OPINION: How Anambra LG & Chieftaincy Affairs Murdered Democracy in Amichi – By Chief Eric Ezeoke
HOW HON TONYCOLLINS NWABUNWANNE ( Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs) Murdered Democracy in Amichi Community.
Amichi is a community in Nnewi South Local Government. Amichi has four quarters namely, Okpala, Ezeudene, Afube and Ebenassa.
Okpala Quarter has a President in the person of Sir Bernard Afoka from Eziama Amichi.
Under the leadership of Mr Dan Ugwumba, ADU electorial committee mandated Okpala quarter to produce the next President of Amichi Development Union.
Eziama village went and conducted primary election between Sir Ebere Umeojiaku and Mr Cletus Udebuani Igbokwe. Mr Cletus Udebuani Igbokwe defeated Sir Ebere Umeojiaku and Sir Ebere Umeojiaku gently congratulated him. Initially, Okpala Descendant Union through Eziama agreed that Sir Ebere Umeojiaku will become the next President of ADU after Mr Daniel Ugwumba . Because of selfish interest of ndi Eziama, they voted against Sir Ebere Umeojiaku and Okpala quarter has no option than to accept the mandate of ndi Eziama.
Now, it becomes a battle between Mr Cletus Igbokwe, Barr Nnakenyi, Engr Dodo Nzekwe and Evang Emeka Ezekiel over who will become the next President of ADU because they all have interest to contest for the office of the President.
Eziama Youths supported Engr Donatus Nzekwe against other candidates. Eziama Youth said that whoever that will contest against Engr Donatus Nzekwe will be dealt with. Engr Donatus Nzekwe became the consensus candidate of ndi Eziama at Obiagu hall where primary election was scheduled to hold.
Election couldn’t hold that day at Obiagu hall because Barr Nnakenyi couldn’t make it to the meeting. Barr Nnakenyi is the Secretary general of Okpala Descendant Union. So, the meeting was adjourned to hold at Eziama.
Prior before meeting at Eziama, Engr Donatus Nzekwe and Barr Nnakenyi stepped down for Evag Emeka Ezekiel. So, the primary election was scheduled to be contested between Mr Cletus Igbokwe and Evang Emeka Ezekiel.
Primary election was conducted at Eziama hall between Mr Cletus Igbokwe and Evang Emeka Ezekiel through secret balloting. Evang Emeka Ezekiel defeated Mr Cletus Igbokwe. Mr Cletus Igbokwe congratulated Evang Emeka Ezekiel and all went home happily.
It happened that some parts of Ebenator Okpala and Umu Okpala Eziama were agitating that they were not carried along. They reported the matter to the office of the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon Greg Obi.
Hon Greg Obi (Former Commissioner for Local Government) stipulated that Okpala quarter and every other quarter in Amichi should conduct another primary election through option A4. The whole parties agreed in the presence of the Commissioner.
A date was fixed by Commissioner to conduct another primary elections through option A4. Every other quarters in Amichi obeyed Government directive except Mr Cletus Udebuani Igbokwe who insisted that it must be secret balloting.
Sir Bernard Afoka insisted that Okpala quarter must follow the directive of Anambra State Government. Mr Cletus Igbokwe and his group insisted that they will do otherwise. We should take cognizance that whom Government of Anambra State recognize as President of Okpala Descendant Union is Sir Afoka Bernard .
Now, Okpala quarter conducted there primary election at Amichi Hall and Evang Emeka Ezekiel won. Seeing that Evang Chukwuemeka Ezekiel is winning, Mr Cletus Igbokwe and his group walked out of election hall. Sir Bernard Afoka declared Evang Emeka Ezekiel winner of Okpala primary election. What it implies is that Evang Emeka Ezekiel will be presented to ndi Amichi for affirmation as agreed by Amichians.
Now, other quarters in Amichi started supporting Mr Cletus Igbokwe who failed primary election conducted by Okpala Descendant Union President and his executive.
The likes of Bengas stated clearly that they want a President that will be challenging Igwe Amichi and Mr Cletus Igbokwe is the right man to do the job. Bengas who is the pioneer of these crisis stated that Evang Emeka Ezekiel looked like someone Igwe Amichi will be controlling. That, they need someone that will frustrate and suppress Igwe Amichi for the next four years.
This impression Bengas gave them made the likes of Mr Dan Ugwumba, Mr Cletus Igbokwe etc to run to Chisco for assistance so that Governor of Anambra State Chief Willie Obiano will not give Evang Emeka Ezekiel certificate of recognition.
Chisco called Governor Obiano and advised him to withdraw the certificate of recognition of Evang Emeka Ezekiel after Commissioner has announced that ndi Amichi should come and take there certificate of recognition. Because of personal relationship Obiano have with Chisco, Obiano withdrew the certificate of recognition till he vacated his office.
Though within those while, Chisco suggested to Hon Greg Obi to give Amichi caretaker President or give certificate of recognition to Mr Cletus Udebuani. Hon Greg Obi turned down Chisco’s request in good conscience.
Igwe Amichi called Chisco and advised Chisco to allow the decision of the masses to prevail but Chisco promised Igwe Amichi that he will like to see the videos where Evang Emeka Ezekiel won Mr Cletus Udebuani. In his humility, Igwe Amichi sent the videos to Chisco and Chisco never responded till date.
When Governor Soludo assumed office, Chisco started same game plan with Governor Soludo. Hon Gerlad Akaeze who supervised Amichi election was invited by Hon Tonycollins Nwabunwanne (Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs) to know actually what transpired during there regime. Hon Gerlad stated what happened and report Amichi community submitted to his office. Hon Tonycollins said okay.
Few weeks ago, I stated that Chisco took Mr Cletus Udebuani to Governor Soludo so that Governor Soludo will give Mr Cletus Igbokwe certificate of recognition. Governor promised Chisco that he will look into Amichi matter and get back to him.
Few days later, Governor approved that Amichi will conduct another election which he(Governor) will send representatives to monitor. Everyone in Amichi accepted Governor’s decision.
It became a surprise on July 8, 2022 when Hon Tonycollins Nwabunwanne (Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy) issued certificate of recognition to Mr Cletus Igbokwe who failed primary election. It became a hoax in Amichi community till date.
Governor Soludo was contacted immediately and he said that he never ordered issuance of certificate to anybody in Amichi. That he directed fresh election to be conducted in Amichi.
Now, are we going to keep quite and allow evil triumph in Amichi? Are we going to set bad precedence to our children for the interest of peace? Are we going to allow someone whom community voted for stripped off his mandate because Chisco knows Governor? We must stand and defend the truth. We must challenge this impunity. Chisco has no right to dictate to ndi Okpala because he is from Ezeundene quarter. The decision of ndi Okpala which Government of Anambra State supervised must prevail. The mandate of Evang Emeka Ezekiel must be given back to him.