Lilu community in Anambra State has called on Governor Willie Obiano to stop the proposed inauguration of a caretaker committee, scheduled for tomorrow.
The community said there is no need for a caretaker committee as elections for the leadership had been conducted one year ago.
In a letter signed by Ben Ezeaneche, Paschal Olikenyi, Chike Offor J. (Owelle), Cosmas Okoye, Clement Okolie, Chamberlain Okonkwo, Okechukwu Ezeh, Paschal Ndukwe, James Ezeiheukwu, Ichie Gregory Dara, Felix Ezeh, Emmanuel Ezenwafuruku, Robert Ezeanyikiba, Paul Ezedimbu, Peter Onubuike, Hipolitus Ozokwelu, Paul Onyedum, Paulinus Ugwummadu and Guy Oghaego, on behalf of Lilu Development Union, the community asked Governor Obiano to issue the requisite certificates of recognition to the duly elected president general and his executive members.
It said the union elections were successfully conducted on December 31, 2019, in accordance with the constitution of Lilu people and other relevant laws regulating such process in Anambra State.
“The said election was adjudged the fairest and most peaceful in the history of Lilu people. Same was conducted under the protection of heavy security, media coverage and monitored by different agencies, including, but not limited to the government representatives.
“Winner emerged at the end in a very peaceful atmosphere and there was peaceful transition until the unexpected and ill-targeted interference by few and/or enemies of Lilu people and Anambra State Government, better put, saboteurs,” the community leaders said in the letter.
The community leaders said although the Lilu Development Union election was initially scheduled for December 7, 2019 by Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Greg Obi, it was postponed to December 31, 2019 by the commissioner “with the reason that they wanted people to return en masse to avoid disenfranchising some people.”
The community said the reason for the shift of date had no basis as the Lilu Development Union holds a delegate election as stipulated by the constitution of Lilu people, “which makes the number of voters to be highly reduced and manageable to less than 85 electoral votes.”
It said findings later revealed that the change of the date came about because of a petition by one Barth Awugosi who supported a particular candidate in the election.
He said Awugosi supported by Hezikiah Okonkwo, wanted Paul Akabekwa to be elected president general of the union.
The community said the election eventually held on December 31, 2019 with Benneth Ezeaneche and nine other executive candidates declared winners.
“It was after the election has been successfully held, won and lost that a letter from the office of Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs purporting to have cancelled the election emerged with a claim that same was served on the then president general, Silas Ejikeme,” it said.
The union said the community did not need a caretaker committee as it “is foreign to our constitution, especially when there is a substantive executive members of the town union like in the instant case.”
It described as embarrassing a situation where the Chairman of the “purported new caretaker committee, Johnson Okoli, is in the same ward with our President General, Ezeaneche,” while accusing those pushing for it as trying to subvert the will of the people.