Gideon Arinze in Enugu
Youths from Eha-Ulo Ward in Eha-Alumona, one of the communities in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, yesterday held a protest to demand the restoration of the mandate they gave to one of their sons, Mr. Iloabuchi Agbowo, during the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) councillorship primaries.
The youths marched through the community yesterday, carrying placards that had such inscriptions as “PDP allow votes to count,” “Ilo is the people’s choice,” “justice for one is justice for all;” “21 votes vs. 8 votes, justice for Ilo;” “Eha-Ulo ward spoke and it was loud and clear.”
Addressing newsmen during the protest, one of the youth leaders in the community, Mr. Ozoemena Felix, said that Agbowo won the election that was held on January 7 with a total of 21 votes against Nelson Duhu, his closest rival who got 8 votes.
Felix, however, said that some members of the community went and reported that Agbowo was still an executive of the party and that he should be substituted with Duhu who came second in the election.
He explained that contrary to the report, Agbowo had resigned on July 15 to be able to contest for the election, adding that he even presented his resignation letter.
“While other candidates who had similar issues were cleared, Agbowo’s was not cleared and they are telling us that there is an order that Duhu’s name should not be removed again.
“We want to know who is responsible so that Agbowo’s mandate will be restored because he clearly won the election which was a reflection of the people’s choice,” he explained.
Also speaking during the protest, one of the elders of the community, Mr. Emmanuel Madu, said that the fact that the youths are protesting the substitution of Agbowo as winner of the ward election showed how much they want him to lead them.
“We want the government to take decisive action on the matter and ensure that it is resolved. All we want is for them to restore the mandate of Agbowo whom the people love,” he said.
Another community member who spoke to newsmen, Ms. Ngozi Ossai, said that the decision to leave out Agbowo who clearly won the election could cause chaos.
“Our children are not happy and the entire community is not happy because they had gone out that day to cast their votes for someone they wanted in power,” she said, adding that efforts must be made to ensure that democracy prevailed.
The youths appealed to the Enugu State Governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and the state leadership of the PDP to intervene in order to restore the mandate of Agbowo for the sustenance of true democracy in the Eha-ulo ward.