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  • “We will work for you, we will mobilize to double our voting strength” says former council boss, Hon Jacob Abonyi as he pledges support for Mr Peter Mbah on behalf of Umu-Odenigbo support group.

“We will work for you, we will mobilize to double our voting strength” says former council boss, Hon Jacob Abonyi as he pledges support for Mr Peter Mbah on behalf of Umu-Odenigbo support group.

The Umu-Odenigbo Support Group, a body drawn from the six local government areas in Enugu East senatorial district of Enugu State, yesterday in Enugu capital, pledged their commitment to the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flagbearer in the state, Dr. Peter Mbah in the 2023 polls.

This was even as another support group, Friends Initiative, stated their resolve to hit the ground running once the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, lifted the ban on governorship electioneering campaigns in October.

In his opening prayer at the meeting with the Umu-Odenigbo, a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Udeonu Mathias said he honoured the invitation not because he knew Mbah in person but was compelled by the testimonies he had witnessed through his selfless services and philanthropy to the people at the grassroots. He said Mbah’s name was ringing like a bell when he visited some communities to commission some projects sponsored by the gubernatorial candidate.

“I came here not because I knew you before but because I have seen your great works in different communities. Your name kept ringing like a bell when I visited to commission some projects, and I was told you sponsored them,” the priest said.

Enjoining the PDP governorship hopeful to continue to be the voice for the helpless, the weak and the poor, Fr Mathias appealed to the governorship frontrunner to remember them when elected into office in 2023.

Speaking before the large turnout of the supporters, a legal practitioner, Barr. Emeka Agbo said what the group was demanding from Mbah when he won was justice, equity and fairness across the state, adding that the group had resolved to shoulder the mandate as their collective mandate because they trusted in his capacity to deliver on his electoral promises.

We are demanding for justice, equity and fairness when you win,” he stressed.

A former House of Assembly member from Enugu South council area, Hon. Mrs. Theresa Egbo also expressed the group’s confidence in Mbah’s capacity to turn Enugu into a development hub of the Southeast zone, saying Umu-Odenigbo Group would use their huge population to ensure victory for him in 2023.

Egbo who called for an end to politics of discrimination in the state said no governorship candidate had honoured them in the past 31 years like Mbah did by visiting them.

According to her, the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had intervened in the politics of discrimination in Nkanuland, especially in Enugu South local government by ensuring that fairness prevailed, urging the party candidate to continue from where the governor would stop in 2023.

We are pleading with you to end discrimination in the politics of Nkanuland. We want you to treat everyone equal in Nkanuland just like Chimaroke (Nnamani) did. We’ve been discriminated against and we are saddened by the protracted issue in our land. We should be treated as part of the community,” she further said.

Leaning in the same position, the immediate past local government chairman of Isi Uzo, Hon. Jacob Abonyi showered praises on the governor for fulfilling his promise of ensuring equity and justice in the choice of the party’s governorship candidate who emerged from Enugu East senatorial zone in line with the existing zoning template in the state.

Abonyi who lauded the governorship flagbearer for his continued support for the party even before nursing the ambition of vying for governor pledged that the group would double its efforts to attract more votes for him.

We will work for you. We will mobilize to double our voting strength for the simple reason that you honoured us today. Your candidacy has come to stay and you will lead us in 2023. In all your campaign, involve us and we are not going to disappoint you,” the former council boss added.

Also speaking, a former deputy chairman of Nkanu West LGA, Chief John Ogbodo re-echoed the positions of earlier speakers, assuring that maximum support would be given to the oil and gas mogul because of his antecedents in administration and resource management.

“We are declaring our support for you because you are our own. All the six local government areas are well represented here, and we will deliver you. Our traditional rulers here today have assured you of their support, and on this strength, our activities will cut across different fora, wards and polling units mobilisation,” Ogbodo reaffirmed.

Reacting to the cheering supporters, Mbah expressed gratitude at the gesture and promised to work with them to achieve the dreams of the founding fathers of the state, adding that Governor Ugwuanyi had ensured equity, justice and fairness in deciding the choice of his successor.

“I want to assure you that I am a product of the principles of equity, justice and fairness, and I will ensure that these principles will guide us in our decisions.

“You know what happened on the 17th June, 2021 when we converged on Okpara Square in large numbers and pleaded that zoning be sustained and what the governor said. He said that equity, justice and fairness would guide his decision, and he restated this at subsequent events. On the 25th day of May, 2022, these principles were manifested in our emergence. I’m assuring you that the principles will be our operative pillars.

“We will not run a government of discrimination. My assurance to you is that I understand your pain and can identify with it. We will run all-inclusive government based on equality, equity, justice and fairness. Don’t allow yourselves to be used for politics of division by those who have nothing to offer except division. We are all one people in Enugu State.

“The points you raised are clear; there are certain culture and customs or practices bequeathed to us by our forefathers and I know they will be weeping in their graves if they know people are still practicing them in this 21st century. We will do away with obnoxious and primitive practices. You can’t discriminate a people based on their circumstances. When I get there, I will make sure this discrimination will be a thing of the past in Nkanuland,” Mbah assured.

Acknowledging the endorsement, the PDP standard bearer said the implication of the support given to him was that he had received a strong voice to match ahead for the journey to the Lion Building, adding that the people had collectively taken ownership of the project to the Lion Building.

He further assured not to let them down or disappoint their expectations.

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