By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
As the election of Oba Patriotic Union, OPU draws nearer, a group under the aegis of Oba Global Initiative, OGI, has called on the people of Oba in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State to respect and abide by the constitution of the town, particularly the zoning arrangement entrenched in it.
Addressing newsmen at Nelly’s Newton Hotel, Oba, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, Oba Global Initiative, Dr. Obiora Anyaoku noted the election was billed to hold on the 31st of December, 2023, stating that no one should interfere or tamper with the candidate selection processes in the Zones. He added that Zones should have a free hand to select their preferred candidates for the offices zoned to them by the OPU Constitution.
OGI condemned all attempts by certain individuals, groups, and agencies to nominate or sponsor independent candidates to compete with candidates who were democratically chosen by their Zones while insisting that the spirit and letter of the OPU Constitution do not envisage independent candidates therefore, the prerogative of the Zones to select their preferred candidates through a democratic process and in accordance with the OPU Constitution should be respected.
“The OGI recognizes that in accordance with the OPU Constitution, offices are zoned to zones and not to individuals. Therefore, the zones reserve full prerogative to select one of their own to serve the tenure zoned to it without interference from persons or groups outside the Zones.
“The OGI is of the candid opinion that Section 20.3(a) of the OPU Constitution which states that a candidate for election to an office shall obtain a nomination form and be nominated by two members from two financially up-to-date Umunna refers to the Umunna within the Zone to which an office has been zoned. In other words, the two members who may nominate a candidate must come from two financially up-to-date Umunna within the Zone and not from any Umunna outside the Zone”, he said.
The OGI members called on the indigenes of Oba, especially the Interim Town Union Government, ITUG and all other groups to give unfettered support and cooperation to the OPU Executive Electoral Committee in order to ensure a peaceful and successful election, even as they urged the security, governmental and non-governmental agencies assigned to the OPU election to handle their election duties professionally and impartially in order to ensure a seamless exercise.
The group urged the OPU Executive Electoral Committee and the Returning Officer to conduct a transparent, free and fair OPU election whose outcome would reflect the will of a majority of the people of Oba so as to avoid rancor and restore normalcy in the administration of the town .
They implored all individuals, groups and agencies connected either directly or indirectly with the upcoming OPU election to adhere strictly to the rules and laid down guidelines and be mindful of the fact that any attempt to rig or manipulate the election could lead to breakdown of law and order in Oba.
“We hereby call on all well-meaning people of Oba to resist and thwart any attempt to truncate the December 31st, 2023 OPU election.
For his part, a cabinet Chief and a former President General of Oba Community, Chief Ifeatu Uzowulu stated that anyone saying that the Regent was delaying the enthronement of a traditional ruler was engaging in a cheap blackmail.
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