Tragedy struck the people of Ekitiafor Abba in Nwangele Local Government of Imo state after their designated traditional ruler, Eze Timothy Uzoka, died.
Uzoka, 80, died 48 hours before he was due to be officially inaugurated as the Eze Ohazurume of Ekiiti-Afor Abba.
Uzoka was said to have given up the ghost in his home, Ndiuhu, Amukwe Abba, around noon on Wednesday as preparations were in top gear for his official coronation and presentation to his people, less than six years after he was given a staff of office by former Governor Ikedi Ohakim.
He was also billed to confer chieftaincy titles on some distinguished sons and daughters of Ekitiafor, which was granted autonomy by Ohakim.
Initially, Governor Rochas Okorocha revoked the autonomy; it was restored after a committee he set up had reviewed the entire process.
Reacting to the incident, the President General of Ekitiafor Abba Development Union, Mr. Bath Uzoma, described the death of Uzoka as unfortunate.
“The death of Eze Uzoka, Igwe Ohazurumee, the Ekiti of Ekitiafor is rather unfortunate. He has been a long-time advocate for the creation of Ekitiafor autonomous community, since 2000.
“We had been very close associates in that struggle and just after all the ups and downs, the turbulence and the undulating terrain we went through at the time, two or three days for him to enjoy the fruits of his labour, the Lord called him.
“He is the head of this community, a prominent personality and we feel aggrieved at his death, though we cannot question God because He alone knows why it has had to happen at this time,” Uzoma said