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Protests Erupt in Enugu Over Govt Moves to Make a Community Autonomous

From Ignatius Okpara

ENUGU NIGERIA, (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Crisis presently looms at the Echara community in Nsukka Council  Area of Enugu State, South East Nigeria, as the people have vowed to resist the State government plan to create autonomous community out if the existing one.

AFRICAN EXAMINER reports that resident of the area had on Tuesday stormed the Enugu Government House, protesting the proposed plan which they said, is unacceptable to them.

The protesters led by eldest men in the area, urged the State Governor, Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi to order the cancellation of plans to merge them with a distant Nguru community.

While thanking the Governor for the initiative to create new communities, the protesters contended it would be an aberration to merge them with Nguru.

The people observed that the decision of the Enugu State Ministry of Chieftaincy to merge them with Nguru despite the opposition would lead to serious  crisis in the locality .

However, in a position paper presented to Governor Ugwuanyi, which was signed by some community leaders, namely, Edoga Ohe Nwa Onah, Edoga Ugwu Oduma Ezema, Edoga Simeon Ozioko, and four others, the Echara community described the creation of new autonomous communities in Enugu State “as a magical way of bringing governance to the grassroots and also deserved commendation.”

But lamented what they described as “unhealthy conspiracy and geographically impossible unification of Nguru and Echara into a single autonomous community.

The petition read thus: “Recall Sir that we submitted request dated 14th March, 2017 to the Enugu State Government for the grant of autonomous community status to Echara Nsukka even before Nsukka town Union made her appeal for more autonomous communities in Nsukka Town to His Excellency on 18th April, 2017.

“Nkpunano is made up of four large communities- Echara, Umakashi, Isiakpu and Nguru. Echara and Umakashi have a common geographical boundary while Isiakpu and Nguru have a common geographical boundary.”

The people people agrgued: “any attempt to merge Echara and Nguru into autonomous communities is unworkable and geographically impossible”.

“We plead that having met stipulated guidelines for creation of autonomous community, that you use your good office to avert this unprecedented aberration and grant Echara autonomous community.

“If for reasons of downward flow of resources the State cannot cope with additional three communities, from the present Nkpunano, we plead that you kindly follow the natural geographical, cultural and nature’s alignment to create Echara/Umakashi and Nguru/Isiakpu autonous communities.

“If our prayers above cannot be granted, Echara will prefer that status quo be maintained.” they declared.

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