By Ozo Ray
The traditional ruler of Umueri kingdom in Anambra-East Local Government Area of Anambra State, His Royal Majesty Igwe Sir Ben Izuchukwu Emeka, has urged the president–general of the community, Chief Pius Ejimofor Okonkwo, to set up an electoral and audit committees without further delay.
He said the aforementioned committees were necessary to enable the town union to conduct fresh elections, as well as audit the financial records of the incumbent leadership which expires on December 27th, this year.
The traditional ruler who reacted to an allegation that he purportedly denied the president-general the right to set up a certain 30-man committee, described such as blatant lies, noting that the said 30-man committee was jointly set up by both of them in his palace with pictures of the inaugural ceremony of the said committee where the P-G of the town union was conspicuously seen in the group photograph.
Igwe Emeka told journalists at his palace that he believed that peace had returned to the town union and the community at large, but could not fathom the reason why the P-G still went about peddling false information about him and his throne, even though he alleged that the P-G had refused to abide by the dictates of the peace pact both of them entered into before the Anambra State Government.
He disclosed that some of the provisions of the resolution were that the P-G should set up electoral and audit committees to enable the town union to conduct fresh elections in September this year for the incoming executive of the town union, as well as audit the financial books of the current exco.
The traditional ruler recalled that a particular section of the community wrote a letter asking the President-General to account for the money they allegedly gave him but that he could not and his actions sparked of anger at the meeting they held on 27th April this year, which, according to him, led to the motion for his removal from office as the P-G of Umueri General Assembly, leading to his removal.
He said the genesis of the crisis was the expectation that Pius Okonkwo should set up an audit committee and urged Okonkwo to allow peace to reign in Umueri by implementing the peace pact and conducting elections in September this year before handing over in December.
He also stated that the peace pact mandated the PG to set up an audit committee that would look into his financial records, alleging that the PG sold many lands at Okebo Estate, Umueri and that people were accusing him of embezzlement.
When contacted to debunk the allegations of embezzlement of funds realized from the sale of lands under his government as P-G of Umueri Town Union, as well as his alleged refusal to implement the provisions of the peace accord signed by him and the traditional ruler before the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftancy Matters on behalf of the Anambra State Government, Chief Okonkwo declined to speak but referred the reporter to his colleagues who had earlier interviewed him, with a view to obtaining information on the issue from them.