Today, 1st june 2012, I witnessed, first hand, one of the unfortunate down-sides of the 4th tier regime of the Owelle administration.
A public/general election was conducted to elect the ‘Traditional’ ruler (Eze) of Irete Autonomous Community.
In Owerri West LGA, the election was fraught with oddities, such as:
1. The venue for the election (Hero’s Square, Owerri) was outside the Community where the candidates were supposed to rule over.
2. The election was open to the general public. Men, Women and Youths were made to line up behind their preferred candidate.
3. No screening whatsoever was made to ascertain or verify that the people voting were from Irete (street hawkers, after collecting some tokens, gleefully participated in the voting)
4. People were openly bribing onlookers to queue up behind preferred candidates.
Thereafter, pronto, an Eze was elected for Irete!
If this is how Eze’s are elected, I believe all Igbo will be better off without Eze’s! The sight was utterly despicable to behold.
It is this bastardization of culture that had been my primary worry with the 4th tier policy of the administration.