ANAMBRA GOVT MOVES TO RESTORE PEACE IN NTEJE
Anambra State Government yesterday moved in to restore peace in the crisis-ridden Nteje community with the setting up of a nine-man caretaker committee for the community. Nteje community had been in crisis, following activities of few individuals in the town who allegedly sponsored confusion over the traditional ruler's stool after the eligible clan had elected and presented an Igwe-elect in the person of Chief Rowland Odegbo to the community.
The development was also said to have led to the polarisation of Town Union Presidency and vigilance groups, leading to break down of law and order.
But after many calls on the state government to wade into the matter and restore normalcy, government yesterday set up the caretaker committee. It is headed by a businessman, Chief Patrick Aghadino, with a retired bank manager, Chief Okey Edochie, as secretary, and another bank manager, Mr. Anthony Onwuuzulike as treasurer.
Other members of the committee include; Dr. Emma Okafor said to be a federal director; Rev. Fr. Mike Agwuna; Elder Chris Igboegbunam; Rev. Canon Benson Udezo; Mr. Fabian Nweke and Mr. Fidelis Amasiani.
In a letter addressed to the leadership and people of Nteje community by the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Dubem Obaze, government gave the committee six months to function.
The letter dated July 7, 2010 with reference no. MLG/CM/010/52/VOL.1/117 read in parts: 'Following the protracted Town union crisis in Nteje community with the resultant polarization of the hitherto peaceful town into factions with diverse opinions, His Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi, the governor of Anambra State, has approved the setting up of a caretaker committee to run the affairs of the town for the next six (6) months.
'…The committee has a tenure of six (6) months with effect from 7th day of Jul, 2010.
'The committee has the following mandate: (a) to reconcile different factions in the community, restore peace, mutual understanding and the spirit of oneness among the citizens, (b) To prepare adequate grounds for a successful town union election to be conducted in the community at least 14 days before the expiration of the tenure and (c) to put in place structure that would ensure continued peaceful co-existence and enhance progress in Nteje community.'
Responding to his appointment, the Chairman of the committee, Chief Aghadino, appealed to the people to cooperate with his committee to return the community to its peaceful nature.
He said: 'Having been set up by the state government, we are appealing to Nteje community to embrace the caretaker committee and give peace a chance by giving us all the necessary assistance so that we can finish our work in a record time and conduct election for Nteje Development Union.
'I promise to be fair in the dealings of the committee and will carry everybody along including the stakeholders.'
In his reaction, the Igwe-elect of the community, Chief Odegbo, expressed gratitude to the State government for coming to the rescue of Nteje and giving it opportunity for peace to return.