By Steve Oko
Ten days after defecting from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to Young Progressives Party, YPP, the Chairman of Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, Hon. Ibe Nwoke, was Monday, replaced by his Deputy, Mrs Uloma Nwogu.
Mrs Nwogu was sworn in by Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu at the Executive Council chamber of Government House Umuahia.
Obingwa LGA is Gov. Ikpeazu’s home LGA, and political watchers see the Council boss’ defection to YPP as a blow too hot for the Governor to absorb.
Nwoke is also the candidate of YPP for Obingwa/Osisioma/Ugwunagbo federal consituency seat.
The two-year tenure of the replaced Chairman, Nwoke will be due in December 2022.
Speaking after swearing in the new Council Chairman, Ikpeazu who just returned from a vacation in Turkey with Gov. Nyesom Wike, said he was in receipt of a letter dated May 23, 2022, written by Hon. Nwoke where he resigned his membership of the PDP.
The Governor, therefore, explained that his replacement was in tandem with the Laws guiding the Abia State Local Government system.
Ikpeazu accused the replaced Council boss of breaching the provisions of Section 23, Sub-section 1(f) of the Abia State local Government Law No. 2 of 2006.
According to the Governor, such a breach of the law will not go without consequences.
He said the law made it imperative for a new Chairman to be sworn in to take over the reigns of power at the Obingwa Local Government.
According to him, the event marked a milestone in the development of the Local Government system, noting that his administration is the only one that deemed it wise to conduct council elections for two consecutive times within his tenure.
Meanwhile, Gov. Ikpeazu advised the newly sworn in Chairman to post notable achievements and leave legacies, as her stewardship would open more doors for women in politics and administration.
In her acceptance speech, the new chairman, Mrs Nwogu, thanked the governor for finding her worthy to serve and promised not to disappoint him and the state.
In a swift response, the replaced Council boss expressed surprise at his purported replacement, dismissing it as illegality.
He said he was never impeachment and wondered how a new Chairman could be sworn in without him being removed first through a due process assuming he had commited any impeachable offense.
Nwoke who said he had a subsisting injunction against his removal from office, added that he was already consulting with his lawyers for a legal action while appealing to his supporters and youths in the council to remain calm.
His statement read in part:”I , Hon. Ibe Michael Nwoke have received the news of the swearing in of my Deputy as the new Chairman of Obingwa Local Government Area.
“We already had a court injunction which restrained my impeachment and added that if a removal offense has been committed, the due process must be followed but it is surprising that despite not being impeached, a new Chairman was today sworn in by the State Government.
“We will consult our legal team for further actions. While we urge all our supporters in Obingwa and the entire Abia especially the youths to remain calm as we seek legal redress to this illegality.
“As we all know that we have another mandate to represent the Good people of Obingwa/Osisioma/Ugwunagbo Federal constituency come 2023 so we must be focus on the task ahead”.