disobedience in the state.
The groups are the Recover Nigeria Project led by Osita Obi, Nigeria
Youth Organisation led by Ozoemena Unegbu, All Registered APC support
groups led by Orji Hope and PDP Youth Alliance, led by Golden Ugo
threatened to embark on a 14-day hunger strike from August 17 over
non-conduct of the poll.
It is incredible but the existential reality that Anambra is the only
state in the federation that has conducted local government election
once since May 29,1999; former governor Peter Obi conducted the last
election on Jan. 11, 2014, two months to the end of his tenure.
It would be recalled that the last Acting Chairman of the Anambra State
Independent Electoral Commission, ANSIEC, Sylvester Okonkwo supervised
the last local government election conducted in the state.
Attempts were made in December 1998, December 4, 2004, February 2005,
November 2011, October 5, 2013, December 14, 2013, and December 21,
2013, before it was finally conducted on Jan. 11, 2014
The groups said the civil disobedience would also be included occupying
the 21 local government secretariats in the state.
They said they had petitioned the state government, the State Police
Command, the Department of State Service, and the National Human Rights
Commission to intimate them of their action plan.
Parts of the petition reads, “We write to inform you about our hunger
strike which commences on 17th August 2020 and ends on 1st September
“The hunger strike is a result of your refusal to conduct local
“Recall that we wrote to you in the month of July 2019 demanding you to
conduct local government election in Anambra State for citizens.
“Take note that immediately after the hunger strike, we shall conduct
civil disobedience to occupy local government Secretariats in Anambra
State to bring the attention of the world and the Federal Government to
The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has also urged Gov. Willie
Obiano, to commence processes towards the conduct of free, fair, and
credible local government election in Anambra.
CLO Chairman in Anambra, Mr. Vincent Ezekwueme, said that democratically
elected officials at the grassroots would bring governance nearer to the
He urged the governor to reconstitute the Anambra State Independent
Electoral Commission, to enable the commission to commence the process
of conducting the council election.
“The call for council election in Anambra is in tandem with the
Constitution, Electoral Act and landmark Supreme Court judgment that
asserted that local governments must be governed by elected officials,”
Business mogul and elder statesman in the state, Prince Arthur Eze had
also raised Anambra State’s political ante, when he declared that
incumbent governor, Willie Obiano, would be made to repay every kobo he
has received as allocations belonging to the 21 local government
councils of the state since he became governor in 2014.
He lamented that the development and deepening of democracy had been
stalled at the grassroots level of the state by the refusal of the
governor to conduct elections into the councils. He accused Obiano of
handpicking cronies as Transition Committee Chairmen to run the
“I want him (Obiano) to know that since he has refused to hold local
government elections since he took over power, he must be ready to vomit
all the allocations and revenues of the councils at the end of his
“He will not go free,” Eze said. “I have taken up the matter formally in
writing with President Muhammadu Buhari concerning all Southeast
governors, especially those of the geopolitical zone, who have refused
to organise council elections but chose to unilaterally usurp the
functions and finances of that level of government. They will all be
called to account. None will get away with it.”
Since Eze made his view public, certain interpretations had been given
to it. Obiano’s government has insisted that whatever hampered the
conduct of elections at the third tier of government was not its fault
and that funds accruing to councils were being disbursed according to
It is not new what local governments have become since 1999 in the
country. Various state chief executives have continued to treat that
tier of government as an extension of their private concerns,
handpicking and determining who runs them and their mode of operations.
The system has become a platform for the settlement of self-acclaimed
political godfathers, who gather to handpick those that should serve as
either elected or appointed council chairmen to the detriment of the
All this is aimed at siphoning the revenues and allocations that accrue
to the local councils thereby under-developing the councils. The
Southeast Zone is not immune to the ugly trend, where these resources
are frittered away.
The Anambra State House of Assembly members recently dared the governor
and insisted they would not reconfirm the present Transition Committee
Chairmen submitted by the governor.
This position of the assembly members created so much confusion.
An authoritative source said the assembly members have told the Speaker,
Hon Uche Okafor that he should communicate to the governor that they
would not reconfirm the present TC chairmen in the state.
They asked the governor to either conduct the LG election or reappoint
new TC chairmen.
Making their threat workable, the list of TC chairmen submitted to the
House was rejected.
The source said the governor summoned a meeting between him and the
assembly members, where he insisted that the current TC chairmen must
continue and should be reconfirmed, and so resolved.