The Ukwalangwa Council of Elders in Abia State has defended the reason for endorsing Enyinnaya Chima Nwafor, the Young Progressives Party(YPP) gubernatorial candidate as a preferred candidate for the Abia 2023 gubernatorial election ahead of Prof Uche Ikonne of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The leader of the group, Dr Max Nduaguibe in a live radio program in Umuahia on Wednesday affirmed that the decision to endorse the YPP guber candidate was decided by more than 40 members of the Ukwalangwa Council of Elders after a meeting at Owerrinta which the Ngwa clan guber candidates were invited to speak before the Ukwalangwa Council of Elders.
Dr Nduaguibe revealed that Enyinnaya Chima Nwafor did better in the assessment of the Ukwalangwa Council of Elders.
Affirming their position for the choice, Dr Nduaguibe said the state cannot afford to be governed by a proxy, also stating that PDP candidate is not on ground for the campaigns.
In his words: “There’s no candidate from PDP on ground campaigning, so for us it is not a legislative arrangement . How can you vote for an absent candidate, a candidate you don’t know his whereabouts, of course his whereabouts matters, the PDP is trying to govern this state by proxy. The idea is to rule this state by proxy, we saw the damage such an arrangement has done to this country”.
Dr Nduaguibe cited the instance when “late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was sick and a cabal grew up and governed the country”. He also stated that the godfathers of Abia PDP are giving the backing for party members to go ahead and campaign despite the absence of the PDP candidate.
“We have waited for him for more than two months, what else do you want us to do, The election is not going to wait for anybody, so when he is not available, what game do you want to play?
“We are not going to wait for him at Infinito! We are not the party, we are elders of the community, working structures, we don’t have to wait for him, we have looked at them and endorsed one of them and that is where it ends”. Dr Nduaguibe said.
He also recalled how some members of the Ukwalangwa Council of Elders pressured him to endorse, Prof. Ikonne, the PDP gubernatorial candidate which he resisted for a long time on the grounds that the Ukwalangwa Council of Elders needed more time to access before taking the decision.
“They saw that it was impossible for them to convince me and they broke away, form their own, put Acho Nwakama as the head and then endorsed Ikonne”.
“It is their right to support Ikonne because he is a member of their party, and it is their right to endorse anyone, but Ukwalangwa Council of Elders is not partisan”. Dr Nduaguibe added.
Dr Nduaguibe added that the broke out members failed to heed their advice before endorsing any candidate.
Dr Nduaguibe however debunked the rumor that he was financially induced to endorse any candidate.
He said the Ukwalangwa Council of Elders never collected any money from Nwafor for endorsement purposes or sponsoring their meetings. Dr Nduaguibe further adviced for proper investigation from other members of the Ukwalangwa Council of Elders for clarification.
“I didn’t know him( Nwafor) until he appeared at OwerrintaI. I have never set my eyes on him. I have worked with his father, his father is my brother and friend”.
“There’s nothing you can do to induce me, I have a character, people in this place know me not even in this place alone, people in Nigeria know me, I was in a university, a professor of law, I’m not a money person. I left politics because there are certain things I cannot do because I have children growing up.what do I need that money for”? Dr Nduaguibe said.
Dr Nduaguibe also reminded that he has left partisan politics and will not get involved in any kind of political campaign but also not against any member of Ukwalangwa Council of Elders who wants to do so.
He also said the Council is ready to accept and accommodate any member of the group that left to join the ‘splitter group’. He faulted the members of the splitter group for not listening to his advice of not being in a hurry to endorse any candidate.
“What we did was to expel them, we took a resolution but since they are our brothers, they have seen that what we have been telling them, today is right. Those of them that are reasonable, if they come back, we will welcome them”. Dr Nduaguibe said.
Dr Nduaguibe revealed that the Ukwalangwa Council of Elders are made up of people that are up to 60 years old.
Candidreporters.com recalls that Dr Max Nduaguibe, and the leaders of Ukwalangwa Council of Elders in May 2022 commended the delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for voting overwhelmingly for Professor Uche Eleazer Ikonne in the primary election of the party.
In his latest position, Dr Nduaguibe said such commendation was done to applaud the PDP as the first to conduct their guber primary election in the state and never an endorsement by the Ukwalangwa Council of Elders.
Professor Ikonne emerged the gubernatorial candidate for the PDP in Abia state after the primary election held on Wednesday May 25, 2022 at the Umuahia township stadium in Abia state.
Recently, governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State confirmed that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State, Prof Uche Ikonne, is ill.
Mr Ikpeazu made the confirmation in a local radio programme.
The governor, however, said that Prof Ikonne was “recovering gradually and progressively”.
According to him, Prof Ikonne attended some rallies organised by the PDP in Abia, including the 24 November 2022 launch of the party’s state-wide campaign at the Umuahia Township Stadium.