Posted by Pamela Eboh, Onitsha | 4 November 2014 | 4,534 times
Hundreds of placard-carrying widows yesterday in the commercial city of Onitsha took over the premises of Onitsha South Local Government Secretariat to protest the alleged impeachment of the chairman of the council, Lady Ann Chukwuneke.
It was alleged that the 60-year-old Chukwuneke, who is the only female local government chairman out of the 21 in the state, was impeached by some councilors while she was away on official duty in Abuja and another person sworn in by a serving magistrate in the state.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “We reject this exercise in its entirety”, “This is grave injustice”, “They are doing this to her because she is a widow”, “NCWS please look into this matter urgently” and “Onitsha South widows say no to Lady Ann’s removal”, the widows said Chukwuneke is the only local government chairman that takes care of them.
The protesters described the removal of Chukwuneke from office as a ploy to make them remember that they have no husbands to take care of them.
They wondered what offence the chairman committed, saying that she had no business with the collection of revenue as alleged by her traducers.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Mrs. Christiana Okoye said they would continue to mount pressure on the authorities to leave the chairman alone so that she can concentrate on her duties.
Despite the impeachment saga, the Onitsha council boss was present in her office without any challenge or harassment.
Also, the impeached leader of the house, Mr. Friday Ezenwa, and the new one, Mr. Emeka Akanegbu, were not at the council as at the time News Express visited.
While addressing reporters amidst sobs, Lady Chukwuneke said that the news of her impeachment came to her as a rude shock, adding that there had been no misunderstanding between her and the councilors to warrant her impeachment.
According to her, “I traveled to Abuja on Wednesday last week and the following day, I received a telephone call from the leader of the house that there was a large number of policemen in the local government who said the leader of the house knew about their presence.
“After a rowdy session, some of the councilors came out to say that they had impeached the leader of the house and me. I rushed back from Abuja and tried to reach the State Governor but was not successful. I also spoke with the National Chairman of APGA, who encouraged me to see the governor.
“I went to the Governor’s Lodge to see the governor, but was stopped at the gate. The governor called me on Sunday to say that I had been impeached and that a new chairman had been sworn in. I told the governor that I did not receive any impeachment notice as there was no offence committed.
“He told me not to go back to the office because I had been impeached. As I speak to you, I do not know the offence I committed. The state chief judge did not set up any impeachment panel.
“Being the only female local government chairman in the state, I know that I will face challenges, but I did not know that I will be removed from office without committing any offence.”
Lady Chukwuneke further disclosed that the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, had warned her three times in the past over alleged offences she did not commit, which included the demonstration embarked upon by women in Onitsha over the abduction of Chibok girls and the allegation that she was collecting N50,000 from traders to build shops on roadsides in Onitsha South.
•Photo shows Lady Ann Chukwuneke.
No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.