Udi community in Enugu State has elected a former Assistant Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Chief Sam Aneke, as the new traditional ruler.
Aneke polled 640 votes on Tuesday to emerge as an unopposed candidate, in an election monitored by the Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters, Chief Charles Egumgbe.
In his acceptance speech, the newly-elected Igwe appreciated the people for finding him worthy of sitting on the traditional throne, and promised to work towards further development of the town.
He said that he would collaborate with the state government and wealthy individuals from Udi town to ensure that youths were empowered economically, through jobs creation.
Aneke lamented that many youths and able-bodied men in the community were largely unemployed, saying he was worried by the development.
“I see the election that brought me as the voice of the people saying one thing. In fact, it is more of endorsement.
“I will ensure that the peace existing in the town is sustained by all means. There should be equity and fair play; I will make sure that everybody enjoys his or her right in this town.
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“One of my priority as the traditional ruler of Udi town is to ensure security of lives and property, which I consider very important,’’ Aneke said.
The retired Customs officer vowed to serve the town wholeheartedly by maintaining peaceful co-existence among the people.
In his remarks, Chief Egumgbe expressed happiness at the understanding and the mature way the town adopted in choosing a traditional ruler through consensus.
Egumgbe said Udi town had set an example for other communities to emulate in electing their traditional rulers and reminded the Igwe-elect of his duties as a chief security officer of his domain.
He gave an assurance that the state government would continue to liaise with traditional rulers to promote peaceful coexistence and also improve the security situation in Enugu State.
President-General of Udi, Mr Chinedu Onyia, said in his remarks that the community adopted consensus in selecting a traditional ruler to avoid the rancour and hatred that trailed the election of community heads.
He said the emergence of Aneke as the Igwe-elect would lessen his burden as president-general.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Aneke emerged as Igwe using the “Open-Secret’’ ballet system (Option-A4) where supporters queued behind their principal.