Former governor of the old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo says he will only support candidates from Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State ahead of the 2023 governorship election in the state.
The former governor announced this position when members of Nkanu East Consultative Forum called on him to seek his support in their bid for the governorship slot which returns to the Enugu East Senatorial District under the established zoning principle in the state.
The group is also soliciting the support of stakeholders in other council areas within the Enugu East Senatorial District to cede the slot to Nkanu East since the area has neither produced a governor nor does it have any meaningful government presence inspite of its expansive landmass, abundant human resources and other economic endowments.
Chief Nwobodo, while responding to an address by the leader of Nkanu East Consultative Group, Prof Barth Nnaji, former Minister of Power, who visited him in his Amechi Awkunanaw country home on New Year Eve, said it would only be fair to give the slot to Nkanu East with the zoning of the position to Enugu East.
Chief Nwobodo said Nkanu East justly deserved the slot being one of the councils in the zone that has not had a go at the position.
He argued that some council areas of Enugu South where he comes from, Enugu North which produced Chief C.C. Onoh, and Nkanu West (Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani) have already had their turns, adding that since the rotation has returned to Enugu East zone, it would only be fair to let Nkanu East have it without any challenge from sister Enugu East zone councils.
The former governor, who said he didn’t have to be persuaded by any one on the matter, noted that he was already marketing the council to others on the matter.
“When some traditional rulers visited me here suggesting that my own turn as former governor be not counted as a slot of Enugu South since I served in the erstwhile Anambra State, of course I told them to forget it; that I was given a title by Amechi; that I served as Governor even though on a wider plain. I am from Amechi here and I have served as Governor. It should be noted and included.
“When we brought the governor (Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State) to Okpara Square I asked the question ten times: “what do Nkanu people want in 2023?” The answer came ten times – “Governor!!”.
“Where in Nkanuland this time around?” The answer was Nkanu East. I looked at the governor (I sat beside him) and said “Your Excellency, I hope you heard that.”
Chief Nwobodo told the leaders: “You don’t preach to a man who is already converted”, saying he was fully converted to the cause and was speaking up for the cause and would support it to the end and called on everyone to do the same.
“It is your turn and nobody will take it from you. God knows it is your turn. For if you want peace, there must be justice; without justice, there can be no peace”, he maintained.
“So you don’t have to come to me again. Take it that I am one of you looking for the same thing. You deserve it.”
The former governor said Nkanu East has suffered much neglect. “They have not put anybody in the Senate. No governor; no jobs; so serious employments or position has ever been given to them”, Nwobodo lamented, adding that as far as he was concerned, “Nkanu East is overdue to have a governor.”
“When the thing (governorship) is zoned to you, you sit down again and look for the best person that will move the state forward and settle for him. I should pray to God Almighty to give us the right person that will progress the state” Nwobodo enjoined.
Earlier in an address, the leader of the Nkanu East Consultation Group, Professor Barth Nnaji told Chief Nwobodo that Nkanu East was in the quest for the office of governor not to corner government amenities for the council but to create a conducive environment for the wind of good governance to reach remote areas of the state.
According to him, Nkanu East is a very extensive rural local government endowed with mineral and agricultural potentials that needed to be tapped. But regrettably, he said, it has no good road networks and the northern communities of the local government area are the worst hit.
Other members of the group that visited the former governor included HRH Igwe Abel Nwobodo, HRH Igwe Hyacinth Edeani, HRH Igwe Fidelis Nwatu, HRH Igwe Moses Idenyi, Rt. Hon. Kanayo Ede, Dr. G. O. C Ajah, Hon. Ejike Ani and Hon. Sylvester Nweke.