A coalition of Egi-Igburu-Usomini-Egbema-Ndoni communities has called for the relocation of the headquarters of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area from Omoku for the safety of the council chairman, and for peace to return to the area.
They made the plea during a protest and ‘Save our Soul’ call on Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, following the continued closure of the council secretariat by irate youth of Omoku, as well as harassment and intimidation of the Chairman, Hon Augustine Ahiamadu.
“Your Excellency, we ask for your permission to allow our council Chairman, Augustine Ahiamadu, to relocate the council secretariat to another community in ONELGA until normalcy, law and order is restored to the council secretariat at Omoku by security agencies,” they stressed.
The group, during the protest on Wednesday to Government House, Port Harcourt, said the crisis engineered by Omoku youth is capable of causing disharmony and spreading seed of bitterness among the clans in the area.
Spokesman of the group, Chief Sunny Ogide, who read their demands, said, ”While youth from other zones respect, honour, and obey council chairmen from Omoku zone, the youth of Omoku neither have regard nor respect for any council chairman from any of the other geopolitical zones that make the LGA”.
For instance, he stated that between 1999 and 2002, a faction of the Omoku youth killed one Chinwe Isaiah (aka Karma), an aide of the then council chairman, Dr. Felix Nwabochi from Igburu zone. The same thing happened between 2008 and 2009 during the tenure of Mr Chris Okey Ochije from Egbema zone.
He argued that Mr Raymond Wokocha from Egbema zone was able to complete his tenure (2010-2013) because of the subsisting ban on youth activities in Omoku.
For him, the tenure of Mr Augustine Ahiamadu, an Egi son is witnessing turmoil because of the deep-seated sentiment and segregation displayed by those from Omoku clan, adding that, “this is the crescendo of the harassment of council chairmen who are not from Omoku by Omoku youth. And this time, not being satisfied with the killing of the aide of Dr. Felix Nwabochi, they now want to kill the council Chairman, Mr Augustine Ahiamadu, directly.”
Ogide, however, thanked the governor for upholding the pride of the Rivers man, and promised that the local government area will be delivered to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 elections.
Responding through the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Mr Fortune Oguru, the state Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, assured the body that government is already aware of the development in the area and was poised to bring the situation under control.
Amaechi noted that “the local government is the closest to the people; we will make sure that it does not stop functioning. I appeal to you that yours will not be a different case”.
He, therefore, urged them to maintain the peace and not take laws into their hands, promising that in the next few days, government will restore order in the area.