By Dennis Agbo

MAYHEM was averted at Akpuoga-Nike community in Enugu East local government council, Friday, when a faction of the community’s leadership groups wanted to unilaterally take over leadership of the community, contrary to the recommendation of the chairman of the local government, Mr. Alex Ugwu.

The community has been polarized since last year following the members’ its inability to reach compromise on the method of electing town union executive after the expiration of Chief Mike Okolo’s leadership as President General of the community.

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The stalemate led to the Chairman of the Enugu East local government, Ugwu, setting up a committee that recommended resolutions to the contending issues; but the state Commissioner for Rural Development, Mr. Gab Onuzuluike allegedly went and set a caretaker committee for the town union that was unacceptable to a faction of the community.

Fracas almost occurred, yesterday, when the purported caretaker committee wanted to sit in the community to arrogate themselves as leaders of the town union.

An eyewitness who narrated the ordeal to Saturday Vanguard said youths of the community in their numbers revolted against the caretaker members who narrowly escaped being lynched.

In an earlier letter to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, President General of the community whose tenure has expired but has not been democratically replaced, Chief Mike Okolo and his executive members alleged that the commissioner for Rural Development, Onuzuluike, with two prominent sons of the community, one of them a commissioner in the state ministry, were behind the escalation of the leadership crisis in the community.

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In the petition to Governor Ugwuanyi, the Town union said “We appeal that you use your good office to stop the commissioner for Rural Development from inaugurating the purported caretaker committee which he has slated for Monday 13th May 2019. His intention was to hastily inaugurate the purported caretaker committee before the dissolution of the state Executive council.”

All efforts to get the commissioner for Rural Development, Onuzulike’s reaction, proved abortive as his phone number remained switched off up to press time.