Tension as Imo assembly wants 110 autonomous communities nullified
A motion to withdraw the recognition of 110, out of 664 communities in Imo State, has pitted the community leaders against the 27-member House of Assembly.
The Chairman, House Committee on Autonomous Communities and Chieftaincy Affairs, Innocent Arthur Egwim, sponsored the motion.
Egwim said the suspension was authorised by the seventh assembly in line with the Imo State Autonomous Community Law No. 6 2000 (as amended). He explained that out of the 117 applications recommended for recognition by the immediate past assembly, only seven monarchs were approved and given the staff of office.
He added that it was the inclusion that raised the number from 637 to 644, stressing that it had become a financial burden on the state government to maintain them.
The lawmaker said it was the assembly’s responsibility to approve autonomous communities from the list of applicants that meet the conditions. He asked Governor Rochas Okorocha to suspend all the executive actions and recognition hitherto accorded to the affected communities.
The leaders of the communities have threatened to resist the action if it was adopted and implemented by the governor. But the state Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers and National Coordinator of the South East Traditional Rulers Council, Sam Ohiri, has given support to the planned nullification.
Speaking at the inauguration of the House committee to revalidate and create autonomous communities in the state, he said some of the existing ones were not viable.
However, Mr. Mike Iheanetu, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s member representing Aboh Mbaise) and Ikechukwu Amuka of the All Progressives Congress (APC, Ideato North) called for a retraction of the publication earlier made by the seventh assembly.
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