Some members of Nkerehi community in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State have rejected the change of their community’s name from Nkerehi to Umuchukwu.
The protesters who were at the Government House, Awka to bring their grouses to the knowledge of the state governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo said they have been in bondage in their own land.
They alleged that a certain influential member of their community was using his wealth to intimidate many members of the community, including unilaterally changing the name of the community from Nkerehi to Umuchukwu.
The protesters who were led by Basil Igwike and the secretary general of Nkerehi Progressive Union, Mr Joseph Anunobi begged Soludo to intervene in the crisis rocking the community.
Igwike who addressed government officials while being received alongside the protesters at the government house lamented that besides clandestinely changing the name of the town, the traditional stool of the community has been cornered for one family, even though it is not hereditary.
“Mr Governor, we are here as our brother from the same area with you, to beg you to intervene. How would you feel if someone woke up one day and says your name is no longer your name?
“Nkerehi is the name our forefathers have borne since the olden days but one man came up and changed it to Umuchukwu.
“We are here to beg you to please intervene. We have also heard that government plans to issue a certificate of recognition to a monarch that was not elected by our community.
“We have written several petitions to your office but we have not heard of any reply, that is why we decided to come here to alert our governor on what we’re passing through.”
Chief Security Officer to the governor, Mr Kingsley Nkuma who received the protesters thanked them for being civil in their protest while also pledging to bring the grouses of the protesters to the knowledge of the governor.
Meanwhile, placards wielded by the protesters bore the inscription; “His excellency, our petition is on your table, Nkerehi people have been marginalized for over 16 years”, “please set up a panel to look into the crisis in our community,” and “Soludo please intervene in our plight plight” among others.