Prayer By The Alor Development Initiative (ADI)
We, the members of Alor Development Initiative (ADI) a ‘Think Tank Group’ composed of Alor indigenes in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State of Nigeria, wish to, and hereby do offer a prayer to the Anambra State Government (ANSG) of Nigeria to please resist the temptation of interfering or intermeddling in the internal governance of Alor town, historically and evidently, a most peaceful town in Anambra State.
2. RECENT ACTION BY THE ANSG
We recall that by a letter dated 1st January 2012 (obviously back-dated) signed by the Hon. Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, and received at Alor on or about the 7th of February 2012, the ANSG dissolved the Executive Committee of Alor Peoples’ Convention and in its place established a 16-man Caretaker Committee, with Dr. Carl Nwudo-Odenigbo as Chairman.
3. OBSERVATIONS BY THE ADI
Having very carefully examined the action of the ANSG, we the membership of ADI do hereby note as follows:-
(a) The petitions by the duo of Hon. Val Elosiuba and Mr. Okey Ojibe, on the basis of which the ANSG took its action, contain numerous unverifiable claims and issues of jaundiced opinion. The petitions should be seen for what they actually are – an airing of personal grievances by individuals who, for no conceivable reason, consider themselves worthy of special attention by Alor citizenry.
The letter of the ANSG conveys a veiled impression that there are warring factions in Alor, which situation “a most caring State Government” has “kindly” sought to placate. Nothing can be farther from the truth. We state without any fear of contradiction, that Alor has from historical times been, and remains, one of the most peaceful communities in the nation. Is there any community, village, quarter, or even family in which differences of opinion never arise? For any such difference, a proverbial storm in a tea cup, to be exaggerated as a justification for interfering in the harmonious affairs of a pastoral, peaceful community, would baffle any dispassionate observer. On the matter of failure to hold elections into the EXCO of Alor Peoples’ Convention, and the extension of the life of the EXCO by one year, it is noted that it is not unprecedented. Besides, the extension was the initiative of the Igwe-in-Council, with an absolutely no dissenting voice from the General Assembly of APC. The full year of extension had virtually come to an end, and elections were to come up on 11th February, i.e. five (5) days after the delivery of the State Government letter.
(b) For a State Government that assays to keep the peace in a non-quarrelling community, it is clearly the height of contradiction to constitute a caretaker committee the majority of whose membership consists of persons of diminished integrity, questionable character, and blemished track record in community affairs, and lacking in constructive ideas.
(c) MATTER OF FAIR HEARING:
For a State Government that means well as regards the sustenance of good governance in a given community, why would it take such a precipitate action on the basis of a petition or petitions by individuals who have an axe to grind with any other individuals? The Nigerian Police, the authentic peace keeping agency of Government, has never had any cause to intervene in Alor as on account of any threat to peace, law and order. If the ANSG actually meant well for Alor, why would it not summon the town government – the Alor Peoples’ Convention and the Igwe-in-Council, to present their side of any issue before taking action? It is all against the law of natural justice to repudiate the principle of fair hearing and take a precipitate action.
(d) We of ADI, and the entire Alor Community feel extremely sad to note that the action of the ANSG in foisting an extremely detestable body to act as the government of Alor appears to be the latest in the series of acts of omission and commission as regards Alor noticeable since 2006. To substantiate what is clearly a well established intent and practice of sidelining, maltreating, relegating, and in every conceivable way impugning the integrity of Alor town and people, we list the following:-
(i) The malicious removal of Campus of Anambra State University from Alor to Awka contrary to the extant law of Anambra State setting up the University;
(ii) Sacking of Alor technocrats occupying various positions in the State Bureaucracy. A typical example was the sacking of Chief Emma Nwankwo, (now of blessed memory) a seasoned technocrat from Alor who was re-appointed by Dame Virgy Etiaba (Governor Emeritus) as Chairman of Anambra State Local Government Service Commission, same treatment was meted out to Chief Louis Nwachukwu who was kicked out from the Board of Anambra State Universal Basic Education Commission (ASUBEB)before the end of tenure of the Board;
(iii) Refusal to commission two water borehole projects sited at Nkwo Ide Square and at Umuoshi village even when the projects had been completed by Ngige Administration as far back as 2006. Despite entreaties to ANSG to commission the projects, the premises housing the boreholes have to date remained under lock and key;
(iv) Exclusion of St. John’s Secondary School, Alor and Girls’ Secondary School from over 125 secondary Schools that benefited from MDG projects executed by Anambra State Government. The names of Schools that benefited from the ANSG largesse were lavishly published in several national newspapers in 2011;
(v) Refusal to commission the completed five-class room primary school building sponsored by ANSG at Central School Alor, and refusal to refund the sum of N2Million incurred by the APC in the construction.
(vi) Nonchalance exhibited by ANSG to the plight of the traditional ruler of Alor town, Igwe J. C. Nkwoka, Ezediohanma II, when he was abducted by kidnappers on the November 1st 2009 and by sheer act of divine intervention some of the kidnappers were apprehended by Police and yet till date no prosecution has been effected by ANSG;
(vii) Malicious abandonment of ecological control works on a Federal road virtually severed by erosion (i.e Alor-Nnobi-Uke-Ideani road constructed by Ngige administration) at Obiaja spot which ANSG had undertaken to do using direct labour to ensure swift repair. After a shoddy start the project had become abandoned, which act will ensure complete severance by the rains of 2012.
(viii) Prevention of an illustrious Alor indigene, Mr. Ifeanyi Nso Okafor, from contesting election as Chairman of Onitsha Main Market Traders Union and subsequent dissolution of the Union and establishment of a caretaker committee. Mr. Okafor was at the verge of being elected as Chairman before ANSG dissolved the Union and set up a caretaker committee;
(ix) Dissolution of Building Materials International Traders Association at Ogidi in 2008 and replacing it with a caretaker committee with a view to removing a democratically elected Chairman, Chief Austin Edozie, who happens to be an Alor indigene;
(x) Exclusion of Alor from the list of Communities that benefited from N2 Million ANSG subventions to Communities in Anambra State for the year 2011;
(xi) Unduly influencing the award by the Federal Government of Nigeria, of a contract for ecological projects in Alor town to an unqualified, untested and incompetent contracting firm;
(xii) False claim by Governor Peter Obi during the flag off ceremony at Alor that he single handedly attracted to Alor the Federal Government ecological projects when in truth and in actual fact the entire contract is 100% funded by the Federal Government and was attracted to Alor by the magnanimity of Mr. President who listened to an SOS message from the Community;
4. OUR UNDERTAKING
We, the members of ADI, speaking unreservedly for all Alor People at home and abroad, hereby reaffirm our loyalty to the Federal, State and Local Governments and all their Agencies. Having from historical times been completely law-abiding, we would resist all attempts by any individual(s) to be drawn into any act that would be construed as contrary to obedience to the laws of the land.
In all earnestness we, the entire membership of the Alor Development Initiative, request the ANSG to rescind their recent absolutely unwarranted interference in the internal governance of Alor Community. We pray the ANSG and appeal to the conscience of the concerned Government functionary to please restore the Alor Peoples’ Convention so it can continue the good work it has been doing in the town.
Enough is enough!
Long Live, Alor Community,
Long Live theFederalRepublicofNigeria.
Dated at Alor this 18th day of February 2012
Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN Sir Obi Oyeka