The women of Ebenebe Community in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State have protested the dismissal of Mrs. Favour Nworah, their female leader, by the state governor, Chukwuma Soludo, for allegedly endorsing the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in the general elections of 2023.
According to information obtained by SaharaReporters, Governor Soludo fired Nworah in April 2023, just a few months after the 2023 general elections. Nworah had been the community’s women president general of Ebenebe Town Union Women Wing (ETU WW) since April 2019.
Some of the demonstrators claimed that the women’s leader was fired as a result of her appearance in numerous images wearing Labour Party-branded clothing, attending political events, and standing with Obi, the LP’s Awka North member
It was gathered that the removal of Nworah has led to factionalisation of the women union with one faction led by the government-appointed Interim Women Leader, Mrs Josephine Okafor, while supporters of the other faction led by the embattled Nworah have been staging peaceful protest in Ebenebe and Awka, rejecting her removal and demanding her reinstatement.
Speaking on the matter, Nworah admitted to have supported Onwuje during the 2023 State House of Assembly elections “Because he is my husband and always by my side. APGA (All Progressive Grand Alliance) candidate has not called me even once, talk more of coming to me as his woman PG upon I am from the same ward with him. The day he visited Awka North women wing, he met Amansea Woman PG instead of me.”
Nworah however noted that she remains an APGA member and that she worked for APGA and Soludo during the 2021 governorship elections in the state. She added that “I couldn’t sleep because I know what I did for APGA and Soludo. I used my money, my products, my strength and time for my party APGA to make sure Soludo won. I visited all the wards in Awka north to make sure women’s votes count.”
During one of the protests recently staged at Ebenebe, one of the leaders of the protests, Mrs Florence Nnatu, accused some stakeholders of Ebenebe Community including the men wing of leadership of Ebenebe Town Union, of having hands in the crisis rocking the union.
But the President General of Ebenebe Town Union (ETU), Hon. Chukwudi Okonkwo, said his office was not responsible for Nworah’s removal, although he was aware of an appointment of Okafor to act as the Interim Women Leader/Chairperson for the community.
Okonkwo said, “Anambra State government has appointed an Interim Executive led by Mrs Josephine Okafor to lead Ebenebe Town Union Women Wing. I don’t have the power to do it or question the government for taking such steps.
“I learnt that Mrs Okafor was appointed by the ministry after considering various petitions filed against Mrs Nworah by her fellow women. I have some of the petitions copied to me. The government has power to also announce election for the women whenever it deems it necessary.”
However, when contacted on phone for comments, the Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Obinabo said she was not free to comment and ended the call.
Similarly, the state government-appointed Interim Chairperson/Woman Leader of the Town Union Women Wing, Okafor refused to respond to calls made to her phone number.