Traditional rulers and the business communities in Enugu North Senatorial zone of Enugu State have thrown their weights on the senatorial and governorship ambitions of the state governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and Barristers Peter Mbah-Ifeanyi Ossai respectively, who emerged the People’s Democratic party (PDP) candidates for 2023, saying they have the capacity to serve the people in their respective elective positions.
The groups expressed their readiness to support the trio in an interactive session with the members of Odinma Nsukka, a body with aggregate interest of Nsukka people on Tuesday at Nsukka.
The traditional rulers, led by Barr. Raphael S. N. Eze, said they were impressed with Ugwuanyi’s achievements in the areas of physical infrastructure and human capacity building through appointments, employment and skills acquisition.
The royal fathers who expressed optimism on the victory of the Party’s candidates in the poll, prayed for harmonious working relationship between the deputy governor designate, their son, Ifeanyi Ossai and Barr. Mbah when elected.
Also, the members of the business Communities in the zone, comprising ALIED business group, Nsukka Amalgamated Traders Association (NATA), Nsukka Zonal Amalgamated Traders Association (NZATA), National Union of Road Transport Workers (N. U. R. T. W.), Tricycle (Keke) and Okada Riders Associations; said that they had never had it so good in their businesses than in administration of governor Ugwuanyi.
According to one of the spokespersons of the groups and chair person of NATA, Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Ozioko, Ugwuanyi opened up businesses in the area through the construction of good network of roads, adding that he had assisted traders with financial and material supports from time to time.
“We do not think that governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has any problem with the business communities in Enugu North zone. He needs not to worry when campaign starts. We will do it ourselves because he has done well to us.
“Before he became governor, the roads leading to the various markets in Nsukka were nothing to write home about and there was virtually low patronage from our potential customers. Those trading on road sides were the worst hit, especially at raining season. Today, the situation is no longer the same and we are happy with him,” she said.
Noting that the power to fully deliver their choice candidates: Ugwuanyi, Mbah and Ossai lies on the possession of Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs), Ozioko requested the Enugu State government to prevail on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to decentralize its registration centers to market places in the state to give traders the opportunity to obtain their PVCs and participate during the elections.
Earlier in his remarks, the chairman of Odinma Nsukka, who is also the House of Representatives candidate of Nsukka- Igbo Eze South Federal Constituency for the 2023 election, Engr. Vitalis Abba, extolled the royal fathers and members of Enugu North business Communities for availing themselves for the interactive session.
The session, he said, was not aimed at campaigning for any person but to enlighten the people on the fallout of the PDP primaries in the state and the orchestrated attacks on governor Ugwuanyi by some individuals in Nsukka, pointing out that since the primaries were held and winners emerged, that there have been criticism, murmur and bad blood among some individuals.
“We could recall that few years ago, we gathered at Nsukka High school on the instance of Odinma Nsukka to lend our voices and support to our son, governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. That event attracted people from political divides in the zone and we used the forum to assure the governor that wherever he says we should go, that we go and whoever he says should be his successor, should receive our full support. But today, some people are singing different songs. Some unleashed war against Ugwuanyi, attacking and criticizing without restraint.
“We have invited you to explain to you what you may have known and what you may not know. That’s to give the true picture of the things that have happened since after the PDP primaries”, he said.
He reminded the people that governor Ugwuanyi is reliable and a true son of the soil that has impacted positively on the people of Enugu State and Nsukka in particular, and canvassed for the massive support to him as well as those he has asked them to support.
The ALGON chairman and chairman of Udenu local government area, Hon. Solomon Izuchukwu Onah, while addressing the groups, said Governor Ugwuanyi has not and will not fail in his state and community services, stressing that so far his performance is overwhelming and needs commendation from the people of Enugu State, especially those from Nsukka extraction.
Barrister Ifeanyi Ossai, the deputy governor designate and global coordinator of Odinma Nsukka, in his remarks, noted that political bickering against Ugwuanyi was the handiwork of his political enemies, ostensibly plotted to rub his name in the mud because he could not dance to their biddings.
“Those who tarnish the image of His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi are those who have never had the interest of Nsukka at heart, and are not happy with the giant strides of his administration.
“We should not be perturbed by the antics of such politicians because they don’t mean well for our people. If Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi should be given a name different from what he answers now, may be, it would have been a different thing. The situation is like, if it is not me, why him.
“I want to assure you that your support to Ugwuanyi, Mbah and myself will yield fruits to our people.
“So, let us concentrate on issues of vital importance and that is on the development plans of Enugu North senatorial zone. We are ready to work together to develop our area, when elected. Disregard rumour peddlers and their falsehood against governor Ugwuanyi,” he said.
The interactive session attracted creams of political stalwarts in the zone, including former Enugu State SSG, Dr. Dan Shere;1 former and current local government chairmen in the zone.