*Enugu Govt. commends community for peaceful, credible monarch election*
NSUKKA —-The Enugu State Government, yesterday, commended Ikem-Nkwo autonomous community in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of the state for peaceful and credible election of their traditional ruler, Chief Pius Nnamani.
The state Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters, Dr. Charles Egumgbe, made the commendation shortly after Chief Nnamani, who polled a total of 331 votes to defeat his rivals, Emmanuel Ede with 163 votes, and Christian Odo, with 131 votes was declared winner by the President General, PG, of the community, Ephraim Odo.
Dr. Egumgbe, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Chieftaincy Matters in the state, Ogochukwu Ozoagu, also said “From our observation, the election you conducted for the election of your traditional ruler was peaceful and credible. I am very happy because the exercise was not marred by violence, otherwise, I and my team would have left here.
“Now that you have got your Igwe-elect, the next step is that the community would write to your local government chairman on the development. The chairman in turn, would write to the Enugu State Government through the Ministry of Chieftaincy Matters. That way, a date for the community to come to the Ministry for the collection of approval letter would be made known at the appropriate time,” she said.
Earlier in his acceptance speech, the monarch-elect thanked the people of the community for reposing their trust in him.
He pledged to unite the community so that everyone would contribute ideas towards the development of the community. While describing the election as a brotherly contest, he also pledged to close ranks with those who contested the election with him to unite and develop the community.
“An Igwe is just a servant to his community. I assure my people that positive changes would come around in Ikem-Nkwo autonomous community. We are loyal to the local and state governments, so, we would lobby them to ensure that developments come to our people. Most importantly, we must come together and unite our people.
“My starting point would be unity, because when the people are united, there would be peace, progress and development,” he said.
In his reaction, the PG of the community, Odo, pledged to be a foot soldier of the Igwe-elect, adding that the people of the community would give him the needed support to make him perform in his responsibilities without hitches.
He also said “we have no good road, we don’t have any hospital and pipe-borne water. Our people keep dying of diseases. I would want these development needs to be his areas of focus,” he said.
Also, in his reaction, the chairman of the Electoral Board, Ifeanyi Eze, also said the exercise was transparent and the will of the people prevailed.
“You can see the people jubilating and celebrating because I ensured that there would be no comprise. Nobody saw the ballot papers except me, not even my committee members. This is to ensure that the election is free and fair,” he said.
A total of 820 members of the community registered for the election while the number of accredited voters were 640, same as the number of people that voted. The number of valid votes were 625, while 15 votes were invalid.
The election was conducted using the open-secret ballot system.
1. Deputy Director, Chieftaincy Matters,Enugu State, Ogochukwu Ozoagu (2nd left); PG, Ikem-Nkwo Community, Ephraim Odo (r); chairman of the electoral board, Ifeanyi Eze (2nd right); and the PRO, Ministry of Chieftaincy Matters, Enugu State, Emeka Nebeife (left) during the election at Ikem-Nkwo Primary School, Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State on Saturday.
2. The Ikem-Nkwo Community Igwe-elect, Chief Pius Nnamani, addressing the jubilant people of the community after he was declared winner of the election.