Anambra Community Accuses Local Govt Commissioner Of Vested Interest In Town Union Election

By Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Stakeholders of Urum community in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra state have called on the Anambra State governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, to restore elected leaders of the community.
The stakeholders, who rose from an emergency meeting on Tuesday accused the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon TonyCollins Nwabunnwanne, of showing manifest interest in the community by cancelling the election held in December.
The stakeholders, which comprised elders of the community, said  they were annoyed that after three whole months, the commissioner unilaterally cancelled an election held in December, where they claimed that the community peacefully elected its leaders.
Chief Ignatius Nnaemeka, Chairman, Urum in Diaspora, and Chief Matthew Nwodo, Chairman Urum Concerned Citizens, as well as Chief Ozo Louis Umegbolu, Chairman Urum Elders Forum who briefed journalists after the meeting, called on the governor to wade in and restore the elected community leaders.
They said: “This our position is because Urum as a community will not like to exchange words with our amiable Governor in public rather we are calling on Soludo to wade into the case by setting up an independent committee to investigate all that transpired during and after the election and be convinced that we are justified by our demands.
“We are shocked that the Governor was not aware of what happened in Urum and the claims by Commissioner Nwabunnwanne which led to cancellation of our election 3 months after. The Commissioner claimed that Governor Soludo cancelled the election only to recant that Governor Soludo wasn’t aware.
“We are therefore calling on our capacity  Governor to set up a commission of inquiry where every evidence we have will be submitted because TonyCollins, the commissioner, has compromised.  We don’t see the possibility of getting Justice from him.
“We are calling on the Governor to set up committee of inquiry for Urum because if Urum community is in crises, Anambra State will also be in crises, no matter how small the community is, it should not be allowed even if from government agent.”
Meanwhile, the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hon Tony Collins Nwabunwanne, has said he has no interest in Urum community, in who becomes the leader of the community, rather he is working to ensure that every community and their indigenes have a say in who is elected to oversee their affairs, in line with the governor’s charge to his ministry.
The commissioner, who spoke with journalists on phone insisted that the said election was marred by violence, and was being contended by opposition parties in the community.
“I have no interest in who becomes the President General of Urum community. The two people who are vying for the position are brothers, so it is up to them to agree among themselves who should step down for the other.
“Ours is to ensure that there is free and fair election. In most communities in Anambra, we have been holding free and fair election, and journalists can bear witness to this. I am not from Urum, so why should I have interest in who becomes their PG?
“The people who are telling you that they have evidence of the election, did they tell you that the election was marred with violence? Did they tell you that someone’s eye was almost plucked out during that election? Did they tell you that some people have been arrested as a result of the violence? Can they produce the names of those who were elected alongside the PG, or is a PG not supposed to have other executive members?
“All these are questions they cannot answer. They just want to dent my image for nothing. This is blackmail, and we will not let it happen,” the commissioner said.
The commissioner said the community has been given a fresh date for the conduct of the election, and his ministry will ensure that the election is free and fair.

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