The extinction or possible proscription of existence of the Community Government Council (CGC), unlawfully established during the 8 years tenure of governor Rochas Okorocha in Imo State, may have drawn nearer, following the unrelentless demand for its nullification by Town Unions.
It would be recalled that the then Rescue Mission Government led by Owerri Okorocha had established what he called the 4th tier of government (CGC) with appointed persons serving as its executives in defiance to constitutional provisions.
Against this backdrop, a group under the aegis of Association of Imo State Indigenous Town Unions (AISITU) in a sensitization tour at Nkwerre council headquarters, last week Friday called for the scrapping of the CGC and whatever it may have represented.
In an address by the State AISITU Chairman, who also doubles as the President, Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), Chief Emeka Diwe, decried the level of neglect the then government subjected Town Unions to, stressing that instead of working harmoniously with town unions, the former Governor decided to use his own structure in the name of CGC.
He said, the Union has been in existence for ages with their cardinal responsibility of fostering peace, unity, progress and community development.
Diwe pointed out that during Okorocha’s era, even traditional rulers who are custodians of culture and customs were made to be under their own subjects due to the political gains Okorocha derieved from such obnoxious policies.
Speaking further, the Ideato North born Unionist affirmed that Town Unions have been a force to reckon with and gap between the government and those in the grassroots, adding that they easily know what each community lacks and wants at every given time.
Chief Diwe also revealed that, for the government to attain its greater heights in community emancipation or development, the Town Unions need to be reintegrated and mobilized to function as it was before Okorocha’s attempt to mess up with the arrangements.
He consequently averred that while there were gap between traditional rulers and their respective President Generals due to the CGC intrusion, an amendment has to be made for results.
“Town Union is a non partisan, socio-cultural organization with their strength in the grassroots”.
“The position of President General is not by appointment, but by strict elections especially among those found worthy in character and conduct, no matter how small the persons enclave might be. The person must possess the leadership potentials with proven integrity”. He then called on the governor to revive town unions if truly he wants rapid development in Imo communities.
Commenting, the National Secretary of Imo Town Unions, Chief Monday Ikeokwu, said, the Union has achieved a lot in fostering peace and tranquility in both the State and entire South East.
Chief Ikeokwu opined that the President Generals (PGs), are true symbol of every Town Union, duly recognized in the respective communities.
Ikeokwu said, the CGC system is only practiced in the State, whereas there are over five (5) States in South East region that upholds Town Unionism without resorting to such unconstitutional act as Okorocha.
He said, “during Peter Obi’s regime in Anambra State, he used to give each Town Union the sum of N 10m for community development, and now in Obiano’s time, it has increased to N20 million, which makes every community in Anambra a mini township”.
Lending his voice, the recognized President General of Nkwerre Aborigines Development Town Unions, and the Orlu zonal Chairman of AISITU, Engr. Sammy Ikechukwu Akano, submitted that CGC is a bane to community development, adding that its abolishment would ensure community responsiveness to government and emancipation of the people
Engr. Akano expressed optimism that with the rebuild Imo government, Town Unionism would bounce back stronger and better.
Hon. Victor Achigbu, who represented the Interim Management Committee (IMC), Chairman of Nkwerre LGA, Nze Lawrence Nwadike promised to work in synergy with the Town Unions, pointing out that reviving it would serve as an integral part of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha led administration