A Group of Nkanu Peoples Assembly pays ‘thank you’ visit to Enugu West’s Ifemelumma ahead of Enugu state Guber election.
…It is our wish that the zoning system continues -Igwe Nwobodo
...We know that after Enugu East senatorial zone, it will rotate to Enugu West zone -Sen. Ndu
Chetanne Chinelo, Enugu
Following the conclusion of primary elections of political parties in the state and the emergence of Dr. Peter Mbah from Enugu East senatorial zone as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, the leadership and stakeholders of Nkanu Peoples Assembly, a socio-cultural group spread across the entire six local governments of Enugu East senatorial zone, paid a ‘thank you’ visit, Friday, August 19, to the leadership and members of Ifemelumma Enugu West.
Nkanu Peoples Assembly led by HRH Igwe Abel Nwobodo, at the Enugu home of Sen. Ben-Collins Ndu, a former Senator representing Enugu West senatorial zone and Leader of Ifemelumma Enugu West, thanked the Enugu West group for the huge role they played in ensuring that the tradition of the rotation of the governorship seat in the state was maintained.
Speaking at the event which The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine reports was well attended by the leadership and members of both groups, Igwe Nwobodo recalled how some political actors, in a bid to distort the accepted zoning formula in the state, tried to advocate the idea that candidates for elections should be elected by merit and not by the zoning system, an idea he said was “very wrong because people of merit are in all the zones”.
“We are here to express our very great gratitude to you for maintaining your support for the zoning system by ensuring that the Governorship candidate for Enugu State was nominated from Enugu East Zone during the primary election.
“Some unknowledgeable politicians state strongly that selection of candidates for elections should be by merit and not by the zoning system. This idea is very wrong because people of merit are in all the zones. The Governors who had served from the various zones in the past performed very well and the Governor who is serving now, His Excellency, Dr Ifeanyichukwu Ugwuanyi is performing effectively and positively well. It is our wish that the zoning system continues”.
Assuring members of Ifemelumma of the preparedness of the PDP guber standard-bearer, Mbah, Igwe Nwobodo said “We are also here with you to assure you that Barr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah from Nkanu East Local Government Area in Enugu East Zone, nominated candidate for the Governorship election, is a very truthful, dependable, trusted and capable personality.
“We humbly and earnestly appeal to you to complete your good job by your contribution to ensure the success of Barr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah in the Governorship election in 2023”, Igwe Nwobodo stated.
Igwe Abel Nwobodo noted that “Nkanu People’s Assembly is not a political organization. Nkanu People’s Assembly will support any good candidate from the right zone from any political party”.
Another member of the Assembly, HRH Igwe Julius Nnaji who is also the Chairman, Enugu East Traditional Rulers Council, prayed that the understanding between the Assembly and Ifemelumma would continue to progress, assuring that the PDP Candidate, Peter Mbah, is prepared to lead the state. He also asked the group to ensure that the candidate sweeps a majority of the votes during the election.
Continuing, the Secretary General, Nkanu Peoples Assembly, Prof. Osita Ogbu, while presenting gift items on behalf of the Assembly to Ifemelumma Enugu West, traced the idea of Federal Character Principle to the government of Murtala Mohammed. He stated that zoning which is premised on the Federal Character Principle was formally introduced into the 1979 constitution and has remained a part of successive Nigerian constitutions.
“Zoning has constitutional validation. Ifemelumma stood by the truth despite the fact that an influential person from your zone was running for Governor.
“Nkanu has produced a great son in Peter Mbah, whose intellectual height is intimidating and we can assure you that under his watch, Enugu will experience a disruptive approach to governance”, Ogbu said.
Welcoming and appreciating members of Nkanu Peoples Assembly for the visit which he described as great, the Leader of Ifemelumma Enugu West, Sen. Ben-Collins Ndu, recounted threats to his life and inducements to back off the idea of upholding zoning which he said he had to reject.
His words: “I decided, after the meeting of Odinma Nsukka, that Enugu West must stand behind the zoning agreement. Members of Ifemelumma Enugu West took risks. Our rally was judged the best in the state. Our rally had 98% attendance.
“It was our son who wanted to truncate the zoning but we insisted on rotation. We are saying to you that we believe in the zoning agreement and we have agreed that it is the turn of Enugu East senatorial zone. We know that after Enugu East senatorial zone, it will rotate to us Enugu West senatorial zone.
“I appreciate Enugu East for having the agreement to produce a candidate. What you have done today is great. By remembering to come to us and say thank you, we are promising you that we will support you and the PDP Guber candidate. Enugu West is formidable and we will do everything possible to support you people. On behalf of Ifemelumma Enugu West, we will not fail, God willing”.
Ndu also formally handed over the minutes of the PDP state caucus meeting where zoning was affirmed, to the Chairman of Nkanu Peoples Assembly and advised the Assembly to remain united, avoiding sabotage and double standard.
Delivering the vote of thanks, the Secretary-General of Ifemelumma Enugu West, Dr. Eric Oluedo assured that Enugu West senatorial zone would massively vote for the PDP Guber candidate, Barr. Peter Mbah.
Other Traditional Rulers who were members of the Assembly’s entourage were HRH Eze Barr Igwesi O. Igwesi, HRH Igwe E.U Onukwube, HRH Igwe Greg Ugwu, HRH Igwe H.A Edeani, HRH Igwe Engr Okey Obodo, HRH Igwe Dr Nomeh and Igwe Okeke Arum.
Stakeholders of Nkanu Peoples Assembly in attendance were Dr. G.O.C Ajah, Hon. Nwabueze Ugwu, Rt. Hon. U.S.A Igwesi, Amb. Dr. Kingsley Ebenyi, Rt. Hon. Paul Nnajiofor, Hon Anayo Edeh and Dr. Sam Ogbu Nwobodo,
Others were Dr. Emeka Igwesi, Chief Godwin Nwatu, Hon Mrs Helen Eze, Chief Osita Ogene, Hon Rita Mbah, Barr Mrs Mercy Okafor, Barr Steve Avah and Hon. Cornelius Ugwu.
Also present were Hon. Mathew Ayogu, Hon. Mathias Aneke, Chief Jack Nwatu, Chidi Nnona, Sir Chris Mbah, Engr. Onyeabor, among others.
Ifemelumma Enugu West had in attendance Hon Luke Mamelu, Prince Tony Nwoye, Dr. Charles Uzendu, Hon. Uguru O Uguru, and Dame Ugochi Madueke.
Others were Hon. Mrs Uche Eze, Hon. Joe Ani, Barr Uche Agu, Nze Eric Oluedo, among others.
The Executive Chairman of Nkanu East, Hon. Sydney Edeh and his Ezeagu counterpart, Hon. Chukwudi were also in attendance.
Recall that prior to the governorship primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party, the party that has held sway in the state since 1999, there were arguments by some quarters that the governorship position of the state wasn’t subject to zoning.
As the debates raged on, the leadership of Ifemelumma Enugu West held a rally to throw their full weight behind, and ensure the upholding of zoning. They would later go on, during a press briefing on March 15, 2022, to provide the minutes of a meeting of the state caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party, held at the Governor’s lodge, Enugu, on July 7, 2013, where the party had agreed to the zoning of the governorship seat.
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