The Enugu West Traditional Rulers Council, Wednesday said it had exhausted its royal blessings on the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Barr. Peter Mbah ahead of the 2023 general elections, adding that other gubernatorial candidates in the state were on their own.
The monarchs who converged on the palace of the Chairman, Enugu West senatorial zone traditional rulers council, Igwe Godwin Ndubueze Madu of Enugu Achi, Mbaogu Kingdom, Oji River local government area of Enugu State, said their decision to settle for Mbah’s candidacy was informed by his excellent background in the private and public sectors.
The revered royal fathers who came out in large numbers noted that they arrived at their decision to support Mbah after an objective and thorough background assessment and scrutiny of all the governorship candidates, stressing that the PDP gubernatorial standard bearer came out tops as the most qualified.
While giving his welcome address, Igwe Madu said they were glad to receive the PDP gubernatorial flagbearer and his entourage to their senatorial zone, adding that it was the resolve of all the traditional rulers to support Mbah with their people.
Noting that the oil and gas mogul did not lobby to be endorsed by the royal fathers whom he described as people with integrity, honesty and unimpeachable character, Igwe Madu maintained that the ófó presented to him would serve as a divine link between the people and their ancestors, affirming that the people of the zone had accepted his candidature with satisfaction.
The traditional ruler who further reiterated confidence that Enugu State would be safe in Mbah’s hands, went further to say that the entrepreneur had been tested and trusted, and found worthy with an endearing and assuring antecedent having worked as a Chief of Staff, Commissioner of Finance and Development, before going back to the private sector to continue with his exploits.
“Peter Mbah has a rich antecedent. He worked as a Chief of Staff, Commissioner of Finance, and went back to his business ~ Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd – which be climbed to be at the zenith of the industry. So, we are settling for him not because he is a member of the PDP. We are apolitical as traditional rulers. If Mbah belongs to another political party, we could have still supported him.
“After our thorough assessment of all the candidates vying for the office of governor in Enugu State, we decided as a matter of facts and objectivity to settle for Dr. Peter Mbah. He is the best and most outstanding among all the candidates.
“Today, all our blessings have been exhausted on Peter Mbah. There’s no more room for other candidates in Enugu State. We will not endorse or give any other candidate our blessings, support or ófó because we have settled for the best of them all,” the first class monarch said.
He extolled the role played by the people of Nkanu for their diligence in ensuring that the best hand emerged from their collective will as candidate.
On his part, the Patron of the Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubu-uzu, addressing the mammoth crowd that graced the event, on behalf of other monarchs said through the ófó staff the people of the zone were promising the PDP governorship flagbearer their support.
“Our people, through this ófó, are promising you their support till the end. This is a symbol of truth, so when we told Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in Enugu that we would support anyone he settled for, and that we were for zoning, that’s the outcome of the decision,” the Patron said.
He warned against anyone scuttling the collective decision of the zone, saying the sacredness of ófó would elevate Mbah to victory in 2023.
Reiterating the positions of earlier speakers, the traditional ruler of Agunese Mmaku Kingdom, Igwe Maduabuchi Nevobasi said they were committed to the project that would lead to the victory of the PDP candidate in the state, praying that the heavy downpour witnessed at the event signified victory for him.
According to him, “You are the only person we are endorsing because you are the only candidate Enugu people know.”
In their separate speeches, the Chairmen of Aninri Traditional Rulers Council, Oji River Traditional Rulers Council, Ezeagu Traditional Rulers Council, Udi Traditional Rulers Council, and Agwu Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe D.O Njoku, Igwe Mbelediogu Ezebena Ugwu, Igwe Francis Okafor, Igwe Justice F.K Ezike (rtd), Igwe Maduabuchi Nevobasi, respectively prayed for Mbah’s victory, saying the ófó staff given to him symbolized their collective resolve to assure him that his mandate was their preferred project.
They further pledged their allegiance and that of their subjects to the project, saying the ófó staff presentation would serve as their vow to work for his victory.
Reacting to the endorsement by the royal fathers, Mbah expressed his gratitude to the people of Enugu West senatorial zone for the uncommon gesture.
Mbah who described the event as beyond symbolic expression to a collective voice of the royal fathers that he had their authority to represent them at the state house promised to partner with them for the growth and development of the state.
“It is with a great sense of humility and honour that I stand before you this afternoon to receive ófó from our revered royal fathers. I am sincerely humbled by your decision to handle over the ófó staff to me. It is quite symbolic, and it’s indeed a symbol of authority, and it’s symbolic in all its manifestations. It transcends a mere physical insignia. It represents a very strong message, and it is a social contract between the people and their representatives.
“By this ófó staff, our spiritual and royal fathers are sending me to the Lion Building come May 29, 2023 to be their voice, to be their anchor, and to be their representative.
“I salute your ageless wisdom for the decision you took today. I salute your revered ancestral offices. As the people of Enugu, we have a very strong affinity with our culture and our ancestors. The people you see, seated in their regal attires are the representatives of our ancestors, and they are the owners of the land. In one strong voice, they have collectively decided to send me to the Lion Building. I want to lay bare my gratitude for the confidence you’re reposing in me,” Mbah said.
According to the entrepreneur who is known globally for his innovative disruption in businesses, if elected in 2023, he would not abandon the task for which he was voted. He pledged to work with the traditional rulers as people closer to the grassroots to speed up development and move the state forward.
According to him, “It’s my belief that the Igwes are closest to the people, and I will partner with them to ensure that required infrastructure and development projects are brought to every community.
“We have a clear plan to make Enugu a preferred destination for investors, and we envision Enugu where our economy will grow seven folds. We will do this through integrated development programmes and integrated rural development blueprint.”
Re-echoing his commitment to the sustenance of the existing peace in the state, Mbah stated that the first strategic governance objective is peace and security, saying sustainable development would not be possible with peace and security. He stressed that he would make sure the state continued to enjoy peace and security through accelerated development agenda meant to engage the youth and make them useful to the society.
Recounting the event that took place on the 7th day of August 2021 through the Ifemmeluma rally held in Enugu West when the arguments on zoning were raging, Mbah who is widely rated as the front runner in the governorship race in the state, said the people of Enugu West decided to speak in one voice by insisting that the right thing be done through the principle of equity, justice and fairness emblazoned in zoning.
Mbah who described himself as a product of equity, justice and fairness promised that his administration would be guided by the principles, adding that democratic dividends would be distributed equitably.
He enjoined the traditional rulers not to rest on their oars but to continue to prevail on their wards and subjects to make use of the opportunity the PDP has afforded by voting the right candidate with the experiences to transform the state.
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