By Favour Goodness
Hon. Leonard Areh Onyenze, President-General of Nkwelle-Ezunaka community in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra state have been sacked by the state government over Igweship tussle in the community.
The state government has imposed a caretaker committee headed by Chief Wilfred Okafor to pilot the affairs of the community for the next three months in the first instance.
Reacting to the alleged sack, Onyenze said, “I am the sole PG of Nkwelle-Ezunaka, undisputable, pending when my tenure must have been over in a democratic process”
“It is only miscreants that can think it is possible for them to jump through the window. No military government is legitimate and there is no overthrow government that is legitimate”.
Insisting that he is a peace advocate, Onyenze reiterated that there were many ways he would fight the injustice instead of employing violence like they did.
“We were removed illegally, they forcefully removed us. The constitution of Nkwelle-Ezunaka is very clear, they have no right to surmon Nkwelle-Ezunaka meeting. It is the direct power of PG,”
“I am democratically elected not by appointment. My executive came up as a result of credible election conducted at the townhall and supervised by the state government”
“As stubborn people that don’t believe in rule of law they knew how they managed to commit the Commisssioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Hon. Greg I. Obi, who according to them gave them a paper”
“It is the same Commissioner that earlier gave an instruction suspending any Igweship or town union elections until the governorship election is over,” he said.
The PG denied being informed of the sack by the state Government or the caretaker committee, adding, “one Wilfred Okafor who is presumedappointed caretaker committee chairman is til now calling himself the PG. We don’t recognise him”
“All they did on June 24 was that they forcefully entered the town hall, broke doors, windows and glasses and arrogated to themselves the leadership of the community”
“The catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Chibuzor Obimma, who is the Spiritual Director, Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry Uke, is my cousin and they claimed he conducted the inauguration of the caretaker committee at the town hall on behalf of the state government. He is not the government but cleric and cannot do the inauguration on behalf ofthe state government”
In a swift reaction when contacted, the caretaker committee chairman, Chief Wilfred Okafor, said that, “I was in my house when I received an appointment letter from the state government, signed by the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Hon. Greg I. Obi, as chairman of Nkwelle-Ezunaka Caretaker committee”
On terms of reference to the committee he stated, “government gave us three months in the first instance to restore peace in the community and conduct the town union election”.
“It is false that the former PG, Hon Onyenze, was not aware of the letter, he was also aware of the inauguration of the caretaker committee at the townhall”
“In the invitation letter his name was listed among those invited and he was given the invitation in his house. He started cursing those who came to give him the invitation”
“We are acting base on government order, we have started work, we have gottten peace and reconciliation committee. I am accountable togovernment”
On Onyenze’s claim that the cleric was not supposed to inaugurate the caretaker committee but the state government, Okafor said, “the cleric has nothing to lose whether there is monarch in the community or not, but because the community is losing a lot because of lack of a monarch after about 21 years, he felt the gap should be bridged for the benefit of the community.”
“So he was at the inauguration as the spiritual father of the day and son of the community who wants peace and progress of the community. The most important thing is that govt has set up a caretaker committee which I am the chairman”, he said.
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