The President General of Nnobi community in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Barr. Dominic-Savio Okpala, has said that the town union and the entire community are not ready to accept further intimidation and oppression from the traditional institution of the community.
Speaking to the press after an Emergency Representative General Meeting of the community, Barr. Okpala alleged that meddlesomeness of the traditional institution into the town union administration, which has been going on for a long time, is fuelling crisis in Nnobi, regretting that for showing restraint, members of the leadership of the town union are being pressed further to the wall.
He alleged that the highpoint was that recently, while exercising powers given to them by Nnobi Central Executive Committee to address crisis in the community, some officers of the town union were arrested, handcuffed and taken into detention by direct and indirect orders from the traditional institution, describing it as unacceptable.
The President General said as the political leader of the community, he has brought the sad development to the attention of the Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Mr. Tonycollins Nwabunwanne, adding that the Emergency Representative General Meeting was for Nnobi community members to look into the vexed issues and find a way forward.
For there to be lasting peace, Barrister Okpala called on traditional institution to keep to their duties and functions spelt out under section 15 of the ASTRL; and allow the town union government to function under same law; as reflected and domesticated in Nnobi Town Union Constitution 2011.
He noted that there is a clear-cut dichotomy in the provisions of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Law; spelling out the powers of traditional institution and the town union administration, saying it’s expected that each of the components should abide by the constitutional provisions.
Lending his voice, the Traditional Prime Minister (Onowu) of the community, Barr. Sir. Onyechi Ifezue Esqr., expressed displeasure over the rift in Nnobi, pointing out its negative impact, and proposed setting up a committee to address the whole issues, warning that anyone who goes against the agreement of the committee will be dealt with in “Nnobi way”.
He said that peace and unity is necessary for progress of the community, and called on the traditional and political institutions of Nnobi to have the interest of the community first in all their dealings.
Contributing, the Chairman of Ngo Nnobi and former member of Nnobi Caretaker Committee, Dr Pat Mbanefo, who said that the issue in the community is trying to tear it apart, expressed happy with large turnout of people at the meeting, including the youths; whom he said are seeing things for themselves, and the women; to be able to advise at home.
He informed that in the meeting, constitutional matters in the community were addressed, and the 2023 Revised Constitution of Nnobi Community approved, urging all to come clean and help move the town forward.
Regretting that the problem in the community has existed for long because, except few persons; people of the community were not politically conscious, Dr Mbanefo explained that when more people become conscious, the problem set in because of actions of people benefiting from the old order.
Among other issues that have stalled development of the community, the Nnobi community stakeholder recalled how disunity cost them the Idemili North Local Government Headquarters when it was Obiaja Local Government.
Also at the meeting, Nnobi constitution amendment committee presented the final draft of the work to the town union leadership, and it was agreed that the document will be sent to the Anambra State Government for input and confirmation of conformity with that of the state.