Supporters and loyalists of the Senator representing Enugu West senatorial zone at the National Assembly, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and the Greater Awgu people, comprising Aninri, Oji River, and Awgu local government areas of Enugu State have joined forces with the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, Dr. Peter Mbah, ahead of the 2023 general elections, saying they had settled for Mbah’s candidacy with unswerving finality.
Ekweremadu’s loyalists, including all the stakeholders from Greater Awgu zone who disclosed this on Tuesday in Ugbonabor, Awgu council area, at a well-attended reception organised by the stakeholders across party lines for Mbah, insisted that their decision was borne out of conviction on Mbah’s action plan for the state and his unrivaled experiences in both public and private sectors.
Speaking at the reception, the Member representing Oji River/Awgu/Aninri Federal Constituency at the National Assembly and co-host of the event, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, said the people of Greater Awgu, including all those from Ekweremadu’s structure had decided to entrust their future in Mbah’s hands because of his proven capacity to deliver on his promises to the state, stressing that their large turnout at the event was a demonstration of unity and sense of purpose.
Okechukwu who noted that their mission for Mbah’s candidacy was long settled, further added that the decision to pitch their camp with the ruling party’s governorship candidate had the blessing and approval of their leader and Senator representing the zone, Senator Ekweremadu.
“Our mission is settled. This gathering has the blessings of Ikeoha Ndigbo, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. We felt our promise is our honour. Prior to his travel, Senator Ekweremadu said we should support you, and this is in fulfilment of that promise.
“We are supremely confident that you will deliver Enugu State. We are saying this because we know how you started little and grew to become the greatest in the private sector.
“We the Greater Awgu people have made our position clear on where we are standing; we are standing with Dr. Peter Mbah. We are saying Dr. Peter Mbah should be the pilot of this craft.
“We don’t want conflicting emotions among our people. That is why we said before the campaign proper, let us tell our people where we are,” the ranking lawmaker said.
Describing the mammoth crowd at the reception as field marshals, Okechukwu assured of their resolve to give their maximum support to the PDP gubernatorial flagbearer.
“These are rural politicians. They are the ones to deliver you during the election. They delivered Ekweremadu for 20 years. They delivered me for 12 years. And they delivered Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for 8 years. So, we are not confused here in Greater Awgu. We are with you. Since every politics is local, we also have the experience to deliver. We are confident you will do well as Enugu State governor,” he further maintained.
Responding to the endorsement by the Greater Awgu cultural zone, Mbah expressed delight over the overwhelming support the people have been showing him.
The accomplished entrepreneur who observed that the gathering had the attendance of all the major leaders in the zone, lauded Enugu West for their trust and loyalty in holding steadfast to their promises.
“Today, we have the best of our very best in terms of community mobilisation here with us. This shows the state of our party in Enugu West is intact. Enugu West has people that understand the value of trust and loyalty,” he said.
Mbah who expressed optimism that Ekweremadu would be released in no distant time, commended him for his integrity and for honouring his promise.
“When we were on the journey of the primary election, I had the privilege of interacting with Ikeoha (Ekweremadu). Our discussion then was driven by value and zeal to serve our people. So, we said to ourselves that it wouldn’t matter where the pendulum swung, and true to his words, he called after the primary election and congratulated me. He said for me, it is about service and pledged his support for me. This is character and integrity. Greater Awgu has men of honour. Men whose words can be taken as promissory note to the bank.
“Despite pressure by other political parties, Hon. Toby Okechukwu resisted it because he has value, character and integrity. We have people whom we had similar discussion with but couldn’t keep them.
“What we are witnessing here today, as the party chairman said, is that we feel confident and can go on vacation because of your support. The grassroots and agents of influence we saw today means we don’t even need to come here for campaign.
“That decision you took is a decision that is largely driven by patriotism because you want to be part of that journey of greatness, development and growth,” Mbah noted.
While reiterating his commitment to rework the economy for the benefit of the people, the industrialist promised that he would move Enugu’s economy from $4.4 billion dollars to $30 billion dollars through technology and innovation. According to him, his plan is not to reduce the rate of poverty in Enugu State but to eradicate poverty and achieve zero hunger through food security by making Enugu State the food basket of the country.
He said: “Enugu State is going to be a net exporter of different products. We will grow agriculture to N$10 billion dollars in the next four years. We are going to use technology to drive our economy. Our government is going to be about the people. Our core mission is to deliver a quality and people-focused governance.”
Delivering his vote of thanks, the Chairman of Awgu local government area, Hon. Pedro Okwudiri said the purpose of the reception for Mbah was to show they had all come together to agree in unison that the PDP gubernatorial standard bearer was their sole candidate for the election.
“We are going to queue behind you and support your candidacy in Enugu West senatorial zone. Our promise is that PDP is going to take it during in the forthcoming elections,” the chairman reassured.