By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Tonycollins Nwabunwanne, has refuted, as unfounded, the allegations and false alarm being purportedly peddled by a self-acclaimed monarch who claimed to be protecting the interest of the non-indigenes in the State.
Recall that a report had recently started trending on the media space, where one Amos Nkwuda, who claimed to be the traditional ruler of non-indigenes in Anambra State, under the banner of Anambra State Non-indigenes in Anambra State (ANIAS), was calling on the Ebonyi State Governor, Francis Nwaifuru, to intervene over what he described as victimization and discrimination being meted out to them by the Governor Chukwuma Soludo-led government of Anambra State.
The self-acclaimed monarch, in the contentious report, also accused Anambra State government of blaming and profiling the indigenes of Ebonyi State, whom he said the government accused of being responsible for that about 70 per cent of social vices, public misconduct and crimes perpetrated in Anambra State.
However, speaking in an interview with this reporter, Izunna Okafor, while reacting to the allegations and alarm raised in the report against the Anambra State government, the State’s Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Nwabunwanne, vehemently refuted them as unfounded, in every sense of it.
To start with, the Commissioner categorically stated that there is nothing traditional ruler of non-indigenes in Anambra State, and that such a position has never existed in the history of the state before; hence implying that the self-acclaimed monarch, Nkwuda was nothing but an imposter and fame craver who seeks cheap popularity by attempting to blackmail the government of Anambra State.
Furthermore, the Commissioner emphatically denied the claims of marginalization and discrimination against indigenes of Ebonyi State residing in Anambra, as was alleged by Nkwuda.
He countered the assertions with compelling instances of Governor Soludo’s inclusive governance approach.
Specifically, Nwabunwanne referenced the recent recruitment of teachers and health workers in Anambra State, both of which were explicitly open to applicants from any part of the country who resident in the state. He stressed that the recruitment exercises were not restricted solely to Ndị Anambra, but open to all, including the Ebonyians, whom Nkwuda claimed were being discriminated.
Another pivotal example presented by the Commissioner was the One Youth Two Skills empowerment scheme, which welcomed the participation of all youths, including those who are non-indigenes resident in the state. This, he said, served as another powerful testament to Governor Soludo’s commitment to providing opportunities without discrimination based on place of origin.
Commissioner Nwabunwanne further underscored that there has never been any welfare scheme, opportunity, program, or initiative implemented by the Governor that exclusively benefited Ndị Anambra to the detriment of others, contrary to the claims made by Mr. Nkwuda.
On the issue of alleged profiling of Ebonyi indigenes as criminal elements in Anambra, the Commissioner clarified that the Governor has no control over who is arrested as a criminal element in the state, as it falls under the purview of security agencies, who also also make public the identities of those arrested and treats everyone accordingly, irrespective of their tribe or state of origin.
“So why should anyone blame the governor on that? The security agencies are simply doing their work,” Nwabunwanne wondered.
While commending Governor Soludo as a non-discriminatory leader who consistently demonstrates his commitment to the welfare and inclusion of everyone, regardless of their state of origin, tribe, or ethnicity; the Commissioner further hinted that there has been a very smooth working relationship between the Governor and his Ebonyi State counterpart, which, he said, is another crystal proof that Nkwuda’s allegations is a mere manifestation of ignorance.
Commissioner Nwabunwanne further urged the public to disregard the accusations and false alarms propagated by the imposter, as they hold no water or credibility in the face of the Governor’s track record of stewardship in the state in the last 18 months and still counting.