How Timely Intervention Of Police Commissioner Forestalled Violence In Obodogwugwu youth Election In Delta State.
... As Youths Threaten Showdown With Elders Should Proposed Youth Election Be Manipulated
By: Patrick Ochei
Credit has been given to the Commissioner of Police,Delta State Command,Mr. Zanna Ibrahim for his timely intervention in the foreseeable violence that would have erupted from the Saturday 21st Obodogwugwu Youth Election in Okpanam,Oshimili North LGA of Delta State.Preparations had already been made to commence election at the Ogbe-Owele Town Hall without resolving issues of electoral marginalization, disenfranchisement and manipulation raised by a section of the village against the Obodogwugwu Independent Electoral Committee.
However,the CP's team arrived right on time and put a hold to the election after addressing all parties and with a view to looking into the violence prone issues raised by some aggrieved elders and youths against the ruling elders.Meanwhile,in a peaceful protest around Obodogwugwu village,led by the acclaimed more popular Chairmanship aspirant,Mr. Medua Okonkwo a.k.a JJ,the youths threatened showdown with elders who were bent on imposing their anointed candidate in order to continue to perpetually cover their ass.
The aggrieved youths through their leaders,Messrs Medua Okonkwo and Awele Sawyer,aspirants for Chairman and Secretary respectively,allegedly accused the Electoral Committee members - Azuka Nzemeke (Chairman), Ifeanyi Obanya (Secretary) and Chinedu Nwakaji (Member) of conniving with the elders to screen them out of the process with the intention of imposing their preferred unpopular candidate They affirmed that the Committee refused to sign their application forms,irrespective of the fact that they were not ex-convicts and had even gone ahead to ask the court to stop the election if they were not cleared;but the Committee wanted to disregard the Court proceedings on the matter.
Mr. Awele Sawyer specifically alleged that the masterminds and instigators of the crisis in Obodogwugwu were Elders Ogbueshi P.K Obanya, Barr. Morrison Dunkwu, Ikechukwu Osordi, Innocent Uchibuolu and others, who he said were using divide and rule to forment trouble, because they had refused to account for their over 40 years of sitting on the progress of Obodogwugwu as leaders.In an interview with one of the elders that signed the petition which the CP acted on, Ogbueshi George Mordi,he said that the ruling elders of Obodogwugwu have failed in their leadership and have lost the confidence of the people.
According to him,there is division in Obodogwugwu,but instead of putting the house in order,the elders were busy interfering in youth elections."I am not in support of the injustice by the elders, because I don't want a repeat of what happened in 2004 where the crisis then led to a death and several houses being destroyed.They should stop this impositions and allow the youths to go to the field and elect their more popular leaders through a free, fair and credible election",he said.Another elder who chested out in support of JJ,Chief Ogbueshi Chukwujindu Igbeko stressed that he wanted Obodogwugwu to progress,but the manner of elders leading them were just selfish and greedy. He said that Medua Okonkwo was being intimidated because of the truth that would come out from the leadership system,adding that elders do not have business with youth elections and therefore should withdraw their interest in the process.
Perhaps,every attempt to speak with the Okpanam Youth President,Comrade Friday Okonkwo proved abortive.He earlier answered his call,promising to call back with details of the matter on ground,but neither called nor picked his calls again.Same with the Ugoani of Okpanam,HRH Michael Mbanefo Ogbolu, as all efforts made to reach him on phone were to no avail.It could be verifiably reported here that on noticing the alleged sinister motive of the Obodogwugwu Independent Electoral Committee,Messrs Medua Okonkwo, Awele Sawyer,Ojei Chukwuedo,Terry Sneenz and Adimabua Okocha instructed their lawyer (S. Kelechi Nnadi & Co.Legal Practitioners and Notary Public) to petition the Commissioner of Police on "Nepotism,Corruption and Flagrant Abuse of Office by Chairman and Members of Obodogwugwu Independent Electoral Committee (OIEC) Likely to Cause Terrorism,Breach of Peace and Communal Crisis in Obodogwugwu, Okpanam:Appeal for Your Urgent Intervention",which was dated 21st September,2017.
Furthermore,in an apparent fear that the OIEC would go ahead with the youth election and thereby endanger lives and properties in Obodogwugwu,some of the elders avast to the injustice being perpetrated by the ruling elders in the community,wrote another petition to the CP through the same lawyer,S. Kelechi Nnadi and Co.on the 20th of October, 2017.The petition was titled: "Looming Security Breach,Criminal Conspiracy Likely to Cause Violence/Communal Crisis and Desperate Plans to Truncate the Course of Justice: Urgent Appeal for Your Intervention",signed by the lawyer on behalf of Diokpa Sir J.C. Sawyer,Diokpa Isah Francis,Ogbueshi Onokwai Oli, Ogbueshi Nwabunwanne Okolie, Ogbueshi Major Azubuogu (Rtd.), Ogbueshi George Mordi and Elder P.E. Okonkwo.