Ahead of the 2023 general elections in Enugu State, stakeholders from the Enugu North senatorial zone, otherwise called the Nsukka zone, have reiterated their satisfaction with the decision of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in nominating Dr. Peter Mbah and his running mate, Barr. Ifeanyi Ossai as the party’s governorship candidate and his deputy respectively, saying Mbah’s candidacy was in the interest of the people of the zone and Enugu State in general.
The stakeholders said this on Sunday when a chieftain of the party, Prince Emeka Odo threw a reception for the governorship standard bearer in his Nsukka home.
The Nsukka stakeholders who spoke at the event said Mbah will be given more votes in the senatorial zone than in Enugu East senatorial zone where he hails from, saying they were ready to move to the field once electioneering activities commence next week Wednesday.
In his welcome address, Prince Odo said he was glad that Mbah honoured the invitation despite the short notice.
He said the mammoth crowd from various parts of the zone at the event showed they had adopted him as their sole governorship candidate for the forthcoming election.
“The turnout today shows that when Nsukka zone wants to speak, they speak with one voice. Your candidacy is good for the people of Nsukka senatorial zone and Enugu State in general. Nsukka people know the real thing when they see it. Barrister Peter Mbah is the real thing,” he declared.
Odo who recalled that his friendship with Mbah dated over 20 years, stated that Mbah has a midas touch which saw him turning businesses around, saying such feats were possible because of his capacity, experience and niche.
He said: “I know him (Mbah) very well. As he was building his company to become world class, I was watching from afar. When he says tomorrow is here, I have no doubt about it and about his capabilities.”
Odo, who is the Executive Chairman of the Enugu State Internal Revenue Service, further said Mbah’s running mate, Barr Ifeanyi Ossai, had a humane touch and had always strived to see that the downtrodden were benefits of his empowerment.
Speaking on behalf of the people of Uzo Uwani local government area, a respected Chief Maximus Ukuta and leader of the Adada State movement, Elder Mazy Okwute said the people of Nsukka zone had long given a rousing approval to the candidatures of the duo of Mbah and Ossai, stressing that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State would emerge as the next Enugu senator for Enugu North Senatorial District having performed creditably in the zone to their satisfaction.
“Nsukka has said yes to your candidacy, and we only speak with one voice. Two of you are well educated, and you are going to give us what we want in Enugu State. I hope both of you will make history in the state,” he added.
Speaking on behalf of the people of Igboeze South local government, a business mogul, Engr. James Ajebo gave the assurance of the council’s determination to take the first position in 2023 as against the third position it took in the 2019 general elections. According to him, there were indications that the people would vote massively for the PDP, adding that the appointment of the Director General of Peter Mbah Campaign Organisation who hails from the area would spur them to come out and vote en masse.
He further said they had taken the messages of the 2023 governor hopeful to the people at the grassroots level, saying they’d been explaining the meaning of disruptive innovation and tomorrow is here to mean the redistribution of income, bridging the gap between the rich and the poor.
The PDP Chairman, Enugu North Senatorial District, Nze Mike Onyeze who spoke for Igboeze North council area said Governor Ugwuanyi had transformed the zone through his massive infrastructure and support for the people which had culminated into a healthy relationship between him and them.
He assured Mbah of victory in the zone, insisting that PDP had been winning since 1999 in the zone, and would still win in 2023.
He further said that the stakeholders had volunteered to work in all the wards to deliver the gubernatorial candidate, adding that they were inspired by Mbah’s background in the private sector which he would deploy in running the affairs of the state.
On his part, a former Enugu State Head of Service, Elder Herbert Edeoga who spoke on behalf of Udenu local government area said Mbah was going to the Lion Building to represent them, adding that they were happy that he chose one of their sons as his running mate.
He recalled how he was retired from the civil service, saying it took the timely intervention of Mbah to recall him through a letter he personally signed. He added that Mbah was known for his peaceful disposition in handling issues.
A former Secretary to the Government of Enugu State and chieftain of the party, Dr. Dan Shere who spoke for Nsukka local government said the six local government areas in the zone would compete for the first position among themselves, maintaining that Nsukka has the highest voting strength and would emerge atop of other council areas.
He described Mbah as an easygoing man who would not want to join issues with anybody. According to him: “I have never seen anyone that has encounter with Dr. Peter Mbah and speak bad of him.”
Shere who called on the stakeholders to relocate to their various wards and engage in grassroots mobilisation, further said that Nsukka had promised to emerge first position from the polls.
The Secretary General, Odimma Nsukka, Hon. Malachy Agbo assured who assured Mbah and his running mate that the people of Igbo-Etiti local government believe in action, and will give him a resounding victory from the council area further said the results from the area would speak for them.
In his address, the State chairman of the Association of Local Governments (ALGON), Hon. Izuchukwu Onah who spoke on behalf of the local government chairmen said nobody should lose sleep over the elections as they had taken the project upon themselves as their collective mandate.
“We are capable, and with the help of the cream of men here, we will deliver you come 2023.
“Nsukka zone will give you more votes than your zone. We will surprise you with our huge votes, and this is an assurance. We are in charge of this zone and we appeal to our stakeholders to continue to support us,” he said.
While extending invitation to the people of the zone to the unveiling of manifesto by the governorship flagbearer slated for next week Thursday, 13 October, the Director General of the State PDP/Peter Mbah Campaign Organization, Chief Ikeje Asogwa said his team believed in fieldwork, and would be displaying their capacity to deliver their mandate as from next week.
He described themselves and the people of the zone as people of few words who rather would translate their words into action on the field.
“We are people of few words. Nsukka has 102 out of the 260 electoral wards in the state. We are congratulating you in advance. The people that spoke earlier had said it all. The results will speak victory on 23rd March, 2023. In this arena, you have tested and trusted foot soldiers. They don’t make a noise, but translate their words into voting,” the former state party chairman said.
In their respective remarks, the State PDP Chairman, Hon. Augustine Nnamani, and the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Otuanya said they had confidence that Mbah was going to clinch victory in the election the government having laid new infrastructure and enabled development in the state.
They enjoined the party faithful to make their monthly zonal, local government and ward meetings mandatory as opinion molders, saying it’s the only way they could convince the people to support the party.
In his remarks, the party’s governorship running mate appreciated the zone for their efforts and support over the past months.
He described the forthcoming elections as one that would be driven by technology, and appealed to the people to embrace technology in order to help them during the voting period.
Ossai who said Governor Ugwuanyi had done exceptionally well in terms of dividends of democracy urged the people to shun fake news being peddled by failed politicians who were bent at taking advantage of the people.
Describing Labour Party in the state as a party of falsehood made up of people with bitter minds, Ossai enjoined PDP supporters to be tolerant to members of opposition parties.
“We can’t allow people who failed as leaders to take advantage of our people to leverage their failure over us,” he said.
He further called for all hands to be on deck in order to deliver the party candidates in the elections. Insisting that the choice of Mbah was driven by equity and justice, he said it was the quest for a better Enugu State that led the people to plead with the industrialist to come and manage the state. According to him, “We pleaded with Dr. Peter Mbah to come and lead Enugu State because we wanted someone with capacity and competence. Mbah is driven by justice and the quest to serve and do good. Nobody will suffer injustice as long Mbah is governor”.
Responding to the pomp reception, the governorship frontrunner said he was humbled by the reception and the presence of the dignitaries that attended the event, noting that he would not take the gesture for granted.
He described the Nsukka zone as the enabler of his emergence as the PDP gubernatorial flagbearer who rallied behind him.
Mbah who noted that it’s not time to play politics with the people’s future or politicize the future of the state, warned that there were lot of things at stake which demanded the urgency of time even as the country was facing existential threats.
Recounting his emergence as the party standard bearer, Mbah said the decision to elect him was borne out of patriotism to bequeath a new Enugu State to the people.
He further assured that with his experiences from both the public and private sectors, his development plans for the state would inspire unprecedented transformation that would leave the state in a healthier state even amidst national economic challenges.
Noting that the danger ahead could be surmounted, Mbah said his integrated development plans would make the state an investment and tourism destination that would attract over three million people to the state every year.
According to him, due to the urgency of the present demands, “We must have the right infrastructure through our integrated development programmes. We will have a multi-modal transportation system, build railway from Enugu to Nsukka zone to ease movements.
“When we talk about integrated system of development, what we mean is that we won’t leave any sector behind. Everything must work together.”
The oil mogul also stated that he would use agriculture to boost the state economy through the creation of value chain by building a special agro-allied processing zone in the senatorial district.
He added that plans on how to achieve the above would include the generation of electricity, provision of access roads, rural water, and training, urging the people to partner him in the journey of growth and development.
Mbah also said his administration will have passion for excellence and merit rather than emotion and sentiment in running the affairs of the state. He called for more support from the stakeholders ahead of the polls.