Omuma Local Government Area is a blooming community, which occupies a tiny dot in the map of the oil rich Rivers State in southern Nigeria. Its people are governed from Eberi its headquarters, where decisions bothering on governance are made.
It is from this Local Government of less than 300,000 communal dwellers that such a shameful and obvious electoral misconduct came into view. It occurred in Ofeh, Ward six where the Chairman, Hon. Christian Chisorom Nwaiwu championed the illegal exercise.
This piece examines the actions taken by the chairman of Omuma LGA, where a lady won a Councillorship election and the husband was sworn in. The Chairman, who seemed to be adamant in his unlawful decision publicly justified his action before the Ofeh people.
A credible, free and fair Councillorship election was held in the LGA on the 16th day of June 2018 whereby Miss Kelechi Victoria of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) emerged the winner. She was consequently declared winner of the violent-free election.
Surprisingly, the acclaimed winner of the election, Miss Kelechi Victoria was denied her mandate and refused to be sworn in. Mr. Eberechi Nathan Chibuike was rather sworn-in by the Chairman of Omuma LGA and the Leader of the Local Government Legislative Assembly, Hon. Ifey Onyemachi and began to act as the elected Councillor of Ofeh Ward six, in Omuma LGA.
Investigation revealed that the ill-fated Miss Kelechi Victoria was a girl friend to Mr Eberechi Nathan, the House Committee chairman for Transportation within the LGA. and later became his wife.
Miss Kelechi Victoria, who died in active service under a mysterious circumstance associated with child birth on 6th of March 2020 was recognised by the Rivers State Executive Council as the authentic candidate who won the Councillorship election by a clear-cut margin in 2019.
Till date, Mr Eberechi Nathan Chibuike, who neither participated in any election nor pass through the electoral process to be elected by the electorate as required by law still represents Ward six at Omuma Legislative Assembly having been sworn-in. He is currently performing the functions of a dead elected councillor, Miss Kelechi Victoria.
More intriguing is the fact that Mr Eberechi Nathan Chibuike is still attending the Assembly and getting salaries and other allowances in the name of a dead elected Councillor, Miss Kelechi Victoria. This is misleading to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the good people of Omuma, Rivers State and the general public.
There is convolution in the executive chairman’s cohort as Prince Ogbonna, one of his senior aides spits fire, threatening to deal ruthlessly with anyone who is discovered to have leaked their secret plans.
The Chairman, Hon Christian Chisorom Nwaiwu constrained his village people in Umuechere to incorporate Mr Nathan Eberechi into the community Almanac/Calendar of Year 2020, which contains the names of who is who in Rivers State.
As soon as Miss Kelechi Victoria died, the chairman of Omuma LGA, quickly wrote a confidential letter to the governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike, informed him that he lost one of his councillors from Ward six, Ofeh. He confidently told some of his aides that he had closed up every loophole that would possibly lead to unveiling the illegality. His Excellency, Nyesom Wike is believed to be unaware of the gross electoral misconduct that played out in Omuma Local Government Area.
Comrade Stanley Iroanya who is the present Chairman of Ofeh People Assembly has refused to say anything as regards the electoral fraud. The Ofeh People Association is the highest social-cultural organisation in Ofeh land whose duties include regulating the excesses of political office holders. To the surprise of everyone they have not called the chairman to order with a view to retracing his steps.