Prince Ejeh Josh
The Traditional Rulers Council comprising all the traditional rulers from all the autonomous communities in Enugu East Senatorial Zone has thrown its weight behind the governorship aspiration of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah.
The event which drew people from all walks of life across the state on Thursday, was held at the Palace of the Chairman, Enugu East Senatorial Zone’s Traditional Rulers Council, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Julius Nnaji (Odezuluigbo) of Nike Kingdom in Enugu East local government area of the state, also marked the formal presentation of ófó to the governorship candidate symbolizing the endorsement and acceptance of the candidature by the royal fathers.
Speaking in presence of the mammoth crowds, Igwe Nnaji said the gathering was in fulfilment of the traditional rites of endorsement of Mbah’s candidacy because of his wealth of experiences both in the public and private sectors, praying God to grant him victory in the forthcoming elections slated for March next year.
Recalling that the gathering of the traditional rulers in the zone for an endorsement like this wasn’t the first time in history, Igwe Nnaji said they did for former governors Jim Nwobodo and Senator Chimaroke Nnamani who came from the senatorial district.
Igwe Nnaji who further quoted a Bible passage to drive home his message, charged the PDP gubernatorial flagbearer to prioritize the interest of the people of the state when he won, expressing confidence that he would emerge victorious in the elections having been adjudged the most credible candidate in the race.
“We’ll be supporting you and we will not allow anyone to put studs on your path because you’re our son and one of us. We want you to set example for others to emulate you through your landmark achievements in office,” the Chairman of the royal fathers said.
Also corroborating the Chairman’s earlier position, the traditional ruler of Ataku Akegbe-Ugwu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Greg Ugwu went down memory lane and narrated how the journey which culminated in the gathering started over a year ago when the entire Enugu East Senatorial Zone, comprising six local government areas of Enugu East, Nkanu East, Nkanu West, Enugu South, Isi Uzo and Enugu North, converged at Okpara Square through Oganiru Ndi Enugu East Senatorial Zone to request the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to cede power to the senatorial zone in line with the existing zoning template that commenced in 1999.
“Our Chairman has told us why we are here. You’ll recall this journey started long ago when we came to the Governor at Okpara Square and told him to zone the governorship slot to Enugu East zone.
“We the Igwes, as the royal fathers from Enugu East zone, gathered here sometime ago and invited all the 17 governorship aspirants and told you people to support whoever the governor supported as his successor, and we insisted it must be reduced into writing. This peace path was signed by all of you to that effect. Thereafter, we went and showed to the governor the agreement.
“God so kind, it happened that you, Barr. Mbah is the chosen one to represent us. This is why we deemed it necessary to invite you today to pray for you. All the royal fathers in Enugu East zone are here to show you how serious we’re taking this project, and we are pleading with you to remember all the sections of the state including the us. We want you to work more than your soon-to-be predecessor,” the royal father said.
On his part, the Patron of the Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council, His Royal Highness, Igwe Abel Nwobodo, the Awalagu of Umuawalagu, Nara Unateze Kingdom, stressed that Mbah was God’s gift to the people of Enugu State. According to him, the PDP gubernatorial standard bearer was a successful businessman known for his exploits in the global business cycle, saying Mbah didn’t come for what he would benefit from the state but to serve the people with dedication and selflessness.
The ceremony came to its climax when the chairmen of traditional rulers from each local government area in the zone were called upon to present the ófó stick to the oil mogul.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers during the presentation, Igwe Nnaji said he was handling the ófó to Mbah in the name of Nkanuland and its people, praying for his remarkable victory in the elections.
Enjoining him to be governor of all the people of the state, Igwe Nnaji said he had no doubt that Mbah would transform the state and take it to enviable height.
Meanwhile the traditional ruler of Ibagwa-Aka in Nike Kingdom, Igwe Emma Ugwu noted that the presentation of the ófó marked the fulfilment of the rite, adding that the spirit of the royal blue blood had been injected on the governorship candidate for greener pasture and prosperity of the state.
Responding to the presentation and unanimous endorsement of his candidacy by the traditional rulers in the zone, Mbah expressed his gratitude for the support and recognition, promising not to let the state down if elected governor.
“I am humbled by this decision of handling over the ófó to me. The symbolism of this act today is not loss in us. This is not a mere physical insignia but a strong message and social contract between the people and the representative.
“With this act, you are sending me with your strongest voice to go and be your voice in Lion Building.
“If we come to administration, we don’t have people closest to the people as the Igwes and we are guided by the principle of democracy as government if the people, by the people and for the people. We can’t go on this journey without your input. We’ll continue to seek your ageless wisdom. This shows you’re fathers that care for us,” Mbah told lauded the royal fathers.
Recounting the events that preceded his coming to the palace, the governorship hopeful said when the zone visited the governor based on zoning, he assured the people that, he would be guided by the principles of justice, equity and fairness, adding that Governor Ugwuanyi committed everything in the hands of God which manifested in the decision taken by the party during the primary election on the 25th day of May, 2022.
While assuring the people he would not let them down, Mbah reiterated his commitment towards the development of the state through various integrated programmes designed for both youth and women which would provide jobs and engagements, adding he would not let the people down.
“My assurance to you and your revered throne is that I’m not taking this gesture for granted. I will use my last fibre to work to vindicate the trust and confidence you repose on me. I pledge to use my energy and experiences garnered from both the public and private sectors to work for the state as we’ll be growing our economy, tackle the menace of unemployment among youth and women. Our administration will run people-focused governance by partnering with all the stakeholders.
“I want to lay the depth of my gratitude to you just like the way you gave me this ófó,” Mbah said.