Tension in Imiakebu community over plan to impose rtd Army officer as village Head


Imiakebu, a fast-growing community and also one of the villages making up the three Ivie clans in the Etsako East council area is boiling and threatening to erupt like an active volcano spewing its acidic ashes all over the place.

The entire community is polarized over the rightful candidate to the vacant village head stool, after the demise of the former village head, Chief U. K. Yahaya, of the Imionove ruling house.

Sources within the community confided in our roving reporter that all is not well as far as the issue of selecting a new village head to replace the late one is concerned.

According to the source, the cause of the brewing crisis is the scheme by a group of “cabal elders” who want to circumvent the age-old tradition of the community to “impose” an unwilling candidate, specifically a retired Army officer, name withheld, as the new village head.

This move is said to have drawn the ire of a large section of the people who have since vowed to thwart the plan and also defend their age-old traditional method of succession against the tyranny of the few.

Besides, accusations of bribery involving mouth-watering amounts are rife in the community, and such accusations hover over the head of the concerned elders for trying to taint the entire process .

Imiakebu community is said to have three principal ruling houses and each occupies the exalted village head stool based on rotation. The three houses are Imiaronamhe, the most senior; Imioshimogbo, and Imionove.

Going by their age-old tradition, on the demise of a reigning village head, assuming he is a Muslim, a forty-day mourning period is observed in his honour and, thereafter, the process of succession is activated through the most senior of the elders, the “Oke”, who causes the issuance of a decree notifying the entire kindred on the lineage the next village head is expected to come from.

At the same time, the Oke and the rest elders form a collegiate body to administer the community during the interregnum whilst also awaiting the outcome of the selection process.

As for the concerned ruling house, in this case, the Imiaronamhe ruling house, the family head is expected to convene a meeting involving all its four branches to call for the nomination of persons to the vacant stool. The family head then arranges another meeting where he puts a call across to each of the nominees and requests their physical presence during the final selection process.

The Imiovone ruling house which the retired Army officer belongs has had the rare privilege of producing the Imiakebu village head on two different occasions.

The major grouse of those who oppose the plan to “impose” the retired Army officer is the fact that it is not even the turn of his ruling house, coupled with the belligerence and utter disregard for the custom and culture of the land.

They easily point to how he acquired his wealth, noting it is common knowledge he “fleeced” the Army dry while in active service, and his failure to justify his “sudden wealth” led to his premature retirement at a time his peers gave their best to the country and later rose to the highest echelon in the service.

In particular, they posited that the “cabal” backing him is not doing so out of any altruistic reason but for pecuniary reasons and vowed to resist the “imposition and the attempt to truncate” their age-old culture and tradition.

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