From Felix Ikem, Nsukka

There was tension in  Nguru community, Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, at the weekend following a failed attempt by the state government to inaugurate the community’s town union executive members.

The community has been in crisis for  years  on account of disagreement over election and inauguration of its town union executives.

Daily Sun gathered that Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had directed the Commissioner for Rural Development, Mr. Emeka Mamah, to conduct the election and inaugurate the town union of Nguru community before the end of January, following protests and petitions to the state government by some aggrived members of the community.

The verification of delegates for the election into the town union’s executive committee was initially slated to hold  January 3, but for the crisis rocking the community, it could not hold.

Prof. Ike Onyishi, leader of the aggrived members of the community, said that the state government had fixed the election and inauguration of the town union executives members: “We want our community to be like others with functional town union, but, regrettably, our traditional ruler and his loyalists do not  want that to happen.

“The state Commissioner for Rural Development, Mamah, had two missions in our community today, one was  to verify villages that delegates are yet to be verified, then, after that, election was to commence by 12 noon under his supervision.

“Delegate election was declared inconclusive in Amagu Uwani village, which has two delegates. Agbani Nguru, a satellite settlement, has one out of two delegates outstanding, but the election was also declared inconclusive.

“But the verification took longer than expected, because some people wanted to prevent the commissioner from carrying out his duty, but he explained to them that he was mandated by the state governor to do the verification and conduct the election. So the commissioner first went to  Igwe’s palace and from there to the four remaining villages for verification of their delegates.

“We were patiently waiting at the community primary school in Nguru, venue of the election, when information came that the election would not hold again that the commissioner had abandoned the verification and thay  they left following disagreements over choice of candidates by some of the villagers.”

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Onyishi, who is also head of Department of  Psychology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, added that those frustrating the election were benefiting from the chaotic situation in the community.

He warned troublemakers in the community to tread  with caution, stressing that they might be standing in the way of an Executive Order by the gvernor, who directed the commissioner to complete the election and inaugurate the town union executives of the community before the end of January,

The traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Linus Obayi, while reacting to the development, confirmed that the commissioner was in the community for the verification of delegates and to  conduct the town union executive members’ election.

“Yes, the commissioner was in our community today to verify delegate and conduct town union executives election.”

We had earlier told him that  selection of town union delegate as contained in the community constitution is solely for the eldest man in the village and the secretary.

“So what we agreed with the commissioner is that he’s going to the remaining four villages to confirm the candidate the eldest man and and the village secretary have endorsed.

“I heard that there were disagreements in three of the four remaining villages that are yet to be verified, probably that was why he left without conducting the election,” he said.

The Igwe who said he was determined to secure lasting peace in the community stated  further that the commissioner promised to attend their next peace meeting with representative of the aggrieved members of the community scheduled to hold today (Sunday).

When contacted, Mamah said that the situation was rowdy following disagreements over candidates presented by the eldest man from some of the villages.