Anambra State Government House Awka was on Friday besieged by the aged, women and youths of Ifitedunu in Dunukofia Council Area who staged a protest, calling on the State Governor, Willie Obiano, to disregard claims by some quarters, that there is crisis in the community.
The exercise was in reaction to a similar protest by a certain group in the town on the 10th of this month, during which they accused the newly-elected Town Union executive of the town of several offences.
They also alleged that they were being harassed, calling on the State government to replace them with a caretaker committee to oversee affairs in the community.
But the protesters today were bearing placards with inscriptions that made it clear that the town is in peace such as ‘Ifitedunu is in peace’, ‘Ifitedunu United we stand’, ‘The evil men in Ifitedunu will not succeed’, ‘Our Governor disregard the antics of Ifitedunu enemies’, among others.
Spokesperson of the protesters today, Steve Ufoaroh explained that the peaceful march was to inform government that the community is in peace and if there is no need to disband democratically-elected community leaders based on accusations of few individuals.
According to him, the situation is fueled by some individuals who lost during the town union elections held late last year.
“All these issues started after the Town Union elections in December, 2019. The present executive led by the President General, Sir Michael Nwoye won his closest rival with over 200 votes. After the election, those who lost, began to antagonize the elected executives and recently, we began to hear rumours that there are plans to remove a democratically-elected executive of the town. So, Ifitedunu people said it would be proper to come and let the government know that these are the ones they elected and they should be allowed to do their work. The people are not calling for winner takes it all but that those who lost should join hands with the winners and move the state forward,” he said.
Ufoaroh made it clear that it would be wrong to remove a democratically-elected executive of the community just because of allegations by a few persons.
“If there are allegations or complaints, the onus is on government to set up a fact-finding committee and come up with their recommendations. If you see the people that came out today, they are the key stakeholders in Ifitedunu and it is to show that these are the real Ifitedunu people,” Ufoaroh said.
The Head of the Custodians of the Ifitedunu Culture and Tradition (Ojiani), Obiorah Ekeghaa, acknowledged that the election of the town union executives was conducted in a peaceful manner in line with the constitution of the town, wondering why very few natives will want to hold the entire community to ransom.
Also speaking, the Ifitedunu Youth Leader, Comrade Chinedu Ofordile appealed to the State Government to thoroughly investigate the matter and ensure that its decision concerning the matter is in the best interest of the community.
Addressing the protesters, the Secretary to Anambra State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu assured that the State Government through the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, will duly look into the matter and ensure that justice is served.
He commended the protesters for remaining peaceful, urging them to be vigilant and ensure that crises do not find its way into their community.