Confusion and controversy have now engulfed the election and selection of President General for Mbieri Nwaotuoke Union in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State.
The President General is the Apex leader of Mbieri Nwaotuoke Union, the Socio-Cultural Organization saddled with the responsibility of developments in the Mbieri Clan made of seven autonomous communities namely Umueze-Mbieri, Amaike-Mbieri, Awo-Mbieri, Obi-Mbieri, Ihitte-Mbieri, Obazu-Mbieri and Ezi-Mbieri respectively.
Within one month, the Mbieri Nwaotuoke Union has elected two President Generals in the persons of Deacon Chuma Okwodu elected on February 4, 2020, and Chief Fidelis Akuchie elected on February 29, 2020, with each claiming the authentic mandate.
Investigations by the Evergreen Newspapers and Evergreen News online Media revealed that the election of Deacon Chuma Okwodu was conducted at the Orie Mbieri Center with delegates of both home and abroad on February 4, 2020, where he emerged the winner.
It was also discovered that as soon as the dust of opposition could settle down for Deacon Okwodu to move into business and roll out his developmental plans that another election took place.
According to an eye witness account, the second election scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at Mbieri Renaissance Center could not hold at the said Center because Police and Security operatives cordoned–off the area.
A police officer who pleaded anonymity told our reporters that they were acting on instructions and orders from above, adding that no election was taken place there.
However, the organizers of the election lead by Hon. Chief Martins Iwuajoku and the delegates were found at the palace of HRH Eze Madumere where Chief Fidelis Akuchie was elected as President General.
According to Hon. Martins Iwuajoku who claimed to be a former President General of Mbieri Nwaotuoke Union, the election was taking place because Deacon Okwodu has served out his tenure and he refused to present himself for today’s fresh election.
“In all pleasure, the former President General Chief Kingsley Asini resigned. I did election 2015 and produced the constitution of Mbieri which Chief Justice Ngozi Opara is the returning officer. Of that election then, Chukwuma Okwodu finished the tenure with the constitution of 2015, now he wants to rekindle himself to go back, the residents of Mbieri said no,” he lamented.
In an interview with Deacon Chuma Okwodu, he told our reporters that he was in charge of the Mbieri Nwaotuoke Union from the election conducted on February 4, 2020, which he won.
According to him, “I was first elected on July 1st, 2015, and I was just re-elected for the second time on 4th February 2020.”
He said, “It is natural to have oppositions, Jesus said where two or three are gathered in my name I am there and I say where two or three are gathered there is politics even in the family. The opposition is a good thing, it makes the place vibrant, it makes people want to know more, and it increases attention.”
Deacon Okwodu lamented, “What matters is the collective good of Mbieri that is what we are committed to and that is what we are trying to demonstrate to our people and leadership. The first time we were elected that was when the fight began about two people fighting for name but we were able to hold on to what we love which is calling the community together.”
He wondered what must have come over the people, adding “towards the ending they later came back together and as a matter of fact, we shared power and even asked some of the executives to step down for them which they agreed and stepped down. The people have spoken in the last election, people even came back from far places like Abuja, Lagos, etc. though the election was conducted in such a way that only delegates were allowed to vote the people came to observe and watch how everything was conducted.”
Speaking to reporters at the palace of Eze Madumere, Chief Fidelis Akuchie, the product of Saturday, February 29 election said that his election was authentic with the presence of six out of seven traditional rulers of Mbieri Clan.
“I have been part of the Mbieri Nwaotuoke Union executive before. I was in a smaller position as assistant secretary, but today my people has seen me fit to hold the exalted office of the President General. As an old-timer, I wear the shoe and know where it pinches therefore I know how to address the problems,” he said.
Chief Akuchie who agreed that there is no progress in an atmosphere of rancour and disorderliness said, “I think one of my principal objectives is to find how to unite the team, but don’t be surprised not everybody can accept it but the much I can get can do for the progress of Mbieri Nwaotuoke Union.”
Speaking on the controversial development surrounding the position of President General in Mbieri Clan, the Chairman of Mbieri Traditional Rulers Council and HRH Eze Dr Peter Okoro Said that the Traditional rulers are aware of factions now engulfing the Mbieri Nwaotuoke Union.
He, however, disclosed that the traditional rulers of Mbieri Clan will call a Unity meeting to address the situation.