Members of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Abia State Chapter have given reasons why it removed their Chairman, Michael Ibe Nwoke, attributing it to the “unwholesome activities” as well as issuing “provocatively distasteful” statements on their behalf.
One of the Chairmen told our Reporter in Umuahia that “whatever you see in that statement is our position. We can’t tolerate his excesses anymore because we’re progressives and do not want to be led into unnecessary strife with the state government or any critical state official.
“Recall that he was once suspended, but through the interventions of some well meaning Abians including Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, he was restored. We thought that he would deplore his administrative mechanism and potent contacts to resolve whatever dispute or issue that prompts up between that State Government and Local Government Council, but we’re proved wrong.
“We want to see a situation where any dispute between us and State is resolved without any third hearing it. Yes, disputes and misunderstandings may come, but your ability to resolve them without bringing it out to the public space is what matters.
“You may think his removal is induced, no it’s not. We just sat down and looked at the direction he’s leading us to and acknowledged that it wasn’t in our interest, neither was it in the interest of the local government system which we’re elected to serve; so we took action.
“After all, it was Paddy Anyatonwu of Isiala Ngwa South that was elected as ALGON Chairman when we started before some political maneuverings saw to the election of Michael Ibe Nwoke. Now, what is leading to is that we may not have done our home work well. I’ll stop so far”, he said.
However, the removal notice which was contained in a press statement signed by the other 16 LG Chairmen of the State, cited “unwholesome activities” and issuing “provocatively distasteful” statements on behalf of the LG Chairmen “without the recourse, approval and authority from the 16 Local Government Chairmen”. They further emphasised that such statements could ‘ignite disharmonious and acrimonious relationship within the polity”.
The statement in full reads:
a. The Local Government Councils in the State are playing their legal roles and have been partnering with the State Government in delivering good governance to our people at the grassroots. Therefore under no guise can anyone allege that Abia State Local Government Councils will ‘become a laughing stock’.
b. In the Local Government system in Abia State, we have never experienced any form of ‘cabalism’. All the Members of ALGON have been treated equally irrespective of the areas of the State they come from. Therefore, it is false for our chairman to talk about ‘cabal’ within the LG system in Abia State.
c. On the issue of purchasing vehicles…, we have never doubted the modus operandi for the procurement of the said vehicles. We have not seen any underhandedness in the process leading to the purchase. We have complete confidence in the process leading to their procurement and subsequent delivery.
d. On the management of the Local Government resources, we refute the allegations of meddlesomenes by any external body.
From the above, it is, indeed, very clear that the press release earlier made by our chairman was unilaterally made without the recourse, approval and authority from the sixteen (16) Local Government Chairmen.
Therefore, having viewed with great concern these unwholesome activities of Hon Michael Ibe Nwoke, as highlighted above, which have fallen short of standard of the mandates of his office, we do hereby resolve as follows:
1. We pass a vote of no confidence on him as the ALGON Chairman
2. We hereby unanimously vote for his removal from office as Abia State ALGON Chairman with immediate effect
3. We will meet and elect a new Abia State ALGON chairman that will have the support of all members of the association for collective and smooth running of activities of Abia State ALGON
4. That Hon Michael Ibe Nwoke is mandated to hand over all documents relating to the office of the Abia State ALGON Chairman to the Secretariat of the Association
5. That, henceforth, nobody in the state should have any dealing with him in the name of Abia ALGON, as such actions will be viewed as a nullity.
We want to through this medium doubtlessly emphasise our unflinching support to the Kinetic Government and administration of the State and to further confirm our satisfaction in the decisions and policies of this administration which, in our humble view, are crafted and executed in utmost good faith and for the welfare of the generality of the people of the State.
Finally, we condemn in totality the said press release by our (now removed) chairman as the issues raised are provocatively distasteful and can ignite disharmonious and acrimonious relationship within the polity. As leaders and stakeholders in the state, our actions and utterances should be one that should engender peace and love in the State and not anarchy and chaos.
On his part, the removed Abia State ALGON Chairman, Hon Michael Nwoke has pledged his support to the administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu saying, “There is no controversy; there is no issue. One of the mandates of all of us, the 17 Local Government Chairmen, is to support Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration and that is what we are doing. So, there is no controversy; there is no issue. We are one Body”.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.