Presidency: Peter Obi not an Igbo candidate but Ndigbo solidly behind him – South-East monarchs

Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has the support of the entire people of the South East, the region’s monarchs said on Thursday.


Eze Ogbunechendo of Ezema Olo Kingdom, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, who is the Chairman of Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, and Chairman of South East Council of Traditional Rulers, stated this on their behalf when Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, paid the monarchs a courtesy visit in Enugu.


Igwe Agubuzu said in his speech made available to TheNiche that the traditional rulers can vouch for Obi’s demonstrated excellent track records, innate humility, self-evident honesty and integrity, love for the downtrodden, doggedness in the face of daunting challenges among others.


He noted that the people of the South East were embarrassed by the rumour that they did not support Obi’s candidacy, stating that the Igbo people were in fact “happy and indeed part of the acclaim and jubilation with which the generality of Nigerians received the electrifying news of your choice and nomination as the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.”


The monarch added, “It is, therefore, incumbent on us traditional rulers who are closest to our people in our respective domains, kingdoms and communities to speak for our voiceless subjects in the discharge of our inherent and manifest responsibility as our customs and traditions demand.


“Consequently, we seize the opportunity of this unique occasion to inform all Nigerians and friends of Nigeria across Africa and the world that while Mr Peter Obi is NOT an Igbo candidate he has the preponderant home base support of the people of the South East Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria to vie for the exulted Office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


“We appeal to every Nigerian to consider Mr Peter Obi on his personal merits as a bona fide Nigerian. We also appeal to every Nigerian to consider every other presidential candidate as who he or she is and not on the basis of his or her tribe, religion or ethnic group.


“We urge Nigerians to show love for Nigeria by following the example of the 21st century voters all over the world who have shun themselves of primordial sentiments and elected candidates capable of eliminating poverty, corruption, unemployment, injustice, and above all insecurity in their countries.


“Let me conclude by stating quite clearly that while as traditional rulers we do not participate in politics, we nevertheless have the inalienable duty to advice our subjects to vote for their preferred candidates irrespective of the political parties they belong to and even after the other candidates may have given them money. That will eventually eliminate the evil of the so-called “vote-buying” syndrome.


Igwe Agubuzu, KSM, OON, CFR, served as Nigeria’s Ambassador and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Nigeria in Washington, as well as High Commissioner to the Republic of Zambia with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Malawi.


The 80-year-old monarch also served as the Organisation of African Unity’s Assistant Secretary-General in charge of Finance and Coordination, and was once Commissioner for Local Government, Rural Development and Chieftaincy Matters in the old Anambra State.


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