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2023: Izzi Stakeholders berate traditional rulers over endorsement of sacked Ebonyi Speaker

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By Sunday Elom

Stakeholders of the Izzi clan in Ebonyi State under the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) have berated the traditional rulers of the clan for endorsing the Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ogbonna Nwifuru as the party’s consensus candidate from the clan for governorship position in the 2023 general elections.

The stakeholders in a communique signed by Chief Michael Udenwe, Chief Godwin Nwode and 14 others for and on behalf of critical Stakeholders of Izzi Clan expressed dissatisfaction that while they are still holding meetings to endorse a suitably qualified and generally acceptable candidate, the traditional rulers who had been cautioned to stay away from partisan politics went ahead against the agreement to endorse the two term lawmaker.

The stakeholders who also rejected the endorsed candidate therefore requested the government of Ebonyi state to call the traditional rulers to order before it becomes too late.

A cross section of Izzi clan traditional rulers

The communique reads:

“The attention of the critical stakeholders from Izzi clan of Ebonyi State have been drawn to a purported statement issued by some traditional rulers of Izzi at a courtesy visit to the Director General of EBBC, Chief Timothy Nwachi, on Monday 4th April 2022, endorsing the embattled Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Hon. Ogbonna Nwifuru for the position of Governor of Ebonyi state.

The elders reiterated, “That sequel to the directive of His Excellency, the Governor of Ebonyi state, Engr. David Umahi, that Izzi people should nominate two candidates, which the deliberation is ongoing, involving critical stakeholders drawn from the three local government areas of Izzi clan, to analyze and study the APC gubernatorial aspirants from Izzi clan and make recommendations to His Excellency, the Governor on a generally agreed candidate or candidates.

It said, “That at the meeting of Izzi stakeholders held at the house of our leader, Senator Chris Nwankwo, on Sunday 3rd April 2022, a decision was reached that traditional rulers from Izzi should stay out of politics and shun any call or plans to drag them into partisan or active politics, in any form whatsoever, including endorsing candidates for the upcoming election, as that would distract them from their role as leaders of the various communities in Izzi, and create enmity in the clan.

“That the selected traditional rulers from Izzi clan, against the advice of these critical stakeholders that they should not involve themselves in partisan politics, were allegedly induced to make the purported announcement of endorsing a candidate in a contest where many prominent Izzi sons in the platform of the APC are also vying for the same position, thereby going against the ethics of their traditional functions, equity and fair play.

“That the traditional rulers by their purported endorsement have created a situation capable of causing a breach of the peace in Izzi and Ebonyi State in general, especially at this time of heightened security tension in the country”, it continued.

HRH, Sunday Oketa

The elders further said, that since Izzi stakeholders are still deliberating on the issue to make recommendations to the Governor, it is not only wrong but calamitous for the traditional rulers to endorse a candidate.

“That we wish to remind the traditional rulers that their primary duties are to remain the custodians of the culture and traditions of the people, carter for the welfare and progress of their people, adjudicate on disputes in their communities and to work to secure them, especially at this time when there are incessant communal conflicts in the State, and not to meddle in politics to the detriment of their communities and the entire Izzi clan.

“That we call on the traditional rulers to recant and retract their statement and tender apology to the Izzi people publicly through the media. We call on right thinking and well-meaning Ebonyians to disregard the statement from these traditional rulers, as it is only God and the generality of Ebonyians that can determine who becomes the next governor of Ebonyi state come 2023.

“We request the State Government to call on these traditional rulers to order and direct them not to be involved in politics as any further intervention may result in a breach of the peace among the Izzi people and Ebonyi state in general”, it concluded.

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