- Enugu residents have protested over alleged embezzlement of over N5 million development fund in Oduma-Achara community in Aninri local government area of the state
- The protesters accused the town union president general of conniving with his executives and their traditional ruler to embezzle the money
- Livinus Mba, the youth leader of the community, explained that the protest was a warning to the leaders for them to return the money immediately
The people of Oduma-Achara community in Aninri local government area of Enugu state have appealed to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to intervene in the allegation of over N5 million development fund that is tearing the community apart.
Legit.ng regional reporter in Enugu, Ikpechukwu Chinedu, reports that they made the call during a peaceful protest across major roads in the area where they alleged that their town union president general, Pius Ani, had connived with his executives and their traditional ruler to embezzle the money.
It was gathered that the fund in contention, was first tranche of N10 million which the Ugwuanyi administration is giving to every autonomous community in the state through the Visit Every Community (VEC) initiative to fund their choice projects.
The youth leader of the community, Livinus Mba, explained that they had conducted the protest as a warning to the leaders for them to return the money immediately, adding that any further delay would attract a direct and more determined protest to the state governor at the government house.
While accusing Ani and the Igwe of high-handedness, insincerity and corruption, among others, the youth leader alleged that the leaders had always misappropriated funds that were given to the community by government and donour agencies in the past, pointing out that they had embezzled N10 million and N5 million respectively in the past.
He said: “It is because of their continued misappropriation of community funds that they banned us from holding youth meeting so we would not ask questions or checkmate their activities. But enough is enough.
“We want the governor to know that the money that he had given our community with good motive, had fallen into wrong hands and since dissolved into their pockets. Let the governor use his good offices to smoke out the money from them.
“We are tired of our Igwe and the PG, let the government help us to replace them, they are both corrupt, self-centered and conniving against our community."
He said part of their grouse and reason for demanding for the sack of the accused leaders is also that both of them do not reside within the community but rather, in Enugu and Asaba respectively.
The youth leader’s positions were corroborated by several other speakers who unanimously called for the removal of the traditional ruler and PG, respectively.
It was gathered that while the traditional ruler allegedly resides in Enugu capital city, the PG on the other hand, is said to be living in Asaba, Delta state.
A woman leader in one of the villages, Felicia Ashi, also bemoaned the development. She confirmed to journalists that there was general agreement that the money would be used to grade their roads.
She said: “I was surprised to see our men doing the road with shovels, diggers and hoes, afterwards. I think the money has been embezzled by our leaders, and we need government’s intervention over the matter.
"The only thing that will bring peace is for those holding the money to bring it out and use it to develop our community."
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An octogenarian in the community, Chief Matthew Okoye, told journalists that the people were not happy with the community leaders.
According to him, "the truth is that this community is not happy with our leaders. There are several allegations of embezzlement, lies and insincerity levelled against them which they need to clear."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that following his landslide victory at the March 9 governorship election, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state, expressed gratitude to God and thanked the people of the state for their overwhelming support in renewing his mandate.
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