is a recluse, unknown in Imo State talk less Nigeria. Nigerian army Generals are like the golden fish that has no hiding place. Generals need no introduction anywhere. That an army General is there in Imo State who is unknown to the authorities shows that something is wrong with this General. The name doesn’t ring bell anywhere. That is why he laboured to introduce himself to the Hon. Speaker of the House who may never have heard such a name. Or, maybe Mr. Ogunedo was trying to intimidate the Hon. Speaker that he is a General and as such the Speaker should be afraid to say the truth. But Imo State House of Assembly is bigger than Maj. Gen. Ogunedo and cannot be intimidated to recant on a resolution it passed that stands on law, order, equity, justice, fairness and peace. Mr. Ogunedo should know that Imo State House of Assembly is not a beer parlor where drunkards engage in frivolous and armchair arguments. The House is there for serious business in the interest of the state. It followed due process before issuing the report on Owu-Amakohia and passing a resolution. Mr. Ogunedo had the liberty to make input before now. The so-called plea written by Mr. Ogunedo is belated.

What Mr. Ogunedo wants the Speaker to do is to recant on an issue that the Hon. House has already deliberated upon and passed a resolution. Where was Mr. Ogunedo when the House’s Ad-hoc Committee was carrying out its investigation? What we are dealing with is a matter which the Hon. House diligently investigated through its ad-hoc committee. A report was duly submitted and adopted by the House. The Hon. House debated it in plenary before a resolution was passed, which is now binding on the parties. Copy of the resolution has been given to Owu community leaders. In the resolution, the House issued a 90-day mandate to Eze Ben Nwaneri to revert to the original ancestral name of Owu-Amakohia or face legislative sanction if he failed to comply. What does Mr. Ogunedo want? Does he want the Hon. Speaker to breach the resolution of the House and thereby put the House in bad light? The resolution is House Resolution No. 82. What will become of IMHA if it starts revoking its own resolutions?

To be continued