KWENU: Our Culture, Our Future
BREAKING NEWS: Igwe John Nebolisa feared dead
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Igwe John Nebolisa, the traditional ruler of Awkuzu in Anambra State, is feared dead. Unconfirmed family sources claim that the Igwe died early last week.
According to the unnamed sources, Igwe Nebolisa had just arrived back to his Lagos residence from Awkuzu the same day and slumped and died at about 10 pm while having a late dinner.
The Igwe had suddenly developed chest pain and screamed while clutching his chest.
Igwe John Nebolisa’s ascension to the throne, as well as his reign as the traditional ruler of Awkuzu was surrounded by controversy, especially as a result of his alleged criminal and notorious background.
He was among the first set of Igbo men to be associated with the 4-1-9 scam and who later negatively inspired thousands of other Igbo men to abandon education and commerce to pursue lives on the fast lane.
The money culture was promoted in local highlife music by a popular musician, Oliver de Coque, whose (in)famous song ‘A na-enwe obodo enwe’ glorified the Igwe’s wealth as well as those of some other notorious Igbo men of tainted and questionable characters.
Igwe John Nebolisa, whose traditional titles are Ichie Gburugburu and Igwe Ibilibi Ogada ran into trouble with the law in 1998 when he was arraigned before the Miscellaneous Offences Tribunal at Victoria Island, Lagos along with two others over alleged advance fee fraud (419) offences.
In 2001, the Igwe briefly went on exile and could not return to his native Awkuzu for a while following his alleged sponsorship and involvement in the Awkuzu mayhem and massacre of 2001. The Bakassi militia group placed the Igwe in their most-wanted list at the time of the mayhem which claimed several lives.
The sources also hinted that the Igwe’s death may not have been announced officially as a result of his [Awkuzu community] status, and that such announcements are usually done the traditional way to forestall further crises that may ensue following his death and also to checkmate aspiring successors to the throne.
Among the contenders are Chief Obi Oduenyi (Ezeudene Awkuzu), the Igwe’s deputy popularly known as Onosolueze.
However, palace watchers believe that Awkuzu people may opt for a clean break and a fresh start by looking elsewhere for their new Igwe, as Chief Oduenyi is believed to belong also to the group of Igbo men whose sources of wealth are questionable.
With the Igwe’s apparent death, it appears that bad times have indeed befallen the group of Igbo money men that were glorified in Oliver de Coque’s music, starting with the late Victor Okafor’s (Ezeego) death at a young age of 34, and also the deaths of Chief Maurice Ibekwe (Akuchinyerenwata) the Chairman of Okwelle Holdings), and Chief Ikechukwu Anajemba (Ikemba Ogidi) under mysterious circumstances.
The others are not having it easy either. Chief Emmanuel Nwude (Owelle Abagana) is currently facing trial for advance fee fraud offences, alongside Mrs Amaka Anajemba while some have gone into exile abroad, apparently for fear of persecution by Ribadu’s EFCC.
We will keep tabs on the story and inform you firsthand of further developments.
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