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Sunday, June 23, 2024

TC Chairmanship: Idemili South APGA Faithfuls Nominate Candidates from ‘Marginalized’ Towns, Say Position Not Any Town’s Birthright


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

In view of the just-concluded nomination of candidates for local governments chairmanship positions in Anambra State, stakeholders of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Idemili South Local Government Area of the State have upheld the spirit of equity and fairness in selection and nomination of candidates for the positions of the Transition Committee Chairmanship and Education Secretary of the Local Government Area.

Recall that Governor Chukwuma Soludo had directed that three candidates be nominated/selected by APGA faithfuls in each local government area of Anambra state for his consideration and selection of one each as the Transition Committee Chairman for the respective local government areas. Same process also goes for the selection of the Education Secretary for each local government area.

The exercise, in line with the directive, held over the weekend across different parts of the state, including Idemili South Local Government Area, where the party stakeholders in the local government area toed the line of equity and upheld the principle of fairness in selection of their own nominees for Mr. Governor’s consideration.

Addressing newsmen shortly after nomination of the candidates, an APGA stakeholder from the local government and State Commissioner for Culture, Entertainment and Tourism, Mr. Don. Onyenji said, although a community in the local government whose indigenes have occupied the position of the Local Government Chairmen for the past eight years, also still wanted to rapaciously foist their candidate on the people for the same position this time; the move was, however opposed by the stakeholders, who maintained that other communities should be also given chance and sense of belonging.

Recounting what transpired at the Local Government Headquarters during the exercise, the Commissioner revealed that the Local Government Chairman of the party and the outgoing Transition Committee Chairman of the Local Government Area (who are both from Awka-Etiti, the community that has occupied the TC Chairmanship seat for the past eight years) had clear intention to shortchange the people and sideline other communities, judging by their move and approach to the exercise. This, he said, the stakeholders stalled and ensured that equity is upheld.

“A lot of people spoke there and said that it would be very proper and fair that the next Chairman come from either Ojoto or Oba, because for the past eight consecutive years, Awka-Etiti has held sway as TC Chairman and Chairperson. The current one, Amaka Obi, took over from Donald, who earlier served six years under the Obiano Administration. And so everybody kept quiet.

“But now the Governor said, Go to your place and democratically think about how this should be done, so that everybody will be carried along. And people said, Okay, thank you, Mr. Governor. We now have a voice to say we are not fairly treated,” Commissioner Onyenji said, adding that it was this that made the people to opt for Ojoto or Oba as the place the new TC Chairman should emerge from, in the spirit of equity and fairness.

He also explained that the local government is made up of twelve and twelve towns — Ojoto, Oba, Akwukwu, Nnokwa, Nnobi, Alor, and Awka-Etiti, adding that the issue of zoning to ensure equity was also highly debated at the last leadership election in the local government.

“But, because a particular side think they are more in number, such that if you subject the whole thing to election, that particular side will win, they are saying it must be. But that is not how it should be.”

The Commissioner stressed that Anambra State and even Nigerians recognize zoning and its significance in giving people sense of belonging; hence, wondering why some people in the local government would be so inconsiderate and be seeing the local government chairmanship position as their birthright.

He also reiterated that that the party faithfuls and stakeholders in the local government have wisely nominated three persons from Oba and Ojoto communities for Mr. Governor’s consideration as new TC Chairman for the Local Government Area, as was directed in the guidelines.

While hinting that even the CSO and the Secretary to the Local Government are also from Awka-Etiti; the Commissioner further called for peace and calmness among the good people of Idemili South who are already agitating and protesting against a ridiculous charade organized by a faction and fraction of people who said they have re-nominated the outgoing Chairman of the Local Government (who hails from the same Awka-Etiti, the community that has held the position for the past eight years) for another tenure.

Earlier speaking, the Member representing Idemili South Constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Ebuka Igwe, described the exercise as a good outing for the people, given that it upheld equity and gave a sense of belonging to masses, despite the failed attempt of some desperate individuals and power guttlers who wanted to cause mayhem in the area through their ill-conceived self-imposition moves, which even culminated to the extent of importing thugs into the area to scare people away.

According to him, the list of nominated persons for the TC Chairmanship position and the Education Secretary of the Local Government Area has been signed by the critical stakeholders of the party in the local government. He added that whatever any other group or individual did thereafter in guise of the nomination is null and void and of no effect.

“There is only one APGA. APGA is one family. And we have spoken as a family and as a party founded on principle of equity and fairness, with the party stakeholders and party faithfuls all in support. So, any other parallel structure or contrary activity to that obviously holds no water. Equity must be maintained,” he affirmed.

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