The Awgu South Vanguard for Gburugburu, a pressure group in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State has raised the alarm over the rising tension in the area concerning the emergence of over 20 aspirants for the seat of Awgu South Constituency in the Enugu State House of Assembly come 2019 election.
The alarm was raised at the meeting of the group held at the Aston Villa Hotel, Enugu where it was decided that, except Awgu town that has occupied the seat in the state assembly for the past 28 years, other communities in Awgu south constituency should be given the opportunity to produce a candidate for the seat during next year’s election.
Even the heavy presence of armed security operatives at the venue of the meeting, apparently was an indication of whatever tension (real or imagined) that must have been caused by the development in the Awgu South constituency, a thirty minutes drive from the Enugu metropolis.
During the meeting, leaders of the Youth Vanguard and other stakeholders in the area also expressed concerns over the dominance of Awgu South constituency seat in state legislature by Awgu town for 28 years, a development they claimed, not only having sidetracked the rest of nine other communities but also “lacking fairness, equity and justice,” hence they vowed that it would not be business as usual for the constituency seat in 2019 election.
Daily Trust was informed reliably that Awgu South Constituency is made up of 10 communities namely Awgu Town, Mmaku , Mgbidi, Mgbowo, Obeagu, Ugwueme, Ezere, Nkwe, Nenwenta and Awgunta, although for almost 30 years now, only Awgu Town has produced representatives for the state assembly.
The rest of the nine communities who felt shortchanged have now decided to slug it out and change the statuesque, Daily Trust gathered.
Part of the resolutions of the meeting signed by 96 signatories read, among other things: “Other communities in our constituency are becoming restive as it appears that representing Awgu South Constituency has become the birth right and exclusive preserve of Awgu Town. This is unacceptable. Awgu town alone has been in the House of Assembly for almost 30 years and if this becomes the norm rather than exception, it will take another 200years before it gets to all the communities in Awgu South. This is not the case in Awgu North.”
Some of the signatories to the resolutions include the Chairman/Chief Executive of Toscana Hotel, Chief Francis Obasi, former deputy chairman of Awgu Local Government, Tony Udegbu, Cletus Ohanta, Casmir A. Okeke, Nze Nnanna, Emeka Orji , Fabian Nwafor, Nze Emma N. Orji, Chidi Orjiadachie, among others.
The group further demanded that the Awgu south constituency needed a new and vibrant representative at the State House of Assembly because since the said delineation of Awgu south constituency, “Awgu town has been to the House of Assembly for four times.”
“During the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) era, Mike Egwuonwu (Awgu 1) from Awgu town went to the House and served till the end of the Republic. During the Social Democratic Party (SDP)/National Republican Convention (NRC) days, Hon. Okenze from Awgu town represented our constituency at the House of Assembly and served till the end of that period. Under the present Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the late Emma Maduabu served two terms before his untimely death. He was replaced on compassionate grounds by his in-law, Nelson Uduji who is presently concluding his second tenure in the House of Assembly,” the group said.
According to them, the general mood in the constituency “is that Nelson Uduji has done his best but it is time to give way to fresh ideas and more robust representation.”
Former deputy chairman of Awgu Local Government Area, Tony Udegbu criticized a situation in which a particular community would dominate the Awgu south constituency seat for 28 years even without anything concrete to show for it in terms of attracting physical infrastructure projects for the area.
The Awgu South Youth Vanguard said it has no particular person in mind to replace Uduji, although they insisted that “any person who emerges as our candidate from any of the other communities in the constituency will receive our massive support.”
Chairman of the Vanguard, Chief Onuorah Nwafor said the Vanguard would always stand for equity, fairness and justice in its bid to get whatever is due to the Awgu south constituency.
They, however, endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Deputy President of Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and the Chairman, House Committee on Works, Federal House of Representatives, Rep Toby Okechukwu for continuity in 2019, citing their good performances as the reasons.
But the Youth Vanguard also asked Nigerians to vote out the APC-led federal government in the next general election for poor performance