ByÂ Anayo Okoli
Umuahia – Hundred of youths from Isikwuato Local Government Area of Abia state, yesterday stormed the Abia State House of Assembly, to protest the continued use of appointed transition chairman to run the council. The youths said they want an elected chairman to handle the affairs of the council.
Isikwuato is the only council out of the 17 councils in the state that has transition chairman in charge. The election held in the council in January 2008, was cancelled by the ABSIEC, the state electoral commission. Since then appointed transition chairmen have been in charge.
Mr. Ralph Ukoro was appointed, and he served for nine months. He was replaced by Mr. Okechukwu Osuoha, who served for about six months, and Mr. Lawrence Owanta is about to be confirmed by the House of Assembly.
The youths, under the aegis of Isikwuato Youths Association for Justice and Equity (IYAJE), accused the state government of oppressing the people of Isikwuato. They however, called on the state electoral commission to conduct the election in the area so as to usher in democracy in the area.
According to the youths, the problem of the council should be blamed on the chairman of ABSEIEC, Prof. Steven Emejuaiwe, who they accused of deliberately cancelling an election that they claimed was free and fair. They also demanded the resignation of Emejuaiwe for allegedly â€œmisleading the people of Isikwuato and creating confusion in the councilâ€.
The youths, who stormed the Assembly with placards, alleged the maltreatment of the people and regretted that there is no rule of law in the state. They warned that the people should not be pushed to the wall. They also alleged that the transition chairmen had not performed well.