From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
A group of Oba indigenes in Idemili South Council Area of Anambra State under the aegis of Concerned Citizens has kicked against an alleged attempt to shift conduct of town union election in the community against December 31, 2022, said to have been an agreed date.
The group made up of some prominent indigenes of Oba community ( including Chiefs and Ichies) with Chief Orlando Ibeakuzie as its leader in a statement made available to journalists rejected further extension of the town union election billed for December 31.
The group declared that the 3-year tenure of Aboji Village, as provided for by the Constitution of Oba Patriotic Union (OPU) came to an end long time ago.
“Because of the expiration, the Regent of Oba, in the Easter meeting of the year 2021 in his address appealed for the extension of the tenure of both executives of OPU and her youth arm, for the reason stated in his address.
“For the appeal, the meeting grudgingly accepted the extension of both executives, as pleaded so that the period pleaded for, coincided with the provision of the newly amended Constitution, Section 19 sub sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution (as amended). So that the day for the election was shifted to 31st December, 2022, ” the group said.
The Concerned Citizens disclosed that they waited to no avail in the month of October 2022 in line with the OPU Constitution for the out-gone President General to commence the process of election in December 2022.
The group said that when this step was not taken, that the information coming to the Concerned Citizens and the village presidents was that the out-gone executives were not willing and ready to conduct any election this year.
The group alleged that the out-gone executives were ready to plead for another extension of tenure in the coming December 31 general meeting.
The statement said this led the Concerned Citizens and all the villages presidents to take their complaint to the appropriate Ministry at the Governement House, Awka.
“For that, the Ministry wrote to the Regent a letter dated October 13, 2022, to inform him that the election of new executive of the town was long over due and demanded him to constitute an electoral committee, to organize an election for Oba on the December 31, 2022.
Reacting, in a letter to Oba indigenes titled public announcement, the Regent of Oba community, Prince Noel Ezenwa said in view of the pending election of the OPU, that the election had been scheduled for Easter General Assembly, 2023, when, according to him, the current PG’s tenure would have expired.
“The President-General will in due course constitute and inaugurate the electoral committee in accordance with OPU Constitution.
“The Umuogali village/zone is expected to nominate legitimate person(s) for the office of the President General. All other offices will be vied for in accordance with the prior agreement of our zoning system.
“Please, ignore any announcement emanating from the so-called ‘Concernd Citizens, ” the Regent said in the public announcement.
He noted that since he became the Regent of Oba, he had tried to maintain the letters and spirit of the Constitution (the OPU and Ezeokpoko) which he said he observed did not go down well with some individuals who, according to him, were bent on scuttling all genuine and noble efforts to keep Oba on the right track.
Meanwhile, the Oba Concerned Citizens have inaugurated a 13-member electoral committee with Azubuike Okeke Esquire as Chairman of the committee and Chief Ibeakuzie, Secretary with the mandate to conduct the town union election come December 31, 2022.
Members of the electoral committee were drawn from the nine villages of three zones that make up Oba community.
“It is the stand of the Concerned Citizens, the Anambra State Governement and any person who wants to tell himself the truth, without sentiment and, or, bias, that the three-year tenure of the administration of Oba has since expired.
“No wonder, the Regent in the Easter Meeting, pleaded that the tenure be extended which plea, was grudgingly granted, for peace to reign.
“We have earlier exhibited the letter, wherein the Regent made the plea. We ask, if by then the tenure of the administration had not expired, why the plea?” the Concerned Citizens concluded.