By Hon FraBen Agwu

The lndigineous People of Nkanu in Enugu East Senatorial Zone, Enugu State otherwise called Umuodes are the founder of the territory today sub divided into 6( six) local government areas, 8 (eight) State Assembly Constituency, 3(three) Federal Constituency and Senatorial District.

At the Local government level, there are the following positions : Six Chairmen, Six deputy Chairmen , 6(six) secretaries, 5(five) Supervisory Councillors per local government, about 77(Seventy Seven) Councillors from Seventy seven wards, 3(three) Special Advisers per local government and plethorea of Special and Executive Assistants.

The Local government have several markets and stores built and allocated to the members of the Local Government, Recruitments are carried out at the local government Council, Contracts are awarded and fertilizers are purchased and distributed, recruitment into Federal government parliative employment is equally carried out at the Local government level besides some loan grants for small scale businesses.

But it is saddening to note that the Umuodes despite their over 60 percent of the population is almost entirely excluded from being involved in the local government governance nor enjoyment of devidend of democracy like the various Umuamadi Groupings.

For instance, of the Six local government Chairmen none is from Umuode extraction, they have only one Deputy Chairman out of the Six Deputy Chairmen, none of the Odenigbo is a Secretary to the Local Government, of the Thirty Supervisors there are only five, as for the Councillorship positions, only Seven out of the Seventy seven Councillors, as for the 24 (Twenty Four) SPA’s none is from Umuodes, of the number of the other none statutory posts, their numbers is very negligible.

Also of the Eight House Assembly members only one is an Odenigbo while the House of Reps and the Senators are none Odenigbos.

Even at the State level only one person is a Commissioner out of about 7(Seven ) Commissioners appointed by the State Governor. They are equally excluded from the SPA’s appointed by the State Governor.

Under the former Government of H.E Sullivan Chime, of the 45 Board Members only five were Odenigbo with none being Chairman of any Board, the situation is not different now.

It is important to note that each of these elected Parliamentarian have official Support Staff, it is of note that only Hon Nnolim Nnaji has one Odenigbo as his support staff. The rest has none from Odenigbo extraction.

Under the Chimaroke Administation about 23 Billion naira statutory Monthly allocation came to the local government without any subtantive Local government Chairman from Odenigbo extraction serving during his tenure, the situation also continued under the subsequent State Governments. The farcade of Sam Ejiofor as SPA in charge of Local Government was just a decoy as he is almost power less, always used rather as the fall guy, simply because he is Odenigbo.

The desire to highlight these few state and local government sponsored policy of discrimination and segregation against the Aborigines of Nkanu got inflamed in me in view of the level of hypocrisy most people of Enugu East Senatorial District is displaying while discussing the prospect of an Nkanu Governor come 2023.

Infact, as a Proud Odenigbo, l am not ephazed by such prospect because it can only bring more catastrophy to the Odenigbos who will not even be accorded the condonation of H.E.Chimaroke Nnammani to allow some Odenigbos access at the corridor of power.

As l reflect on the frenzy and general acceptance of the BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT in America, l weep for my people of Odenigbo extraction who in all Honesty l believe their lives also matter but are dying unsong.

The other depressing thing about their condition is that even their land are being grabbed through dubious government allocations and acquisitions and through the back door allocated to the members of the Umuamadi Groupings.

Even in the appointment of the Customary Court members, in several panels they are not even members talkless of being President except in case of Akwuke Community. So even the ownership of their ancestral homes are systematically put to question as if their is a deliberate plot to make them homeless as was the failed text book case of Oruku and Umode.

As much disturbing is also the complicity of the Church in the Marginalization of the Umuodes in even church Leadership. A good case was the case of Amechi Uwani Community during the Rev. Father Amadi reign when he appointed some Odenigbos to prominent positions in the Church Council. The act led to open assualt on the Reverent Father who was beaten to pulp by some umuAmadi racists and he was hospitalized. So even in Churches the Odenigbos are still excluded from Leadership positions.

Of note too is the fact that even where the Odenigbos got elected to the lgweship of their Community that the local government leadership undermines their recognition and the state Government has looked the other way. This act has greatly undermined the grassroot mobilization of the Odenigbos and it is very unfortunate.

PLEA: l use this platform therefore to plead with the Governor of Enugu State to articulate a policy aimed at ending this act of racism against the people of Odenigbo. Put them in your shoes and share in their anguish. Imagine how deprived their children are, their wives unable to have shops nor access fertilizers for their far. That is what Leadership demands to make history

There is no achievement regarding who ones biological father is. It is simply God’s own imposition and it is enough for any one to take pride in the fact that God said one is his child.

Nkanu Statesmen, Leaders of Thought, Local Government Chairmen, House of Assembly men and National Assembly members and His Excellency RT.Hon. lfeanyi Ugwuayi, kindly do justice to these your Igbo brethren and build a better Nkanu Society, and a more egaritarian Enugu State.

By FraBen Agwu; JP.

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