From Magnus Eze, Enugu
As Enugu State gears up for the February 23, local government elections, aggrieved indigenes of Enugu East Local Government Area have taken to the streets protesting alleged political slavery in their area.
The protesters said the chairmanship position had remained under the control of one family since the LGA was created 26 years ago and also rejected the continued imposition of leadership on the council.
The angry residents, who stormed the Enugu Government House, weekend, said they would no longer allow a single family to decide the fate of the entire people.
In a petition to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, they said: “More than 26 years have elapsed since the creation of Enugu East Local Government Area by the then Gen. Abacha regime. This indigenous local government area is the ancestral home of Nike clan. Nike Clan is homogeneously comprised of three zones, namely Mbuluiyikwu/ Ugwuogo, Nike Uno/ Mbuluowehe and Mbulunjodo.
“Your excellency the people of Mbuluiyikwu zone led by Chief Joseph Agbo and Late Hon Julius Okolo applied and defended the creation of Enugu East L.GA before Mbanefo panel. However, since the first administrator came from Nike Uno zone, they have utilised without recourse to equity, justice and fairness to exclude other zones from producing the Executive Chairman of the Local Government in the name of stakeholders’ consensus.”
One of the protesters, Prof. Paul Nnamchi, who said he is from Eko Nike, said they came to register their displeasure over the age-long injustice in the council area.
“So, we enjoin the peace-loving Governor of Enugu State to ensure that peace is enthroned in the Local Government. We are one people, Nike is not divided. We are good people, nobody is more than others.
“The Governor should come to our rescue; there is need for fairness, equity and fair play and this is the time,” Nnamchi said.
Bethrand Anike recalled that the Governor invited them on January 5, 2022, during which they were given the opportunity to meet and choose the next Chairman of the Council.
He, however, lamented that “instead of the stakeholders meeting to that effect, the directive of the Governor was flouted.”
He said the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi, who is from the area “came and announced a name to us without discussing with anybody. He told us that the Governor gave him and the Rep member, Cornelius Nnaji, the authority, by virtue of their positions, to appoint, to impose a candidate on us where we are preparing for election. We say we cannot take it.”
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