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The struggle for the leadership of Ebonyi state chapter of Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON has begun with rumours and speculations that Governor Martin Elechi has anointed the successor of Mr. Celestine Igberi.
But contrary to the insinuations, Elechi yesterday said that he has not anointed anybody and he had no intension of doing that, describing the rumour as unfortunate.
He denied directing any person to be elected into any position of the association, stressing that he would never forgive any person who bandied his name in the selection of ALGON Chairman and other officers.
He said “If in a close room discussion which is normal way of approaching government issues, to ask about the views, opinions, perception with highly placed persons on certain issues and the next thing you hear is that Governor has directed, I say it is one offence I cannot easily forgive.
“I made it clear that on no account should my name be bandied about in the selection of ALGON chairman and other officers. That ALGON as a body is independent of government and much as government would want fairness and proper balancing, government was not going to arm-twist the chairmen in their selection of whoever would be their principal officers.
“I have not anointed anybody and I have no intension of doing that. Let them based on their own assessment of their colleague decide on who that should be. It is unfortunate that rumours like this go unchecked.
“It was the same that happened to those who were expected to be appointed as Development center coordinators. They were told that it has been sealed, it was a matter of time to appoint them coordinators and when the names were announced, they were not heard. And I said if anybody has promised you, go back and ask him. The same applies to the ALGON group; I did not anoint anybody”, he concluded.
Elechi who cleared the air also threatened to terminate the position of any local government chairmen, Development Center Coordinators and Management Committee members, who were found wanting in the petitions written against them.
He said that he suspended the swearing in of three coordinators in Ohaukwu Local government based on reactions from the various areas they represent, saying that in democracy, it is necessary to carry the people along particularly when there was genuineness in their complaints.
“In the last few years from people’s reactions, the position of coordinator has become more envious than that of council chairmen, in some cases even that of commissioners, because that is the government nearest to the people”.
“I want to remind you that there is a flurry of petitions against some of you. Those petitions are under investigations. If they are found to be genuine, the position would be terminated but if not you will be allowed to continue. It applies to every other Local Coordinators or Management Committee Members”, he threatened.