Udenu Local Government Zone Vice President Gideon ToChukwu has been accused of misappropriating 1,000 federal government extended special public works job vacancies for local government in ‘Igbo-Eze South in the state.
The niches are among 774,000 public works jobs launched by the federal government and designed to alleviate the lack of employment opportunities in rural areas through the short-term hiring of 1,000 people per local government.
SaharaReporters learned that shortly after the program’s pilot launch in April 2020, more than 200 candidates who registered for the exercise in the LGA Igbo-Eze South were not individuals or residents of the communities.
The program was reportedly riddled with frauds and irregularities with the names of shortlisted candidates who underwent biometric capture infiltrated and manipulated with strange names from another local government.
Igbo-Eze Sud, which has 16 political constituencies, got all 1,000 positions, but Tochukwu, who is also a cousin of Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, reportedly compromised the process by grabbing around 500 positions from members of the his family, friends and political associates to the detriment of the inhabitants of Igbo-Eze Sud.
SaharaReporters concluded that ToChukwu was an emperor in the region who used his relationship with the governor to oppress and intimidate people in the two local government areas.
The president of Igbo-Eze Sud, Peter Andy Omeje, has also reportedly colluded with ToChukwu to replace the names of bona fide local government candidates with their followers from another local government.
Some of the beneficiaries confirmed to SaharaReporters that they were from Udenu and obtained the forms through ToChukwu.
Some of the candidates who filled out and submitted their forms were shocked to see their names replaced with strange names.
The chairman of the Igbo-Eze Sud selection committee, Ubah Onah, also confirmed the infiltration of strange names in the list, saying he was surprised to see beneficiaries from Imilike, Orhum, Orba, Obolllo- Afor, all from Udenu LGA.
Some of the aggrieved candidates lamented the injustice and described it as a robbery in the light of day and an insult to their sensitivity for the Udenu LGA leadership to encroach on southern Igbo-Eze with imitators.
A source, who spoke to SaharaReporters, hinted that they would do everything in their power to force ToChukwu to return the money to the candidates who were cheated.
He said: âI had a meeting with ToChukwu and he reiterated that the president of my local government does not even have the capacity to get a single slot out of the 1000 slots allocated to our local government Igbo-Eze Sud. . He said he had reclaimed slots from Abuja and even the Minister of Labor and Employment and that is where he gave our president.
âSo now that the president of Igbo-Eze has traded ordinary man’s resources to another local government as they arranged with the vice president of Udenu LGA to steal our jobs, they have to pay us back.
“If they can trade and infiltrate the list this way, what will happen to the local government treasury of IGBO-EZE SOUTH LGA in Enugu State?” “
SaharaReporters’ efforts to reach ToChukwu for a reaction were unsuccessful at the time of filing this report as his cell phone could not be reached.
Recall that the Minister of State for Labor and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, had threatened to resign from his post if the recruitment of 774,000 people was hijacked by politicians.