The Chukwuma Soludo administration has insisted that it will not meddle in the election of the leadership of any community in the state, saying it is only interested in ensuring peace at the grassroots.
In the past few years, many communities in Anambra state have been plunged into leadership crises, a development that have been attributed to the interference of the former Willie Obiano administration in community elections.
TNC Correspondent in Anambra can confirm that over 60 out of the about 181 communities of the state, are in crises today, arising from either traditional rulership or president general tussles.
The fear among the people is that crises may arise in more communities, as Soludo rode on the mantra of continuity to ascend the state helmsman position.
But while speaking in in his office in Awka, after brokering peace between warring factions in Nkwelle-Ezunaka Community in Oyi Council Area, the State Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Hon Tonycollins Nwabunwanne, said the Soludo administration believes the role of government is to monitor the processes of electing community leaders and then present Certificates of Recognition to those who merit them.
According to him, the communities have constitution with which they conduct elections into their town’s leadership, saying the Soludo-led administration will not impose Presidents General or traditional rulers on any community.
Nwabunwanne insisted that it will not be business as usual as the new government is committed to the rule of law and justice.
“The role of government is to monitor and issue Certificates of Recognition where the elected persons have met all necessary conditions as stipulated by the people’s Constitution.
“This time around, the government wants to change the old order of government interfering with community affairs.
“Majority of the crisis ravaging the communities in Anambra can be attributed to political interference.
“We have also observed that most communities in the state do not have elected executives but rather they have caretaker committees imposed on them by government.
“This is the statusquo we have come to change,” Nwabunwanne noted.
The Commissioner warned that any community with leadership crisis will not be able to benefit much from the various developmental initiatives of the state government, as the government would not want to deal with a wrong faction or go against the decisions of the courts.
He therefore advised that communities resolve their communal issues internally as brothers and de-emphasize to a large extent, going to court for litigations.
“As a government, we believe whatever challenge arising should be discussed and amicable solution reached.
“I have heard stories where elections are conducted and community leaders elected, but because some persons have long legs in Awka, they upturn everything and introduce caretaker committees. These things also lead to endless litigations and in the event of that, it becomes difficult for government to deal with anyone because we would not want to be accused of contempt of court.
“Meanwhile, we want to say that such era is gone.
“Government should learn to explore dialogue in resolving communal disputes and not allowing the matters to get to court.
“The Soludo administration is interested in entrenching peace in our communities.
“Yes, I have received complaints how my predecessor had thwarted the will of the people in the election of many community leaders.
“I don’t want to believe that and even if such happened, I want to state that I am committed to the transparency and accountability which the Soludo administration is known for and I will never waiver from the agenda.
“I have a camera in my office and I will set an example with anyone who wants to induce me or my staff with money to do the wrong thing.
“The right things must be done.
“We are comfortable with Mr Governor’s agenda and we are comfortable with our remuneration offered by the governor.
“We are here to serve and we will not derail from our mandate for any form of inducement or gratification.
“We are here to reposition Anambra and we will start from the grassroots, the communities,” the Commissioner concluded.