By Vincent Ujumadu
THE alleged diversion of whooping N100 million market revenue generated from Ekwuluobia, the fourth largest commercial town in Anambra State, is causing disquiet in the area, with the traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Emmanuel Onyeneke and his cabinet vowing yesterday to do everything humanly possible to recover the money.
It was gathered that a former president general of the town union single-handedly allocated all the 159 shops owned by Ekwulobia community at Eke Ochie Market and at the Township Stadium to a private firm despite the disapproval of Igwe Onyeneke.
Addressing reporters at Ekwulobia, the Monarch said the firm which benefitted from the allocation had continued to collect and keep the revenue for eight years without rendering an account.
The Monarch said: “This is a great disservice to our dear town, Ekwulobia. Nobody who claims to love Ekwulobia can comfortably hold on to the revenue of the town, strangulating her development and going about peddling all sorts of rumours and falsehood, to divert people’s attention from this huge sum of Ekwulobia money.”
According to him, those involved in the illegal activities have been using the money meant for the entire community to cause trouble and division in the town, using modern communication technology.
He, however, said that in spite of the worrisome situation, the community has been enjoying peace, adding that those holding the area to ransom were in the minority.
The traditional ruler added that the fact the majority of the people were on his side had kept him moving ahead in the face of false and damaging propaganda against his person and his office.
He said further: “Ekwulobia people must not despair. I am inviting all of us, including those in Diaspora, to come home and join hand in building the new Ekwulobia we envisioned.
“Despite the distractions from people who profess to love Ekwulobia, but stoically continue to breed hatred and disunity, I am calling on us to unite because we have no better choice. Because of the shifting demography, technology and attendant cultural dynamism, Ekwulobia people must stay together and decide on how to develop a modem city, project and secure important political positions for the Ekwulobia people, stem the tide of increasing youth restiveness and make a futuristic agenda to rejuvenate our youth.
“These and many more are the real burdens of the palace and indeed the Ekwulobia Traditional Council. To confront these challenges, the palace is willing to partner with every son and daughter of Ekwulobia and indeed all our friends and even our detractors.
“We must make the strategic choice today to position Ekwulobia for the glory of our younger generations.
“I want to assure our people that I am and will continue to be disposed to peace and hope that by the Grace of God, near absolute Peace will be enthroned in Ekwulobia.”