No concurrent Ofo presentation, Enugu monarchs tell guber candidates
Traditional rulers in Enugu East Senatorial district, Enugu State, yesterday, ruled out the possibility of handing out traditional staff of authority – Ofo to more than one person at a time.
They told governorship candidates in the 2023 elections from the area that are pressuring their members to be accorded such recognition that no two persons were entitled to such privilege concurrently.
Over seventy traditional rulers representing the various autonomous communities in Enugu East Senatorial District gathered at the palace of His Royal Highness, Julius Nnaji, last Thursday, and handed the traditional staff of authority to the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Mbah.
The authority symbolises endorsement of anyone’s aspiration and is carried out by the monarchs after proper consultation.
Reacting to alleged pressure on the monarchs to extend the same gesture to other governorship candidates in the area, the traditional rulers said that the earlier presentation meant that they would not endorse any other governorship candidate in the state for next year’s election.
No fewer than five governorship candidates are drawn from the Labour Party (LP), the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) among others are contesting for the state’s number one office from the area.
The Chairman of Traditional Rulers Councils in Enugu East Senatorial District, and the Traditional Ruler of Nike, HRH, Igwe Julius Nnaji, said that the exercise was in line with the promise that they made to support any of the aspirants that emerged as the choice of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, from the senatorial district, stressing that it was devoid of partisanship.
Nnaji told The Guardian that before the governorship primary of the PDP, in May this year, there were 17 aspirants from Enugu East Senatorial District that contested for the ticket of the party, and who all signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to support any of the 17 aspirants that emerge.
Nnaji said: “We had called them here and spoke to them on the need to allow peace to reign and not to allow their ambitions to create a crisis in the zone since all of them were from the same area. They agreed and later came back to us with a memorandum to support of any them that the governor eventually chooses. We were very happy and took that letter to the governor. It was that development that helped to shape the choice of the party.”
Nnaji noted that the symbol of authority was also to guide the candidate, stressing that it was only given to one person whom the monarchs believe possessed the qualities to move the state forward.
Reciprocating the gesture, Mbah said that he would be fair to all segments of the state in his administration should he be voted to power next year.
Mbah said that the staff of authority signified confidence, trust and honour and assured them that he would do all in his power not to disappoint the people of the state if voted to office.