Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Forum of Labour Party, State House of Assembly candidates, Anambra State has condemned in strong terms ongoing demolition exercise in Awka and other local government areas of Anambra state.
The group also frowned at the suspension of the Traditional Ruler of Neni community, Igwe Damian Ezeani, for conferring a Chieftaincy title on a Serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In a statement signed by the Coordinator, Obinna Okafor, the group described the demolition exercise as barbaric, inhuman and wicked, warning Governor Chukwuma Soludo to stop playing God in order not to plunge the state into anarchy.
It issued 21days ultimatum to government to pay compensation to victims of the exercise, warning that it would encourage them to seek redress in court over failure to compensate.
The group however commended Chairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Dr. Nnaemeka Achebe and lawmaker representing Awka North and South Federal Constituency, Prof Lilian Orogbu for publicly speaking against the barbaric acts.
The statement reads, “On 8th January 2024; the Government of Anambra State, through the office of the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs via a widely circulated letter on media, suspended the Traditional Ruler of Neni community, H.R.H Igwe Damian O. Ezeani, for conferring a Chieftaincy title on a Serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Also on January 16, 2024; there were viral videos on social media of public destruction and burning of goods and wares of some street hawkers in Awka, by men armed with cutlasses and axes, working in the office of Awka Capital Territory Authority.
“We condemn these two actions of the State Government on her citizens, as they are barbaric, inhuman and wicked, and we warn the Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo not to throw our dear State into anarchy with his tyrannic tendencies.
“As much as we are not encouraging the disobedience to existing laws in the State; from our investigations, there was no existing law/code of conduct prohibiting Anambra State Traditional Rulers from conferring Chieftaincy Titles on non-indigenes of their community.
“This was affirmed and validated by the widely circulated letter by the Chairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, H.R.M Igwe Dr. Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe (CFR), a first class Traditional Ruler of repute.
“Furthermore, after a careful study of the Anambra State Land Use Law, there was no clear contravention by the street traders that warranted the trauma, intimidation, humiliation and threat with cutlasses and axes, before destroying and burning their goods and wares.
“However, assuming without conceding that they contravened any law or agreeing with the State Government’s claim that they were constituting nuisance, they could have been removed peacefully; even though, no neighborhood market was constructed by the State Government for proximity for the residents of the area.
“We request that the State Government should pay compensation to those that their goods were destroyed within 21days. Failure to do so, we shall encourage our members that their indigenes or residents in the affected Local Governments to seek redress in court.
“Finally, we commend the chairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, H.R.M Igwe Dr. Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe (CFR) and the House of Representative member representing Awka North and South Federal Constituency, Prof. Oby Lilian Orogbu for publicly speaking against these intimidations and barbaric acts by the Anambra State Government.”