Jude Chinedu, Enugu
The Council of elders of Umuchigbo Community in Enugu East Local Government Area, have rejected Christmas gift presented to them by Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Chief Edward Ubosi.
They said they turned down the gift as Ubosi, who hails from the community, considered it more important to present them a cow for Christmas, when he allegedly refused to intervene in the lingering leadership crisis tearing the community apart.
At a press briefing, yesterday, Chief Ben Okoye, an octogenarian retired school principal and member of the council, said the community demanded that the speaker take back his cow as they were not disposed to eating meat while the community was in crisis.
“When he brought the cow, we rejected it based on the fact that he was supposed to use his position as the third person in Enugu government to settle the crisis in the community.
“We told the speaker to come and carry his cow. He was there when elders, old men who gave birth to him were taken to court and he chose to do nothing. If I may ask, can someone who is in prison eat beef? No, you can’t eat! It’s not possible. If we are able to settle the crisis in the village, then we can think of eating meat. We are in chains. We can’t eat meat,” he said.
He alleged that Francis Anike, whose tenure had elapsed three years ago as chairman of Umuchigbo village, in his bid to remain in power obtained an injunction from the Enugu State High Court stopping Umuchigbo from having any form of meeting and holding an election.
“Our demand is that the speaker should compel these people to allow an election to hold as has been the practice over the years. We are not against the speaker or Francis Anike. What we want is for an election to hold so that the people can decide who leads them. Leadership should not be by imposition,” Okoye said.