The governorship bid of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flagbearer, RT. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, has received a major boost as Orlu Elders Council unanimously endorsed his candidature ahead of the March 9th polls.
Speaking to journalists after a consultative meeting with Owerri Elders Council, the leader of the Council, Prof. Francis Dike (SAN), noted that it has become imperative more than ever for the elders of the state to make their position known on the issue of who succeeds Governor Okorocha.
“We have painstakingly followed the process of elections right from primaries of various political parties, as well as assessed the governorship candidates of various political parties and their manifestoes.
We have taken a decision to unanimously back Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives because he has what it takes, in terms of experience, capacity, track record, pedigree to bring about the expected positive change in the state.
“We are also not unaware that he has been endorsed by almost all the relevant and notable bodies and organisations in Owerri Zone but today we want to announce him as the Imo State candidate. Talking about Emeka Ihedioha as Owerri Zone candidate diminishes his greatness. We will issue a communiqué soon by all the zones on his endorsement. All the notable and illustrious sons of Orlu Senatorial zone are here and we have stated in clear terms that we will not support anybody from Orlu zone for the governorship of Imo State this 2019. And we want our people to adhere to that”.
“We have also resolved that we will not accept any of our sons or daughters, be the governor, senator or even president, acting with impunity to destroy our collective votes or cause mayhem. We accordingly advise the people of Imo State to come out en masse to vote and importantly protect your votes. And if anybody fights you, fight him back. Our people are not cowards,” he said.
On the outcome of last Saturday’s election and its attendant issues in Orlu zone, the Council condemned in strong terms the impunity and hijack that characterised the election.
“What happened in Orlu in last Saturday’s election will never be repeated in Imo State again. We want to apologise to the people of Imo State for the embarrassment that Orlu Senatorial zone could be portrayed on national and international media as a place where impunity reigns.”
“We want to commend and congratulate Prof. Innocent Ibeawuchi for his resilience in standing against impunity with all the pressure to go against his conscience. Imo State is proud of Prof. Ibeawuchi.”
Speaking, former Governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa, commended the move by Orlu Elders Council, describing it as “a critical and bold step in the right direction”.
“We are stakeholders and leaders in this state and we are not happy with the way this state has become a theatre for bad news. We have discussed and have decided to come together to help arrest the situation and recover our state.
“We believe, Emeka Ihedioha has the right qualities needed this time to fix the avalanche of problems in this state and restore sanity in the system.”
In his reaction, the PDP governorship candidate said, he was humbled by the endorsement and expressed optimism that Imo State will soon become a centre of good news.
“I am indeed humbled by this endorsement by the notable, respected and critical stakeholders of Orlu zone. These are the wise men in our state and their support, of course, has again spurred my resolve to serve the people of Imo State to bring about the rebuilding of our state. It bleeds my heart that Imo State is in the news again for the wrong reasons, caused by primitive desperation of one man to cling to power at all cost. We are poised to taking back our state and put an end to misgovernance and impunity”.
Hon. Gerald Irona, PDP’s Deputy Governorship candidate, speaking to the press, maintained that “Orlu Elders Council has demonstrated a high level of patriotism and commitment in our quest to liberate and rebuild Imo State.”
He reassured the readiness and passion of Rt. Hon. Ihedioha to serve the state.