The wife of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu and the indigenes of the Odigbo community are on collision course over the appoint of a caretaker chairman for the newly established Odigbo Local Council Development Area, LCDA.
According to sources, the First Lady had allegedly proposed Eucharia Nwamara, the councillor representing Ore Ward, as the new caretaker chairman.
However, this decision has been met with strong opposition from the indigenous people of Odigbo, who said such would never be allowed in their territory.
The residents expressed their vehement objection to the appointment of Nwamara, stating that it is inappropriate for the First Lady to impose a politician of Igbo extraction as the Caretaker Chairman of Odigbo LCDA.
They called for a reconsideration of the appointment, urging the government to prioritise the appointment of a caretaker chairman who is not only familiar with the needs of the community but also respects its cultural values and traditions.
In a gathering held at the palace of the Orunja of Odigbo kingdom, Oba Rufus Adegboyega Akinrinmade, Adebusoye 1, and the Odigbo residents, who voiced their concerns, argued that it would be an aberration for their traditional rulers to take directives from a non-indigene appointed as the Caretaker Chairman of the Council.
A former lawmaker in the House of Representatives, Mayowa Akinfolarin had this to say: “We have this historic antecedent of ensuring peace in our domain. We have told our youth to be peaceful.
“We are doing many things to ensure peace. We are telling the First Lady that we love her and our neighbours. We are saying no to anything that will tamper with the peace of this locality.”
On his part, the organising secretary of Ondo APC, Dr. Tunji Moyero, said: “Our king cannot go to council to take orders from someone who is not from here. If we refuse to fight, our children will fight. Everybody must rise to this.
“We are begging the wife of the governor that if there is anything in that regard, we have no other way, our youth are prepared. We are fighting for what is legitimate.”
A community leader, Femi Olafumiloye, said the action of the First Lady would disturb peace in the community.
“How can we start an LCDA with a total stranger as the first caretaker chairman? It is a passionate plea. She can rescind this decision. We cannot take it. Let our people be the chairman. How can an Igbo woman communicate with us?” He queried.
Oba Akinrinmade advised his subjects to allow peace to reign and also appealed to the First Lady not to jeopardise the peace in the community.
He stated that Nwamara visited him two weeks ago and claimed she was in support of another person emerging as Caretaker Chairman, adding that she told him she declined the offer when she was called.
When contacted, Nwamara said she had lived in Odigbo for over 38 years and had helped to develop the community.
“I am a politician. Everything in life is an opportunity. I did not know about any protest. I have lived in Odigbo for over 35 years. I have helped with community development. I am also hearing rumours.