The Regent-in-Council of Ojoto town in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, High Chief (Sir) Gerald Mbamalu, has restated that the community has not crowned any king.
Speaking to newsmen during new yam festival by the community, the Regent of Ojoto, High Chief (Sir) Gerald Mbamalu, said that everything about the process of selecting of new king for the town has been put on hold in compliance with the directive of the State Government and Anambra State High Court.
He said as at present, the Regent-in-Council is the highest authority in Ojoto town since the process of selecting a new traditional ruler has also been put on hold due to possible security threat in the community.
He said at the appropriate time when they dispense the matter in the court at the instance of one of the parties and if the State Government gives directive, the Regent-in-Council in line with Constitution of the town will set machinery in motion for selection of a new traditional ruler.
Speaking on the relevance of New Yam Festival in Igbo land, the Regent said it was a period of celebrating fruitfulness of their crop especially yam, the king of crops.
He said that it was an annual festival to thank God for a successful planting and harvest, saying that with the celebration of the festival every village and family in Ojoto can now begin to eat new yam.
He said new yam festival was also to remind and encourage every male in every community in Igbo land the need to work hard, to provide food for the household and that they can create wealth through farming as well as bridge the gap in feeding their families even they are not full time farmers.
He said: “By now, the yam has matured. New yam festival is a culture in Igbo land which has survived over time. It is what you harvested that you will use to feed your family”.
Other members of the Ojoto Regent-in-Council who spoke aligned with the Regent that the community does not have a traditional ruler.
They include Prof. Victor Anosa who insisted that any time they want to select a new Igwe, due process and the wish of the people of the community must prevail.
Others are Chief Michael Okigbi, Chief Donatus Anozie, Vice-President-General Ojoto Akanasato, Chief Okey Obingo, Ichie Anumba Joe Obimma among others.
The highlight of the celebration was the eating of roasted yam with palm oil by the Regent, the Chiefs and others. It was carnival as masquerades of different shapes and sizes, village groups and musical groups came to perform and pay homage to the regent and the Chiefs.
The bid for the community to produce a new traditional ruler was stalled when one of the contestants allegedly abandoned the due process and went behind to organise “what was termed a Kangaroo election” which produced him but others kicked against it hence the State Government intervened and suspended the selection process after a committee which also security heads in the state adjudged that process faulty.