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Everybody should come together for peace in Ndiowu – Aforka

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Hon. Emeka Aforka is the deputy majority leader in the Anambra state legislature. As a former chairman of Orumba North local government area and an indigene of Ndiowu, it was meet that his views be sought on the brewing crisis over the Ndiowu Town Union executive committee. Aforka had a chat with CHUKWUEMERIE ANYENE during which he addressed burning issues in his community, especially those raised by the Ndiowuprotesterswho stormedAwka, the Anambra state capital earlier this week.

Certain groups of peopleprotested on Monday at the Anambra state Government House and the state House of Assembly in Awka alleging imposition of caretaker committee for long, embezzlement of community project fund, wrongful cancellation of election and refusal to inaugurate those they claimed were elected on December 26, 2019. Can you react to that?

Well, let me thank you very much. Those groups you called ‘certain groups of people’ are miscreants and misguided elements; disgruntled elements who are hired to do the bid of their pay master, Engr ChikeEmenike, who is the cause of the problems bedevilling Ndiowu community leadership. 

In 2015, when his second tenure in office was about to elapse, he refused to conduct an election. He defied all directives from thestate government for him to conduct election in 2015 and, in January 2016, the state government had no option than to disband his expired executive. The documents are there. It was clearly stated that their tenure had expired and, because of failure to conduct election, the government constituted a caretaker committee for the community. That was how a caretaker committee came on board. It was as a result of his high handedness and violation of the constitution of Ndiowu.

Of course, it is very important to know that he went to court against the conduct of election in 2015. The court processes are there. He went to court and the matter is still pending in the court. So, who is to blame? The issue of imposition of caretaker committee couldn’t have come in place. 

Nobody imposed caretaker committee. It was as a result of failure of the then president general, PG, Engr ChikeEmenike, to conduct election in 2015 when it was due. Even if he wants to re-present himself for election, there is no problem, as long as theNdiowu constitution allows that. So, the issue of imposition of caretaker committee was not caused by anybody. I wasn’t the one that caused it. He caused it by failure to conduct election and violating the constitution. And the issue of town union constitution is being challenged in the court. 

The Ekwulobia High Court gave judgment in favour of the constitution Ndiowu has. He went onappeal. So, which constitution is he now trying to claim that he conducted election with in 2019? There was no election held in Ndiowu. A certain group of people gathered and wrote a list and declared themselves winners of an election that never existed. 

The state government cancelled the election after considering the petitions from various quarters and various stakeholders from the community on the ground that there were matters in court capable and that there could be anarchy in the community. In the wisdom of the state government, given the situation, directed they should not haveany election and cancelled the election. The people, out of disobedience, gathered and wrote a list claiming that they won election. You cannot build a house without foundation. It’s just like building a house without foundation. So, it cannot stand. There was no election in 2019. It is very clear; there was no election. 

On the issue of 20million naira community project, Emeka Aforka is not a contractor. I’ve never been a contractor. I wasn’t the town union PG, neither am I the caretaker committee member. I’m not a member of the town union executive. I don’t know how the government gave the contract. I wasn’t part of it. If they have any issue with 20million naira project per community, which they claim is 60million, let them go to the appropriate authorities to challenge this. They should write the state government or go to the EFCC or law enforcement agencies; not linking my name to something I don’t know about. If there is any proof, because I will take them to court to prove how I am involved in such 20million naira or 60million naira project. I will take them to court. They will bring all their proof and prove them in the court of law because I must clear my name.

Mrs Obiageli Nwafor, secretary of Umuada, said that women contributed money to build OrieEbeagwu but you told the governor that the market was funded with the 20million community choose-your-project fund. What is your take on that?

Mrs Obiageli Nwafor is a confused human being. There was never a time I told the governor anything about OrieEbeagwu. I have never discussed it with any human being. I am just hearing it for the first time.

Even Umuada never came to me to discuss the issue of the market.OrieEbeagwu was a place I built VIP toilet when I was a local government chairman. The building is still standing. It’s for them to make use of it. 

How could somebody say I told thegovernor? How could people just gather and come up with baseless lies? What business has thegovernor with OrieEbeagwu. I have not done such thing.

Contrary to Amaechi Okeke’s claim that the 20million community choose-your-project fund was given three times, the caretaker chairman of Ndiowu, Abednego Okoli, said it was only given once. Can you comment, as a member representing OrumbaNorth in the state assembly?

Amaechi said it had been given three times. The records are there with the state government. The records are there with all relevant agencies or authorities. 

If it was given once or twice, the records are there. It’s not something you just manufacture story, figures. That is why I will take them to court because they mentioned Emeka Aforka’s name; that I’m fraudulent and embezzled the money. I will take them to court. They will bring their evidence and proof. 

You see, as the chairman caretaker committee, I should believe him. As the one piloting the affairs of the community, he should know how many times government gave money to Ndiowu community.

They accused you at the legislative house of sending the police to arrest the youths of that community who complained that the caretaker committee was long overdue. Are you having any problem with the said youths?

My brother, police is here in Anambra state. We have state police command; we have the DPO’s; we have zonal commands. You can go there and find any trace where Emeka Aforka wrote a petition against anybody or sending police. Just go and trace. 

As far as I’m concerned, I’m not aware of what they are saying. If anybody commits a crime, the police will arrest the person. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve not taken anybody to the police.

Do you think the protesters are out to tarnish your image, angling for your recall?

Of course, it is a clear evidence that somebody sponsored them to tarnish my image but I want to assure you they cannot do it. I have gotten goodwill from the entire people of OrumbaNorth.

Most of those miscreants are not from Ndiowu community. I saw them. They were hired. Some of them are from Abakiliki and Nsukka. They came here. So, I know them. I know the people that came from Ndiowu. 

Out of a population of 14,000 persons and only about 20 people gathered, how do you talk about tarnishing my image? The community people will speak in due time.

What will you do to end the crises in Ndiowu?

Well, I will continue to preach and pursue peace because that’s the most important thing. I’ve been pleading with all factionsand sections, just to allow peace to reign. As a leader, as a representative of the people, I will call a meeting at the appropriate time and call these parties. I don’t even need to discriminate. Everybody should come together let’s make peace in Ndiowu community.

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