Ordinarily, the presentation of the official cars to public officers who by virtue of their official position merit such in Nigeria is a mere formality, but not same with the controversies trailing that of Etche Local Government council of Rivers State.
A curious scenario is playing out exactly a month after the Chairman of the local government area, Hon. Obinna Elvis Anyanwu, presented three (3) official cars to his three principal officers.
This was with Hon. Uche Ken Ndukwu, the Vice Chairperson of the Council who had ‘”gladly” received her red Toyota Camry Saloon car with all the car particulars, ‘rejecting’ it, claiming that the car was refurbished and not in good condition and therefore, beneath her status.
The unfolding drama has sent tongues wagging in the Council area and in the local media, especially, with the manner adopted by Ndukwu to reject the car about a month after she collected it.
Our Correspondent learnt that she angrily drove the car straight to the office of the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in Okehi, the headquarters of the local government and handed over the key and other accompanying particulars of car to him, asking the police officer to return the vehicle to her immediate boss.
She later explained that she took that action because “the car presented to me by virtue of my office as the Vice Chairperson was not only refurbished, but in an unmotorable condition. All attempts to reach my Chairman for over a month to complain to him about my observations about the car proved abortive. He refused to pick my calls, reply my text messages and we have not been having cordial official working relationship for quite some time”.
Explaining further, she said,”I deliberately handed over the car to the DPO with appropriate documentations so that it could officially be returned to the Chairman because I am avoiding a situation where if I parked it at the council premises, it could later be said to be missing because when the car was presented to me, photos were taken”.
On his path the Chief of Staff to the Council Chairman, Promise Nwankwo, alleged the Mrs Uche Ken Ndukwe was only acting a script drawn by her political godfather to destabilize the Council leadership under the Chairmanship of Obi Elvis Anyanwu.
“The problem is not about the car. The car presented to her is the newest and in the best condition more than any other cars in the council”.
It was learnt that when the Council Chairman got information that his Vice had rejected her official car and handed it over to the Police DPO, he sarcastically commended her for” donating her official car to the Police to enable them fight crimes in the Council area”.