By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state has been asked to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Mr Titus N. Akpudo as the President General, Eziowelle Improvement Union, EIU, and his executive as the members of the community have passed a vote of no confidence on the Apudo led executive.
The demand was made when a cross section of protesters from Eziowelle community, Idemmili local government area of Anambra state led by Chief Anthony Ojemba Chigbo stormed Government House, Awka.
The community informed Obiano represented by his Special Adviser on Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, Barrister Mrs. Vera Okonkwo that the town union leader, Akpudo has lost support and followership of the community.
Chigbo accused Akpudo of using his personal bank accounts to run the affairs of the Town Union which is unconstitutional. He said Akudo has not given account of his stewardship for the three years he was in office as the President-General of Eziowolle.
Chigbo also asked Obiano to: ‘’invoke your executive powers and direct the withdrawal of the certificate of return issued to Mr Titus N. Akpudo and his executive.
‘’Appoint a caretaker committee that shall be saddled with the responsibilities of opening up the electoral space in Eziowelle , auditing the accounts of Eziowelle Improvement Union since 2015 and conduct a free and fair election and return Eziowelle Town back to civilization.
‘’Set up a commission of inquiry to unravel how agents of the Ministry of local government and Chieftaincy Affairs who supervised the Eziowelle Improvement Union election of June 30, 2018 and wrote the report that government relied on to issue certificate of return came to their conclusion to forestall future occurrence.
The protesters alleged high-handedness and financial impropriety against the President-General, adding that the state government was erroneously briefed on the community’s Town Union election in June 2018.
They pointed out that the Mr Akpudo led Executive was impeached at an emergency General meeting of Eziowelle Improvement Union held in Eziowelle on 9th of November, 2019 in accord with ARTICLE XVI section (c) and (e) and ARTICLE X section (f) of the 1992 Eziowelle Improvement Union constitution because a fugitive from the law cannot continue to parade himself as EIU President.
They noted that their Civic center has been overgrown and abandoned and as well other branches of the EIU like Abuja, Lagos, Onitsha, Kano , Enugu , Aba, Nnewi , Port Harcourt and Diaspora have withdrawn all their financial support and obligations.
Also speaking, a strong stakeholder from the community, Chief Felix Okafor , Ezelisaku Eziowelle who led the villagers in crying for their community before Governor’s representative, urged Governor Willie Obiano to constitute a Caretaker Committee, which will set up a template for the smooth conduct of re-run election for the post of the President-General.
Chief Okafor who is from Eziowelle Lagos Branch insisted that if Mr Akpudo is not removed that the community will not know peace and the crisis may degenerate.
As well, a youth leader in the community, Ugochukwu Asikwo said the youths have been silenced with threats of kidnapping and all forms of accusations hence they won’t tolerate such again , adding that the only solution was for Obiano to intervene and remove the current PG who has ran the community aground. He said the youths are just listening to their elders not to attack the trouble makers and chase them out of the community.
Receiving the peaceful protesters from Eziowelle, Governor Willie Obiano represented by the Special Adviser on Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, Barrister Mrs. Vera Okonkwo, promised to channel their agitations to the Governor for prompt action.
She however advised the community to remain peaceful in their conducts to avoid breakdown of law and order as the government will not ignore their complaints.
The protesters with inscriptions like: ‘’Eziowelle leadership is corrupt’’, ‘’Eziowelle youth reject bad leadership’’, ‘’ Eziowelle revolts’’, ‘’ Owelle 11 and his cronies are destroying Eziowelle town’’, ‘’ Palace Secretary is a returning officer’’, Eziowelle traditional ruler doesn’t conduct elections’’, among others stormed government house chanting anti Akpudo songs. They later wept for the injustices experienced under their traditional ruler and President General even though their major concern was their President General.