But the opposing camp led by the Asato Ojoto who was the former Regent, Chief Gerrard Mbamalu, said he was satisfied with the moves of the Dr. Tim Menakaya panel.adding that he would like to see an open selection process done by the chosen kingmakers as done on Tuesday at the panel’s sitting.
Menakaya admitted that his panel had wound up sitting but that it called the Tuesday meeting to ensure all lose ends were tied. He disagreed with insinuations and allegations of compromise against members of his panel.
He described them collectively and individually as people of distinguished standing and certifiably above reproach.
Okafor told journalists in his palace in Ojoto that he walked out on the panel on Tuesday because he saw Chiefs Obi and Onyeabor as interested parties in the matter.
He wondered how and why the two highly placed government officials: Obi, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters; and Onyeabor, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Town Union and Chieftaincy Matters, who constituted the Dr Tim Menakaya-panel, and who will receive the report of the panel made themselves members of the same panel.
He traced the process of his emergence and successful screening by security agencies, leading to his eventual presentation to the state government for presentation of Certificate of Recognition.
Chief Okafor disclosed that it was at this point that a group in the community, which never wished the sleepy town of Ojoto well, moved in to scuttle his final emergence by using their influence in the government.
The Igwe-elect said his decision to show up last Tuesday at the panel’s sitting was principally to honour the State Government, the Governor and all the officials. He walked out on the panel because he was not ready to allow his community and integrity to be debased further.
He said he howeve made sure he put on record before the panel that he didn’t choose himself, but was chosen by the community in line with the constitution of the community which superseded any other one.
According to Chief Dan Ilonze, an octogenarian kingmaker of the community and President-General of Ojoto when the current operational Constitution, with which two past monarchs were crowned, said any attempt by government or any of its officers or agents to attempt to perform the selection for the community would be an aberration that would throw the state into crisis.
Chief Samuel Maduabuchukwu Ezimuo, (Ikenga Ojoto) said that Ojoto has selected and installed her monarch, and was awaiting Certification by the governor, adding that the present showmanship by some misguided nouveau riche, who have no single positive plan for the state government or Ojoto, would not be accepted.
His words, “I am the oldest living Ichie in Ojoto today, hence can rightly describe myself as the encyclopedia of our custom and tradition especially on selection and installation of our monarchs.
“I was there when the late Igwe Augustine Obidiwe was installed, later dethroned for the late Igwe Adirika. Then when Adirika joined our ancestors, it reverted back to Obidiwe again and now Igwe Dennis Okafor. All procedures were duly followed, because the Igwe stool is not a political office and Ojoto is never a political party. No government official or Dr Menakaya will select or install an Igwe that would reign in Ojoto for us in Awka.”
Chief Godwin Efoagui, the Ojomo Ojor(Okpala Ojor) who is mandated, traditionally, to crown all monarchs for Ojoto, told journalists who were at the palace, that he crowned Okafor in line with the laid down procedure, after he emerged from the selection process set out in the constitution of Ojoto and accepted by the Town Union.
But Okafor urged Obiano to set up a fact finding mission to the community if he wants to expose all those who had soiled their hands.