By Raymond Ozoji, Awka

Youths bearing placards of various inscriptions and chanting what sounded like a war song stormed the House of Assembly complex in Awka yesterday demanding the removal of the newly appointed transition committee chairman of Ihiala local government area, Mr. Kingsley Obi.The apparently disenchanted youths who alleged that the said persona was imposed on the council area by some power blocs, noted that the development might aggravate the already frenzied atmosphere in the area, as they claimed that Ihiala zone was not allowed the latitude to produce the next TC chairman by itself which they concurred would have been a clear evidence of practical democracy which is in agreement with the zoning formula in the area.One of the youths, who spoke with journalists at the entrance gate of the state assembly, said the development didn’t go down well with indigenes of Ihiala which was the remote reason they took their grievances to government for them to be heard and to reverse the situation.The source said, “Ihiala has a zoning agreement. Ihiala zone is to produce the council chairman. Uli-Amorka zone is currently occupying the position of Ihiala constituency one. Okija zone is occupying the position of the Federal House of Representatives seat. Ebonesie zone is currently occupying the position of Ihiala constituency two.“So in the zoning arrangements signed by the traditional rulers and all the presidents-general in Ihiala local government area and have been implemented; it was agreed that each zone would nominate the person that will occupy the position zoned to them. It was clearly spelt out.“But in this case of Ihiala, someone from Uli zone is imposing Kingsley Obi on Ihiala people against the wishes of stakeholders, party members and every indigene of Ihiala and we reject it in its entirety. And that is the essence of this protest.“We are prevailing on government to do the needful. Ihiala currently has security challenges and the decision of government to impose someone on us is already aggravating the tensed situation in Ihiala town. So we urged the House of Assembly speaker to please step down the nominee so that peace can once again return to Ihiala.“He is not a member of APGA. So we are very surprised that he is being nominated to occupy a position meant for APGA faithful. Ihiala town is already boiling. Everybody is unhappy because the essence of the political zoning agreement is to restore peace and allow each zone have a sense of belonging and participate actively politically and otherwise for the peaceful coexistence of our local government.“If government fails to do the needful, this development will further disintegrate the town the more and also affect all the developmental projects being expected in the town.“We are therefore appealing to Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo to look into this particular protest and allow Ihiala zone the opportunity to nominate their son who will represent their interest, that of the people and the government too. We have also written to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly and also copied our representatives.”But in his defence, Mr. Kingsley Obi, who granted a phone interview to our correspondent, said Ihiala was calm and there was no trouble whatsoever regarding his nomination and appointment as the TC chairman of the local government.Obi told our correspondent that he was the most qualified for the job and that his appointment enjoyed the blessings and endorsements of the entire Ihiala.He said: “Those boys who protested are not from Ihiala. They were boys who were playing football around Ekwueme Square and they gathered them, gave them some money and asked them to do that thing. If you look at their faces closely, you will see they are not from Ihiala.“What they are doing is baseless and useless. I am the most qualified; that is why they are ganging up against me. Governor Soludo and the people of Ihiala scrutinised me very well and found me worthy to serve as TC chairman of Ihiala local government area.”

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