Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Uzo-Uwani Professionals in collaboration with Rev. Fr. Paulinus Ogara at the weekend organised a stakeholders/Community Leaders inaugural town hall meeting to discuss the perceived political marginalisation of the Local Government Area.
The professionals said they were worried about the continued domination of the people of Uzo-Uwani by the Igboetiti Local Government Area whom they share common political constituency.
In a speech read by Barrister Obidike Okolo, the professionals lamented that the Uzo-Uwani people have been relegated to the status of political slaves.
“Since 1999 following the constituency delineation exercise, Uzo-Uwani has witnessed political marginalisation and injustice in political representation with specific reference to Igboetiti/Uzo-Uwani Federal Constituency.
“The longer we dilly-dally and seek political correctness, the more the consolidation and impunity will take root.
“We need to, by design, as a people demonstrate resistance to this second class status which Igboetiti wants to impose on us,” he said.
The professionals expressed fear that, if nothing was done urgently, Uzo-Uwani would perpetually remain politically subjugated to the Igboetiti political class.
The group enjoined the people of Uzo-Uwani to look beyond personal interest and unite for a common goal for the benefit of generations unborn.
“As we move towards 2023 elections, I implore Uzo-Uwani people to look beyond personal interest and see a political survival plot that we need to check,” the professionals said.
In his keynote speech, the convener, Rev. Fr. Ogara, said it had become expedient for Uzo-Uwani to look beyond personal interests for the common good of the people.
He said the choice of the theme: “Introspection into the power equation and marginalisation of Uzo-Uwani LGA” was to bring everyone under one roof to discuss the way forward.
According to him, the evidence of marginalisation was very glaring hence it needs the collective ideas of all Uzo-Uwani leaders, elders, professionals and non-professionals to find a common solution.
He said that as a Priest, he considered himself as a leading light in the struggle for the political emancipation and survival of the people of Uzo-Uwani, even at the detriment of his personal safety.
“I believe in this cause because I am from Uzo-Uwani and I will continue to lead this fight until justice is done the people of Uzo-Uwani,” Ogara said.
Speaker after speaker agreed to the fact that the local government was marginalised but called for further meetings and discussions.
The Chairman of Uzo-Uwani Local Government, Hon. Celestine Nnadozie, said the meeting was inevitable but the timing was wrong due to the forthcoming general election.
“This is a good idea but I will advise that everybody should be allowed to go and vote his/her conscience.
“After the selection, we will reconvene to continue the discussions,” he said.