By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The people of Ifitedunu Community in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, have expressed their heartfelt appreciation to Governor Chukwuma Soludo, for his recent intervention on a lingered town union-related crisis in the community by reinstating the duly-elected President-General of the community.
The Traditional Ruler of the community, H.R.H. Igwe Dr. Emeka Ilouno gave the commendation while speaking during a peaceful march by the people of the community, who thronged the Government House in Awka on Tuesday, to register their appreciation to the Governor.
The people were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions, such as ‘Thank You Governor Soludo’, ‘The Solution Is Here’, ‘Soludo for Equity and Justice’, ‘Soludo is the Solution to Community Crisis’, ‘Justice at Last, God Bless Soludo’ among other write-ups.
Speaking shortly after the demonstration, Igwe Ilouno said the demonstration was a form of ‘Thank You’ visit and the community’s way of expressing their joy and commendation to the Governor for allowing the people’s choice and will to prevail in the community.
He traced the town union crisis to 2015, and revealed that a particular individual in the community, named Samuel Nwaeke had been troubling the community since his days as the President-General of Ifitedunu Town Union (I.T.U.).
Going memory lane, he highlighted some of the misdeeds of Mr. Nwaeke, both when he was the PG and after the expiration of his tenure, such as including using intimidation and police/SARS arrest to deal with anyone who dared to oppose him or his cohorts; as well as changing the constitution of the town, dubiously appending the signature of a dead (former) Traditional Ruler of the community on it, and submitting it to government for acceptance, without letting him the current Traditional Ruler know anything about it.
He said after the much-awaited expiration of Mr. Nwaeke’s tenure, his erstwhile Vice, Mr. Uchenna Oragwuncha Nwoye, whom he (Mr. Nwaeke) unjustly suspended for not supporting his mal-administration, contested for the position of PG, and won in a landslide victory in a second election that came two days after he (Mr. Nwaeke) and his cohorts disrupted the first election because he saw that his candidate was losing the election.
He said the PG emeritus, Mr. Nwaeke did not rest after that, but continued to torment and make the community ungovernable for the newly-elected PG, till they eventually masterminded his fake and unjust impeachment few months later, which made the state government impose a Caretaker Committee on the community, even without any consultation with him as the Traditional Ruler of the community.
Going further, the Monarch said the first Caretaker Committee did not ‘work’, which made the government to constitute another one just two weeks after, only to end up re-installing the first one again few months after reconstituting the new one. He said this was happening when the tenure of previous administration of Governor Obiano was at the verge of expiration.
The Monarch, however, said issues continued to spring up in the community since then, with respect to the town union leadership of the community, until Governor Soludo recently intervened and re-instated the impeached PG, Mr. Oragwuncha, who was duly-elected and chosen by the people, thereby restoring peace in the community.
“This is very commendable; and that is why we are all here today, to express our gladness and say Thank you to our amiable Governor,” he said.
Igwe Ilouno also presented a Letter of Appreciation to the Governor, and noted that all branches of the Ifitedunu Town Union (including those in diaspora) are unanimously appreciative of what the Governor did, hence their decision to write the Appreciation Letter and also demonstrate their gladness.
He further called on Governor Soludo to, please, see to the release of some youths of the community, whom the PG emeritus, Mr. Nwaeke locked up in police cells for nothing other than standing for justice during that time of the crisis.
Responding on behalf of the Governor, the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Tony-Collins Nwabunwanne, represented by the PRO of the Ministry, Mr. Henry Nwasike, reassured the people of Governor Soludo’s commitment to ensuring peace, order and justice in the state and all its communities, hence, his intervention and resolution of the town union crisis in Ifitedunu, which he said he had also replicated in some other communities in the state in recent time.
He further assured them that the Governor would look into other demands they presented there, such as the said arrested youths who are currently in the police custody.
He also enjoined them to sustain the peace and order that have been restored in the community and henceforth report any thing that may threaten the peace, order and unity of the community to the government, rather than trying to handle it in a way that may even end up escalating it.