-Lawmaker advises parties to stop dropping governor’s name
-Says Imo Assembly yet to give approval
The purported creation of a new autonomous community in Nkwerre and it’s hasty recognition by the Interim Management Committee of the council, has aside drawing the ire of some prominent members of the community is unlawful and not conformity with section 44 of law No 6 of Imo state House of Assembly and other laws that are
operational in all the Houses of Assembly in the South East and also considering the fact that the creation of autonomous communities, statutorily falls under the ambit of state legislatures.
The member for Nkwerre State constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon Obinna Okwara stated this while addressing journalists on Wednesday in Owerri, shortly after moving a motion for a law that will urgently address the situation and avoid a recurrence elsewhere.
According to Hon Okwara, “on Saturday, 6th June, 2020, one Chief Ngozi Anyaehie, gathered some people with the false claim that the Governor has carved out two autonomous communities in Nkwerre and made him the the Eze-elect of one of them. Though his claim sounded funny and ridiculous to us and other discerning people, we called for caution to enable us study the situation for details”. “Then, to our greatest surprise, he trooped with some people to the local government council headquarters for recognition. At that point, I called the Interim Management Committee Chairman, to know what was happening and why hasty recognition by the council. However, from his response, I deduced that “his hands were tied”.
The lawmaker maintained that, aside the fact that “the Governor traveled out of the state, there are laid down procedure for creating autonomous communities”.
Responding to a question, he averred that, the 8th Assembly discussed the issue of creating new autonomous communities, “but the outcome of their discussion was not assented to by Governor Rochas Okorocha before he left office hence the issue died and has to be resurrected by re-submitting it to the 9th Assembly for discussion. That is why I doubt if the Governor really approved this anomaly but if he actually approved it, then he was not properly advised”.
Responding to another question, Hon Okwara stated that, Chief Anyaehie, the self-acclaimed Eze-elect’s community had at no time applied for autonomy, pointing out that “when the 6th Assembly was about creating new autonomous communities, Umuezerue was replaced with Nnanano, while all the villages listed underneath are in Umuezerue. However, despite fruitless attempts, Ikedi Ohakim’s government approved and gave Umuezerue autonomy which they are still enjoying today with a traditional ruler that oversees their affairs. This is the nearest community that now claims to be autonomous had gone towards formally applying for autonomous status”.
Hon Okwara in conclusion, said, Governor Hope Uzodinma is an experienced legislator and administrator who is knowledgeable about due process, rule of law and the dynamics of separation of powers, and will not support under any circumstance encourage or tolerate such flagrant abuse that will ridicule and portray his government in bad light. “Besides, if this anomaly is not corrected forthwith, it may have unpleasant spill-over effects that may be difficult to control. That is why, I am advocating that the right thing should be done and seen to have been done in accordance with the law and laid down procedure”.
Meanwhile,the issue is now before the Imo State House of Assembly to ascertain the circumstance that led to the sudden approval of such communities without going through due process.