Turmoil over security levy in Obukpa

From Chijioke Attah, Nsukka

The traditional ruler of Ejuona-Obukpa in Enugu state, Igwe M.U Ezea, has debunked allegations of imposition of Town Union Executive and Vigilante Officials on the community.

Speaking to The AUTHORITY, the traditional ruler accused some “renegades” in his community who he accused of showing interest in collecting security levies as fueling unrest in the town.

According to him, the community conducted a free and fair election that saw the emergence of the current town union and vigilante executives.

Ezea pointed out that the bone of contention had been the move by some people to start collecting security levies when the community had resolved to suspend such collections for now.

He maintained that the traditional ruler with all the stakeholders of Ejuona Obukpa had unanimously agreed that further collections of security levies should be done through the community’s central account for proper accountability.

This decision the royal father said did not go down well with some people who had been benefiting from.the indiscriminate collection of the levies.
He appealed to his subjects to remain calm and law abiding as the community leadership had put measures in place to ensure an amicable resolution of the crisis.

Ichie Fabian Ozioko, tye President General of the community in his reaction said the issue of security levy collection has been a thorny issue before his emergence as the town Union president.

According to him, the youths running the affairs of the vigilante group before his emergence were more interested in collecting and embezzlement of the money without providing security or accounting for funds collected.

He said that a meeting of the community’s stakeholders was called and a resolution reached to setup a committee ti oversee the collection and management of funds accruing from the security and development levies for the overall benefit of the community.

Ozioko blamed the various cliques interested in decentralizing the collection of security levies as the main cause of the crises in the community.

He maintained that contrary to allegations by the renegade group that a N5,000 levy was imposed, the community had not changed from the annual N2,400 levy before the suspension due to covid-19 and lockdown.

Chief Paully Eze the immediate past town Union president of the community blamed power tussle as responsible for the crisis.

He said some people who were uncomfortable with the vigilante leadership in the community were pushing for their removal for selfish reasons.
Eze who is also the legal adviser to the traditional ruler said the current chairman of the vigilante group was democratically elected by members of the security outfit in accordance with the Enugu state neighborhood laws over a year ago.

He therefore appealed to those fueling the crisis in the community to embrace peace for the growth and development of their community.

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