By Ikeugonna Eleke
The Transition Committee Chairman of Ihiala Local Government Area, Hon. Kingsley Obi, has revealed that he runs the activities of the council from under the trees inside the secretariat complex.
He said this was as a result of the destruction of 14 buildings in the secretariat by gunmen in January this year.
Ihiala is among the local government areas in Anambra that have suffered serious attacks from hoodlums who are now widely referred to as unknown gunmen. Some security operatives, including members of vigilance group, lost their lives during the attack.
The council chairman who spoke to journalists in Awka, said the council was totally destroyed by the invading gunmen and that there were suggestions for him to move to a nearby secretariat in Ekwusigo Local Government Area to continue the running of council activities but he refused, insisting on doing so under trees in the council secretariat.
He however praised Governor Chukwuma Soludo for promptly responding by beginning immediately to rebuild the destroyed structures.
He said: ‘Ihiala Local Government Secretariat was attacked on 12th January, 2023, by hoodlums and about 14 buildings were burnt down completely.
‘But today we are almost rounding off reconstruction of the local government secretariat. Hopefully in the next two months everything will return to normalcy again.
‘They asked us to go to Ekwusigo, I said no; I will not do that, instead, I prefer to stay under the trees to make sure government intervened promptly. So the governor intervened quickly and things are going on well.
‘We are working day and night to finish the reconstruction. The workers are living inside the secretariat just to ensure that they get it done. About 20 men are working there 24 hours, including Sundays, just to make sure that they finish the reconstruction within the stipulated time.
‘Soludo gave Ihiala Local Government more rapid response than any other place. Remember that Nnewi-South Council Secretariat got burnt about 2 and half years ago and they are still on it.’
Obi blamed fifth columnists for sabotaging the efforts at fighting insecurity in the area, while also saying that security had improved in the area, as no attack had been registered in over two months now.