Friday, 19 June 2015

Anambra LG Boss Denies Kidnapping Butchers, Monetary Extortions

The Chairman of Awka-North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Chief Cosmos Okonkwo has denied an allegation making round some quarters that he was responsible for the disappearance of 2 guards and 16 cows kept in a pen in the slaughter at the popular Amansea cattle market.
Butchers at the cattle market had in a press conference last week accused the council boss of being responsible for disappearance of 2 guards simply identified as Ahmed and Usman and 16 cows.
They equally alleged that their lives were in danger as the chairman was bent on ensuring that business stopped at the cattle market, and called on the Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano to come to their aide.
According to them, Chief Okonkwo recently threatened to close down the market sequel to the butchers’ refusal to pay revenue to his office and their opting to pay straightly to the state government.
The butchers, who spoke through the Chairman of the Amansea Butchers Association, Mr. Christian Nwankwo alleged that the Council boss began to intimidate them since the state government sent in a directive urging all abattoirs in Anambra State to pay tax to the state government instead of the respective council areas where they are sited.

Hear him: “The council chairman came here last week Thursday in a convoy of eight cars, with police men, vigilante and thugs and beat us up. They beat me and my men and also carted away the sum of N18.7million with which we wanted to pay for some cattle being sent to us from the north.

“We had made a report to the police and were told that the chairman will be contacted about it, but on getting to the market today, we found out that some cattle, 16 in number which we had collected on credit since they have stolen the money we intended to buy some with, and which we were going to slaughter for today had been taken.
“The local government chairman came here and took them away, saying that he have not been paying revenue to his office. We are thinking he should be aware that the state government has directed that taxes from abattoirs be paid to the state instead of local government”, Mr. Nwankwo said.
Nwankwo, who had sustained bruises on his face and a swollen mouth from his encounter with the chairman’s security, further alleged that they are aware that a certain individual who owns a private abattoir in the same area was responsible for their travail as he wants the abattoir to be closed down so that his business will flourish.
The Council boss earlier refused to comment on the matter as he cancelled interview he previously booked with journalists at Awka.
However, while our reporter met him at Anambra State Election tribunal at Awka on Wednesday, Chief Cosmos Okonkwo described the allegation as unfounded.
“That allegation is unfounded. An executive Chairman of a Local Government Area cannot extort money from people doing business within the area of his jurisdiction. The man laying such allegations had refused to pay his revenue which is part of our Internally Generated Revenue and we can’t allow him to go that way. They are two doing the business, one paid while the man in question refused”, he said.
According to Okonkwo, Obiano’s government never instructed traders at local government level not to pay revenue to the third tiers of government, even as the decision to collect the revenue from the butchers was a collective agreement reached out by the legislative, judiciary and executive arms of the local government area.

While asked how he is managing the Local Government affairs despite the economic meltdown, he said that IGR was helping them to pay workers salaries and other things including the completion of so many projects at Mgbakwu, Isuaniocha, among other communities in the council



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.