Indigenes of Odigbo community in Odigbo Local Government Areas of Ondo State have kicked against alleged plan to impose a non-indigene as the caretaker chairman of the newly created Odigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA).
The indigenes who took their protest to the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, the Orunja of Odigbo, Oba Rufus Akinrinmade, on Sunday, described the alleged plot as an affront on the community.
The protesters alleged that the Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, had concluded plans to impose a non-indigene as the caretaker chairman of the newly created Odigbo LCDA.
They claimed that they got information that the wife of the governor had nominated Mrs Eucharia Nwabara as the caretaker chairman of the new LCDA.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nwabara is the incumbent Councillor representing Ore Ward in Odigbo Local government before the creation of 33 LCDAs by the administration of Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu.
Addressing the protesters, a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Mayowa Akinfolarin, appealed for calm, urging them to be peaceful.
“We are doing many things to ensure peace. We are appealing to the first lady of Ondo State that we love her and our neighbours.
“We are saying no to anything that can cause trouble in the community. We are peace loving people and law abiding,” Akinfolarin, who is an indigene of the community, said.
A community leader, Mr Femi Olafumiloye, said the action of the wife of the governor could disturb peace in the community.
“How can we start a new LCDA with a non-indigene as the caretaker chairman? It is a passionate plea. She can rescind this decision. We cannot take it, let our people be the chairman,” he added.
Oba Akinrinmade, while addressing the protesters, charged them to allow peace to reign and equally appealed to the first lady not to jeopardise the peace in the community.
The traditional ruler said that Nwabara visited him two weeks ago and promised to support indigene as the caretaker chairman of the LCDA.
Oba Akinrinmade said Nwabara told him she declined the offer when she was nominated and called on his subjects to “take her for her words.”
When contacted, Nwabara said she had lived in Odigbo for over 38 years and had contributed to the development of the community.
“I am a politician. Everything in life is opportunity. I did not know about any protest, I have lived in Odigbo for over 38 years.
“I have helped in community development. I am also hearing this as a rumour,” she said.
Ms Oluwatobilola Fademi, Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Wife of the Governor, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on phone that her boss was not in the country.
Fademi said Mrs Anyanwu-Akeredolu was busy with the ongoing BEMORE Summer Boot Camp in Akure and could not have been involved in the alleged plot.
BEMORE Summer Booth Camp is a yearly pet project of the wife of the governor which had started on Monday in Akure with the wife of the governor monitoring it via zoom.
Fademi said Mrs Anyanwu-Akeredolu was not involved in such politics, moreso she is not in the country.
“We have been in the camp for one week plus, I’m not aware of any plan to impose a non-indigene as the caretaker chairman of the new LCDA.
“Her excellency is not in Nigeria and I know she has been busy monitoring the BEMORE Summer Boot Camp,” she said. (NAN