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Protests in Enugu East over alleged imposition of chairmanship candidate

By Lawrence Njoku, Enugu
10 January 2022   |   2:52 am
Indigenes of Enugu East Council, yesterday, protested against the alleged imposition of Livinus Anike as the chairmanship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the February 2022 council election

Ugwuanyi

Indigenes of Enugu East Council, yesterday, protested against the alleged imposition of Livinus Anike as the chairmanship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the February 2022 council election.

The Guardian learnt that Anike was nominated for the position from among 47 other contestants in the area.

But no sooner had he emerged the candidate than angry residents stormed the Enugu Government House, alleging that his nomination defied Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s directive for the choice of a candidate.

They insisted the chairmanship candidate was imposed on the council and that they would no longer allow one family to decide the fate of the people.

They said since the creation of the council, the chairmanship position had remained under the control of one family and vowed to resist the status quo.

One of the protesters, Prof. Paul Nnamchi, from Eko Nike, said they came to register their displeasure over the lingering injustice in the council.

“The council is made up of three zones and we feel it is time it moved to another zone. Since its creation 26 years ago, it has remained in one zone and more or less in one family.

“It is time to move it around for equity and for peace. All the stakeholders should be carried along and whoever emerges, should be a matter of consensus and not this kind of deceit. So, we enjoin the governor to ensure that peace reigns in the council. The governor should come to our rescue because there is a need for fairness, equity and fair play and this is the right time,” he said.

Another protester, Bethrand Anike, said they had suffered so much humiliation and injustice in Enugu East Council, adding that the governor invited them on January 5, 2022, during which they were given the opportunity to meet and choose the next council chairman.

He, however, lamented that instead of the stakeholders meeting to take a decision, they flouted the governor’s directive, adding that neither the traditional rulers nor the leaders of the area met anywhere.

“Nobody invited the traditional rulers, stakeholders, youths and women for dialogue. This is not democracy. We have a peaceful governor who has a listening ear but the reverse is the case in Enugu East. But we say ‘No’ to this kind of intimidation. The governor should invite us and address the issue,” he stated.

He said the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Edward Ubosi, who is from the area, announced Anike’s name without discussing it with anybody.

“Ubosi lied to us that by virtue of their positions, the governor gave him and member of the House of Representatives, Cornelius Nnaji, authority to appoint and impose a candidate on us, while we are preparing for the election. We cannot take it,” he said.

Efforts to contact Ubosi on the development yesterday failed, as he neither picked his calls nor responded to text messages.