…says election of the town union was married by protests
By: Praise Chinecherem
The Anambra state government has sacked the executive members of Oko town union in Orumba-North local government area due to crisis rocking the community over the appointment of a representative of the area into the Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko.
Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Hon. Tonycollins Nwabunwanne communicated the sack of the executive members of the Oko Peoples Union,OPU, led by Mr. Amaechi Okoli as the president-general to the transition committee chairman of Orumba -North local government, Mr. Ogechukwu Ekwueme in a letter dated February 26, 2023.
Titled “Dissolution of Oko Peoples Union Executive, dated, the commissioner explained that the government action was taken to arrest “crisis rocking the Oko community in Orumba-North LGA as regards the town union election of Oko Peoples Union held on the 11th January, 2021”.
The commissioner stated that petitions from stakeholders in the community showed that the election of the town union was married by protests and that the community had been in crisis since after the leadership came into place.
“After investigation and critical appraisal of the petitions before this office (ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs) , it was revealed that the 11th January, 2021 town union election was married with crisis and protest at the election venue.
He stated that the state government has already constituted a caretaker committee to run the OPU, ensure peace in the community and make appropriate arrangements to conduct a free, fair and transparent town election for the community in December, this year.
The sacked OPU executive unilaterally midwifed the appointment of a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Sopuru Ezeonwuka as representative of Oko community without consulting the traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Prof Laz Ekwueme.
It was gathered that Igwe Ekwueme who is younger brother to the late former Vice-president Alex Ekwueme had been having estranged relationship with the Okopoly management and the federal ministry of Education for accepting Ezeonwuka.
The traditional ruler had petitioned to the ministry of Education wherein he conveyed his non-approval of Ezeonwuka nominated.
When contacted Igwe Ekwueme, said the matter is being looked into, and, said he would not want to speak further on the issue.
Transition committee chairman of Orumba-North said the dissolution of the OPU executive stands because “it is the decision of the government state of Anambra state, so it is a superior directive” adding” all those involved have been communicated “.
But Mr. Okoli stated that it was not his OPU executive that nominated Ezeonwuka into the Okopoly Governing Council, but, “the people of Oko community “. He also denied knowledge of the letter sacking his OPU executive committee.
Daily Vendor gathered that it was the dissolved OPU executive that wrote a letter to the Minister of Education urging him to give approval to Ezeonwuka as representative of Oko community in the Okopoly Governing Council, and, action the traditional ruler vehemently opposed.
In his reaction, Ezeonwuka described the sack of OPU executive by the state government by the state government as illegal, fuming “Even hundred millions of Soludo (the Anambra state governor) cannot dissolve OPU”.
He, also, denied that it was the OPU leadership that imposed him as representative of the community in the Okopoly Governing Council, and, said it was Oko Peoples Congress.