Michael Onwuka, Enugu.
No fewer than 22 communities in Igboeze North Local Government Area (LGA) of Enugu State, have barred politicians from the area from contesting the Igboeze North/Udenu Federal Constituency position.
The communities which fall under Ozzi Sub-Constituency 1 in Igboeze North LGA gave the order on Monday during a town hall meeting.
The representative of Ozzi Elders-in-Council, Chief Bernard Eze, said that the meeting became necessary following the need to address the disagreement with their kinsmen in Umunano Sub-Constituency 2.
Eze said that there was a power rotation agreement in the federal constituency made up of Udenu and Igboeze North LGAs.
He said that the agreement was such that the sub-constituencies or clans in the area, including Ozzi and Umunano in Igboeze North LGA, were allowed the chance to produce a member of the House of Representatives.
Chief Eze said that it was on the basis of such agreement that the incumbent Governor of the state, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, from Udenu, spent 12 years in the House of Representatives.
He said that the incumbent member representing Igboeze North/Udenu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Chief Simon Atigwe, must be allowed to complete the three-tenure cycle for his sub-constituency.
Eze, therefore, foreclosed the possibility of any politician from Ozzi Constituency contesting the Igboeze North/Udenu Federal Constituency position.
Also, a former Commissioner for Public Utilities in the state, Mr Emeka Ukwuaba, said that the directive was in the interest of equity and justice.
Ukwuaba said that though Atigwe was not from their sub-constituency, they were supporting him to return in order to complete the third term meant for Umunano Constituency 2.
“We wish that Atigwe, who is from Umunano Constituency 2, returns to the House of Representatives to complete their third term, so that when the position shifts to us, we will go for three tenures.
“Atigwe has shown the capacity to turn things around within the short time he has been there, even without being a ranking member,” he said.
Furthermore, a former Chairman, Igboeze North LGA, Mr Uwakwe Ezeja, said that the lawmaker was doing well within the short time he had spent in the National Assembly.
According to him, it is necessary that the best the area can afford be allowed to represent them.
“Atigwe is one of our best. He is touching lives, changing the face of the wards in our federal constituency such that we are witnessing a new dawn.
“We have for too long destroyed our people but now is the time to project out best,” he said.
Adding his voice, the Deputy Chairman, Igboeze North LGA, Mr Ikechukwu Ogbu, said that the decision to support the re-election of Atigwe was borne out of his inclusive style of leadership.