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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Soludo’s Commissioner Cancels Successful Town Union Election After Community Members Refused to Appease the Loser of the Election


By Felix Oti, Awka

Contrary to security and media reports authenticating the fairness of the election of the President- General of Urum Town Union held on December 30th, 2023, the Anambra State Government has cancelled the poll.

The different reports from the Electoral Committee set by the government, the security agencies including the officials of the Department of State Service (DSS) and the Nigeria Police; as well as the reports by the Media organizations that monitored the election said the election of President General was conclusive with a winner announced. However, the loser of the election allegedly connived with the state’s Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affiars, Hon. Tonycollins Nwabunwanne to scuttle the election, as he canceled it almost 3 months after.

Investigations revealed that the only two positions under contest were President General and Vice President General. Other positions had only one candidate each which were submitted unopposed before the election proper started in the contending positions.

Election into the post of President General of Urum Community was peacefully conducted and Sir Felix Godwin was declared winner before the supporters of Mr. Chinedu Nduka who came second, ignited chaos, resulting to various degree of injuries, destruction of properties including the house of the winner of th election, Sir Godwin and aggravated damages on Urum citizens, contrary to the December, 2023 Peace Accord between candidates.

Nwabunwanne announced the cancelation last Friday night to the immediate-Past President-General of the community, Ambassador Aloysius Tabansi, who accused him of supporting evil and conflict in Urum, as the cancellation confirms he has some dealings with Hon. Chinedu Nduka to ignite crisis in Urum community.

According to Ambassador Tabansi, Hon Nwabunnwanne also told him that cancelled the election because Urum leadership in Diaspora angrily spoke to him not to cancel the free and fair election. He said he was unhappy why they should speak to him in such a manner as if they were directing him. However, he also later claimed that Governor Soludo ordered him to cancel the election, even as he threatened Urum People to do their worst.

The community alleged that the cancellation wouldn’t have been an issue if there were confirmed reasons for such. Again for the Commissioner to ask the community to beg a looser of the election to accept defeat, means there was a script being acted by the Commissioner with Hon. Nduka and cohorts.

Efforts to speak to Commissioner Nwabunnwanne proved abortive as several calls placed to his mobile line were not answered, neither was the text replied.

However, 13 hours later after efforts were made to hear from the Commissioner, to no avail,
the Commissioner, according to information, reached out to announce that a new election would be conducted in Urum but did not explain further.

Urum community was insisting that the PG election which was already concluded should subsist, while a by-election should be held for offices yet to be conducted, sequel to tension orchestrated by the Hon. Nduka’s group shortly after election results for PG were announced.

The Community accused the Commissioner of aiding and abetting crisis in Urum and appealed to Governor Soludo to intervene and save the community the impending crisis by ensuring that a Certificate of Recognition is issued to the winner, Sir Godwin, as done to other communities.

Meanwhile, Urum Community has written the Governor via the chambers of M.A Emejulu Esq in a Save Our Soul letter, SOS, requesting for his intervention in the injustice from the office of his Commissioner, Hon TonyCollins Nwabunwanne who refused to issue a Certificate of Recognition to the PG-elect of Urum Community, Sir Godwin.

The letter to the Governor was also copied to the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affiars, and Commissioner for Homeland Affairs, who is from Awka North, where Urum Community is situated.

The letter dated February, 20, 2024, read in part: “…It is Our Client’s instruction to crave your exalted attention to the attached Urum Peace Accord of Police Report correspondent of 22nd January, 2024 and the above correspondent of 9th day of February, 2024 by concerned and respectable natives of Urum Community in their unalloyed quest to foster peace and prosperity in Urum community in line with your agenda for collaborative leadership and a livable and prosperous homeland of one people and one agenda.

“With you Sir, as selfless servant leader, a public intellectual, public servant and a passionate village boy with humble beginning who has received abundant grace and blessings from God, we see infinite possibility of your gracious intercession to the delay in the release of Certificate of Recognition to a duly elected President General of Urum, Sir Felix Godwin as the few adversaries believed to have orchestrated same, had been jubilating to the displeasures of the majority that validly exercised their franchise and if not timously redressed is a time bomb.

“Our Client is striving to pacify since it is clear that it is only Sir Felix Godwin that has not collected his Certificate of Recognition amongst his group.

“Thank you Sir for your bountiful policies that are up lighting the state.”

According to investigation, reports from the media and the security, Sir Felix Godwin, the newly-elected President General of Urum Community, Awka North, Anambra State, is under threat and is seeking for protection of his life and property from security agencies.

Urum Community alleged that Chinedu Nduka was assisted by one Obiorah Umeadi and cohorts in causing tension that forestalls further conducting of other elections.

Urum alleged that Chinedu Nduka and cohorts have been going to offices to frustrate the recognition letter to the new PG.

However, Urum Community restates its commitment in support of the Soludo Administration while commending him for the massive road projects ongoing across Anambra, expressing gratitude to the completed Amansea-Ugbene-Ugbenu with a spur to Awba-Ofemmili and the UNIZIK Junction-Okpuno-Isuaniocha-Urum Road among other road projects ongoing.

The community insisted that Hon Nwabunwanne was the reason for so many complaints across communities over Town Union elections, as he has created so many crisis in communities by deliberately toying with people’s mandate, adding that in months to come, these may mar the solidarity and opportunities the government should have enjoyed freely from the people as proactive government.

Urum told newsmen that the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affiars had claimed the election was inconclusive, referencing DSS report. But when presented with the DSS report of superior evidence and argument, he now accused Urum in Diaspora of asking him questions.

The Community is asking that the full weight of the law be unleashed against those who violated the peace accord signed by the candidates that they would join hands with the duly-elected officers of the Town Union to spin the wheel of progress in the community.

It would be recalled that the Urum Town Union election, which held on December 30, 2023, but the town is the only town without a Certificate of Recognition given to the winner by government, out of over 40 elections conducted during the period, even when the Committee on Election in Urum and that of government, security agencies and media had same report on the election.

The election was conducted by Prof. Paul Oraeke as the Electoral Committee Chairman, while Mr Joseph Chukwuma Echidiegwu headed the team that represented the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

The DPO, Achalla Division Police Headquarters, CSP Kattey Emmanuel led Policemen. The DSS, ASATU and Central Vigilante Urum operatives were also present at the venue of the election, at Community Primary School field, Urum.

Information gathered showed that the results were counted by the Community’s Electoral Committee, headed by Prof. Oraeke, and that Sir Godwin scored over five hundred votes. But a protest from the camp of Hon. Nduka, with claims that most voters voted more than once was sustained.

The Electoral Committee cancelled the announced election results and decided to re-conduct the counting.

After the second counting, Sir Felix Godwin scored 458 votes while Hon. Chinedu Nduka scored 447 votes and results were announced by electoral Chairman, declaring Sir Godwin as winner having scored the highest votes.

The Urum Development Union led by Ambassador Aloysius Tabansi, the immediate-past President-General, Chief Ignatius Nnaemeka, the Chairman of Urum in Diaspora; Chief Matthew Nwodo, and Chairman Urum Concerned Citizens and Evangelist Anthony Arinze as the General Secretary have been appealing to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Nwabunwanne since December to release their Certificate of Recognition, all to no avail, till date.

He had agreed to release it severally and even called the two parties to settle, only to ask the winner and Urum Community to beg the loser, Hon Nduka before he would issue the Certificate of Recognition to the new PG.

The community viewed this as unbecoming for them to beg the loser of an election as a condition for Commissioner to give them certificate of recognition. The Commissioner, on Friday night, announced that a new election would be conducted at Urum, just to satisfy his alleged masters.

Again, Urum Leaders of Thought have requested Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo to ask the Commisioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affiars, Hon. Nwabunwanne the interest he has in Urum, that he is insisting on destabilizing the community after a peaceful election, whereas there was a community without evidence of election but he signed their Certificate of Recognition but insisted on not giving Urum Community despite evidence of election by all observers.

“Credible information at our disposal two weeks ago said Hon. Nwabunwanne planned to cancel Urum election as a cover up for the community he gave certificate of recognition, even when election didn’t take place in that community. We thought it was a mere rumour till Friday night when we receive the cancellation information from the outgoing President General,” they said.

The Leaders of Thought include Chief Ignatius Nnaemeka, the Chairman Urum in Diaspora; Chief Matthew Nwodo, the Chairman of Urum Concerned Citizens; and Chief Ozo Loius Umegbolu, the Chairman of Urum Elders Forum; among others.

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