By Alex Enebeli
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Tuesday, inaugurated a committee on the creation of autonomous communities in the state, chaired by Prof. Felix Asogwa.
Inaugurating the committee, Ugwuanyi said that the decision, which had the approval of the State Executive Council (EXCO), was in response to the recurring demands from towns and villages across the state.
Ugwuanyi disclosed that the committee’s terms of reference are “to consider requests for creation of autonomous committees as well as to establish the genuineness of such requests.”
This, include having regard to all circumstances related thereto, including viability, cultural affinity, peace and security of the areas concerned; and to make recommendations to the state government.
Other terms of reference for the committee, according to the governor, were “to consider and review Traditional Rulership issues as they relate to appointment, selection, or election in the proposed autonomous communities.
“To consider any other matters, make findings and recommendations that are reasonably incidental to the attainment of the objectives.”
The governor said that Dr Eric Oluedo, MrAnayo Enechukwu, Prof. Ngozi Ejionueme, Prof. Sam Ugwu, Prof. Ikenna Omeje and Mrs. Josephine Onyia as members of the committee, while Mrs Josephine sOnyia would serve as the secretary.
Ugwuanyi described members of the committee as distinguished intellectuals and seasoned technocrats with enviable track records of experience, character, capacity and competency.
He said: “The government and the good people of Enugu State repose so much trust in you and you represent our best chance of getting this project right.”
Congratulating them on their selection for the landmark assignment, the governor further said their decisions would be used by the state government.
“I therefore urge you to hit the ground running as the outcome of your assignment, guided by the eligibility criteria, shall be employed by the state government.
”This is in addressing the yearnings of our people before the end of this administration,” he said.
The governor, however, enjoined communities desirous of getting autonomy to avail themselves of the opportunity presented by the formation of the committee.
“In the course of time, Enugu State Government has been inundated with requests for creation of new autonomous communities from all nooks and crannies of the state.
“This has continued unabated, regardless of our past efforts in approving new autonomous communities in some compelling circumstances.
“The right of kindred units/villages to seek community autonomy is an inalienable one.
”The autonomous community plays pivotal role as first-level administrative division as well as nucleus for development and security service provision,” the governor said. (NAN)