By AFAM Echi
The women of Umuoba Uratta in Owerri North local government Tuesday demonstrated against an alleged imposition of people as their leaders without their consent by a traditional ruler who they claim is imposing himself on the people.
The Umuoba Women Association carried the protest at the inauguration of the Community Based Target Team (CBTT) in their community which took place at the venue of the event, Umuoba Community Primary School.
The women clad in their black attire carried placards voicing their objections to the interference in their leadership without their consent. Some of the placards read, ”don’t we have a right to choose our leaders by ourselves, our rights are trampled upon, why?, we are saying No to this latest development in Oboche, why do we have rebels in our midst” among others.
In their contention, the President of the group, Lady Unegbu Doris claimed that they are never in support of the event because they were not consulted before certain women were handpicked to represent their interest.
According to her words, ”what criteria was used in choosing the leaders without informing us? Why are they imposing people upon us? They have indirectly dissolved our leadership. We want to go to government to state our case”. The Lady bemoaned the leadership crises that have engulfed the association and the community generally since the past 12 years before the intervention of the youth group brought them together again.
Another woman, Mrs. Martina Njoku, strongly frowned and condemned the attitude of ”ignoring us and imposing people on us against our knowledge and consent. Is that right, what do they take us for, she queried. She stated emphatically that the people are representing the interest of those who handpicked them.
Earlier, the Traditional Prime Minister of Obibi Uratta Autonomous Community Hon Nze Emma Evans Ukwuoma had addressed the women stating that the inauguration had nothing to do with their leadership or organization.
In his words, ”today’s event is not a problem to Umuoba women. Umuoba women have no problem; nobody is destroying your structure and organization.”
Continuing, he said that, ”the women are agitating based on a misconception along the line that their leadership, their structure, Umuoba Women’s Meeting, are being dissolved. Again some people in the community are trying to mislead them. Yesterday, someone called them to come and collect palliatives only to instruct them to spoil the meeting. The women’s case will be addressed later in full.”
Later Eze Amobi Uwaleke came up to inaugurate the group amidst confusion and controversy. The CBTT, the TPM stated is at the instance of the government which is being implemented by the officials of the local government.
At the side line, a prominent community leader who chose to remain anonymous threw light on the women protest arguing that it originated from the imposition of the Eze Uwaleke on the community by himself against the wishes of the people and without government recognition. He stated that because he is not recognized by the community he chooses people that will serve his interest in government business thus he did not involve the women group.