By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—The traditional ruler of Obosi community in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Chidubem Iweka, has summoned all the parties involved in the on-going leadership crisis currently rocking members of KKAWAAPU, the amalgamated tricycle union operators in Anambra State.
The feuding parties, included the trustees and the incumbent leadership of the union in the state on one side and the three principal officers of the union who were purportedly sacked by the trustees on the other side.
Members of the Incorporated Board of Trustees of the union had few months ago, sacked the three principal officers of the union, including the state chairman, Anthony Ogalonye (a.k.a Montee); state secretary, Linus Ufoh and Welfare Officer, Tochukwu Anyaoku, over allegation of embezzlement of the union’s funds to the tune of about N2.45 million.
Although the principal officers were forced out of the office, they refused to stop work as they still go to the field and collect revenues accruable to the union, on the basis that they have an approval paper from the state government, a situation which led to frequent clashes between the two factions.
Igwe Iweka who announced today’s second meeting shortly after his first meeting with them on Monday, expressed optimism that he would find a lasting solution to the crisis and possibly reconcile the two factions.
During last Monday’s first meeting in his palace, Igwe Iweka had urged both parties to submit all necessary documents backing them to the palace legal adviser to enable the legal adviser study them thoroughly, interpret the legal implications and advise him accordingly.
He also assured both parties that he would not take sides in his decision as whatever decision to be taken at the end of the deliberations must be seen to have been done without fear or favour.
KKAWAAPU, the amalgamation of operators of six tricycle unions in the state and by extension, the South East zone, included Keke Napep Owners/Operators Welfare Association of Anambra state, KNOOWAS; Keke Drivers Association of Anambra state, KEDAAS; Autobike Owners Welfare Association Nigeria, AOWAN; All Tricycles Owners/Operators Dealers of Anambra state, ATOODAS; All Tricycles Transporters Association Anambra State, ATTAAS and Public Tricycle Owners/Operators Association of South East, PUTOASE.
Chairman, BoT of KKAWAAPU, Dr. Jimmy Okonkwo and other members of the trustees had sacked the state chairman of KKAWAAPU, Anthony Ogalonye (a.k.a Montee) and replaced him with his Vice, Chief Pat Ezenwa; state secretary, Linus Ufoh and replaced him with his assistant, Innocent Obagha and the Welfare Officer, Tochukwu Anyaoku who is yet to be replaced.
At the Igwe’s palace, while the trustees chairman, Jimmy Okonkwo and newly appointed Ezenwa-led state executive members said they sacked the three principal officers for embezzling their funds to the tune of N600,000, N850,000 and N1 million at various times, which they estimated at a total of N2.45 million, the embattled officers insisted they have state government’s approval letter to remain at work.