A non-governmental organisation, Recover Nigeria Project (RNP), on Wednesday shut down parts of Awka, the Anambra State Capital in protest, over the non-conduct of local government elections by the state government.
The group handed the state governor, Willie Obiano, five months ultimatum to commence the process for the conduct of the election or face other legal action.
Convener of the group, Mr Osita Obi, who led a procession of about 50 tipper lorries from Awka South Local Government Secretariat, Amawbia to the government house, and terminating at the Anambra State House of Assembly said the non-conduct of local government polls in the state since the inception of the Obiano administration, over six years ago was retarding the development at the grassroots.
“If elections are held in the local government areas, it will create jobs, reduce insecurity and serve as a breeding ground for good politicians.
“All the local government areas are today being run by appointees of the governor for years, but may I seize this opportunity to tell the appointees that they will account to Anambra people for every single Kobo that accrued to them.
“We will not rest until the right thing is done. The governor must also hear this, if he is the one taking the allocation of the council areas, he must be reminded that he must pay for it because we must hold him accountable.”
The group also had in its procession members of the Association of Councillors of Anambra State, whose leaders, Mr Victor Nnoriam stated that since they left office over eight years ago, they were yet to receive their severance allowances, leading to the death and illness of most of their members.
The protesters who caused traffic gridlock in the city carried placards bearing several inscriptions, urging Governor Obiano to quickly conduct local government elections in the state.
Meanwhile, the state commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C.Don Adinuba had in a press statement alerted of the protest, insisting that the protesters were being financed by politicians to destabilize Obiano’s government.
Adinuba urged people of the state to disregard the protest, saying that it was a distraction to the government. He added that there was a pending court action that would not permit the state government to conduct council polls and that everyone was aware of it.