By Emma Udeagha .
The Traditional Ruler of Umuona,Aguata local government area Anambra state, Igwe Humphrey Ejesieme escaped lynching by whiskers for obstructing town Union election of the Community allegedly.
His attempt to suspend the election of a new Town Union Executive for the Community was rebuffed by delegates to the election, who had already converged for the exercise at the Umuona Civic Centre.
Trouble started over modalities for the election with majority of the delegates opting for the Open Ballot System, which they claimed was the consensus reached at the last Congress of the Town Union. The contentious matter was however resolved with the adoption of the position by the Conference. However as if to further complicate matters after the reprieve, the Traditional Ruler announced the suspension of the elections for what he called 'breach of Covid-19 protocols' . He said the State government 'directed them at a meeting with the Deputy Governor held at the Government house that they should. enforce Covid-19 protocols in their domain'. The Traditional Ruler, who was invited to address the Conference by the out gone President General of the Community, Engnr Silas Akaneme stated that the the delegates did not observe social distancing rules and use of face masks hence he decided to call off the elections in order to protect the lives of his subjects.
The announcement caused commotion following which the Traditional Ruler ‘escaped’ from the venue. The situation was however brought under control by officials from the office of the Commissioner for Local government and Community Affairs and representatives of Anambra State Association of Town Unions, who were on hand to monitor the elections, who assured that the scheduled elections must hold but in strict observance of the Covid-19 Protocols.
Thereafter, following their intervention the process for the elections was put in place by the gone President General, Silas Akaneme,in line with the Constitution of the Town. In the elections that followed, Chief Kenneth Okoli was elected President General with Mr Gilbert Obiakor and Muobike Anthony as Vice President General and Secretary respectively.
Others elected were, Obiora Okechi, Assistant Secretary, Sunday Ezeofor, Treasurer, Kenneth Okafor, Financial Secretary, Uche Okoli Nwike, Welfare Officer, Chukwudi Obiorah PRO and Izuchukwu Nduka and Anyaeji Chukwueloka Provosts.
The Ten Man Executive was later inaugurated by Rev. Fr Okey Enyosiobi assisted by Dr Anthony Okoli and Barrister Austin Oguejiofor. In his acceptance speech the new PG, , Chief Okoli thanked the entire people of Umuona and pledged to promote peace and the development of the Community. He called ‘ for all hands to be on deck to realize the objective’.
However, reacting to the development, the Traditional Ruler of Umuona, Igwe Humphrey Ejesieme expressed surprise that the elections were held despite his advise and in ‘breach of Umuona Constitution’ but pledged to support every effort that will bring progress in his domain. He expressed willingness to work with the new Umuona Executive to move the Community forward.