Anambra: Protesters shut down Awka, demand LG polls

From Isaac Ojo Nnewi

Activities were momentarily paralysed in Awka, Anambra state capital on Wednesday, as groups took to the street to protest non conduct of council polls in the state.

The protest, which was coordinated by the Recover Nigeria Project featured members of the Association of Councilors of Anambra State, Tipper Drivers Association and other groups

In a statement he presented during the protest march, the coordinator of Recover Nigeria Project, Comrade Ositadimma Obi, said that the groups decided to take to the street to press home their legitimate demand that the Anambra State government led by Chief Willie Obiano should without delay conduct local government elections,

He observed with concern that the Anambra State’s case is peculiarly pathetic as the only local government elections conducted in the state was conducted by Mr Peter Obi in 2013 after much pressure.

“Once again, we have found ourselves in a roller coaster simply because few individuals whom by the stroke of fate found themselves as captains of the ship of the state, have consistently refused to ensure that a system of democratically elected local government Councils’in place as enshrined in the Section 7 of 1999 constitution.

“All these years, the excuses had been and remain the same, if not unsubstantiated fear of instability in polity within the state, then it is government induced litigation against ANSIEC with all manner of injunctions preventing electoral management body from carrying out its constitutional mandated function.” Comrade Obi explained.

The group demanded with immediate effect the constitution of board of Anambra State Election Management Body (ANSIEC) with a functional chairman.

“We demand that a comprehensive timetable be made public within three months for the conduct of local government elections in Anambra State in the next five months.” He noted.

The coordinator of Recover Nigeria Project demanded further that all caretaker arrangements at local government areas be discontinued

The National Secretary, Tipper drivers association, Comrade Jerry E. Ifejika said that the conduct of council polls is overdue in the state, adding that him and some other tipper drivers are interested in contesting for elections at the council areas.

Comrade Ifejika promised that the protest will continue in a bigger scale, if the government refuses to conduct the local government elections as demanded by the groups

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