–As Nwankwo, Ogbaga condemned move

By Nwogha Ndubuisi, Abakaliki

Traditional ruler of Nkaleke Echara Autonomous Community and national president Oha Izhi, His Royal Highness, Eze Sunday Nkwegu Oketa Tuesday said the decision to endorse the speaker of the Ebonyi state House of Assembly, Rt Hon Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru as the sole gubernatorial candidate and successor of Engr David Umahi is to reduce tension in the 2023 general election.

This is coming as the governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party,(PDP) Engr Fidelis Nwankwo condemned the action of the traditional rulers who according to him should be non partisan and embrace all parties.

According to Engr Nwankwo,”Traditional rulers are the custodians of traditional Institutions instead of being partisan Politicians who are endorsing a candidate from a particular political party for election”.

“Also Traditional rulers suppose to be faithful father to all, irrespective of your political affiliation”.

He added, “Eze Nwonumara of Amaegu autonomous Community, Eze Akamu Alo of Nkaliki Community and Eze Ogbonnaya Ukwa of Igbeagu Community should know that they have taking a bad step of endorsing a candidate from one political party instead of blessings all their children who are contesting which is part of their primary responsibilities”.

On his part, another Gubernatorial Aspirant from PDP, Mr Sylvester Ogbaga representing Izzi/Abakaliki Federal Constituency said the the Traditional rulers are not the ones to endorse candidate but everything lies in the hand of delegates who will vote during the primary election.

While reacting on phone, Eze Oketa said the endorsement of Chief Ogbonna Nwifuru was to reduce crisis as Izhi people would not like anything that would truncate their opportunity of producing Umahi’s successor.

According to him, “With the rotational system in the state which power suppose to move to Ebonyi north zone and will be our own turn of the Izhi people”.

“Last election there was crisis in some part of Izhi land and we don’t want such again, so, this time, we quickly say ‘no’ that Izhi is one and not divided.

“You could see that our sons and daughters are now trooping out in numbers to purchase form and that’s what we don’t like to avoid skirmish and as elders, we saw that in that last election that houses, motorcycles, and even cars were burnt down and we don’t want to experience such again.

“Now, to avert such occurrence, we have to endorse one candidate and will ensure others work together with him to produce governor of the state.

When asked if there’s consensus from other aspirants, Eze Oketa said the contestants would definitely come together as multiple candidature would introduce division of Izhi people vote if not control on time.

Eze Oketa assured the people of Izhi clan not to be distracted with the insinuation from enemies of Izhi people trying to infuse bad blood among politicians and sons and daughters of the clan as both political parties would be carried along in the plan for the enthronement of the state governor of Izhi extraction.