By Douglas Okoro
Abakaliki, Dec. 23, 2022
Ebonyi youths, under the platform of Izzi Nnodo Youth Forum (INYF), have adopted Chief Edward Nkwegu, the Labour Party (LP) gubernatorial candidate for the 2023 governorship election as its sole candidate.
Chief Maurice Mbam, the chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the forum, made this known on Friday in Abakaliki during a news briefing.
Mbam said that the decision to adopt the LP governorship candidate was reached at a meeting attended by leaders and stakeholders of the youth organisation, including Mr Edward Nwenu, pioneer president of the forum, and Mr Mike Nwambam, immediate past president.
Also present at the meeting was Chief Peter Oyon, the chairman of the elders’ council, among others.
According to Mbam, the decision to back Nkwegu is due to his outstanding leadership qualities, entrepreneurial prowess and humanitarian dispositions.
The forum noted that after it assessed the other candidates from the other political parties, the LP candidate possessed the qualities required to deliver good governance.
The group, therefore, appealed to the electorate to make wise choices in 2023 to liberate the state from the shackles of maladministration, tyranny and bad governance through their votes.
The forum also harped on the need for power balance and equity, stressing that it was the turn of Izzi people in Ebonyi North senatorial zone to produce the next governor of Ebonyi.
Mbam said that the BoT members reviewed the political developments, especially in the area of security and resolved to mobilise Ebonyi youths against political hooliganism, brigandage and thuggery.
The forum appealed to the Gov. Dave Umahi-led government of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to allow a level playing field for all political parties in the state to compete as that ‘is the hallmark of democracy.’
The forum, while rejecting the candidature of Mr. Francis Nwifuru of the APC, called for the support of the other zones to enable the emergence of the LP candidate as the next governor of the state.
“We assessed the candidates from Izzi extraction, including Mr. Francis Nwiifuru of the ruling APC, and we found that the LP candidate was outstanding in all the indices we used for the assessment,” Mbam said.
The forum, which called for power shift, said that Izzi people supported Dr Sam Egwu, the first civilian governor from Ohaukwu Local Government Area in 1999 and 2003.
“We equally supported him to actualise his senatorial ambition, which led to his victory for two consecutive terms.
“We remind our brothers from the Ebonyi Central Senatorial zone to give us their support to produce the next governor as we supported their brother, Chief Martin Elechi, to emerge in 2003 and 2007 respectively.
“We equally call on our brothers from the Ebonyi South Senatorial zone to remember that the youth forum first declared to shift power to Ebonyi South in 2015 which led to the emergence of Chief Dave Umahi as governor for two terms.
“We hereby adopt Dr Edward Nkwegu, the LP gubernatorial candidate as our consensus candidate for the 2023 governorship election in Ebonyi.
“This is in line with equity, fairness and justice.
“We hereby call on all the sons and daughters of the Izzi Nnodo, both home and in diaspora, to join hands to support the candidature of Edward Nkwegu,” he added.
The forum recalled that in 2015 and 2019, Nkwegu contested the governorship but was not supported by the Izzi people due to their belief in equity, fairness and justice despite his contributions to human capital development.