April 27, (THEWILL) – Governor David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State has said he endorsed the incumbent Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru, because he enjoyed the backing of stakeholders and traditional rulers of Ebonyi north and central.
A statement by the Francis Nwaze, Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, explained further that Nwifuru’s emergence was a popular opinion and outcome of the report of the zoning committee constituted by the Governor.
Nwaze, who urged the people of Ebonyi State to disregard the false assertion by an aspirant, Senator Julius Ucha, bearing in mind that democracy will surely take its course at the end, also maintained the endorsement did not foreclose any aspirant from purchasing form for the position of governor.
The statement reads: “We have come across some comments credited to a highly respected and revered All Progressives Party man, Sen. Julius Ucha, suggesting that the decision by the Governor of Ebonyi State and presidential hopeful, Engr. David Umahi, FNSE, FNATE, to endorse the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonnaya Nwifuru, for the contest of the next Governor of the state “is inappropriate… unconstitutional.”
“Ordinarily, we would have not bothered with this response, but for clarification to unsuspecting members of the public, we have volunteered to make the following known:
“That the endorsement of Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru by Governor David Umahi, FNSE, FNATE was buttoned up to uphold the far-reaching decision by the stakeholders and traditional rulers of the people of Ebonyi Central and North Senatorial Zones.
“It will be recalled that the Governor had professed that the decision of who becomes the next Governor shall be a popular decision by the people, this he abides by, convening series of meetings with the stakeholders and traditional rulers of the people of Ebonyi North and Central wherein he sought for their opinion on who they desire as the next Governor of the State.
“He did direct them to suggest two persons each from the two senatorial zones, bearing in mind that the Ebonyi South is not in the race for the fact that they produced the incumbent Governor.
“Ebonyi North summarily presented the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru, while Ebonyi Central presented Senator Julius Ucha to the zoning committee, which the Governor inaugurated before his one-week trip outside the country.
“The above report among others was duly documented and transmitted to the Governor by the zoning committee on his return and based on popular opinion and considering many issues on zoning, Rt. Hon. Nwifuru was upheld to run for the position of the Governor of the state as the position of the masses backed by the Governor.
“On this endorsement, the Governor did not halt anyone from purchasing forms to contest for the position of the Governor, but he only upheld the popular opinion of the people, which he made clear to all, having in mind that the voice of the people is the voice of God.
“Let us emphasise that Nwifuru’s endorsement was borne out of popular opinion, but it has not disenfranchised anyone from exercising his legitimate rights. Those who are interested in contesting for the position of the Governor of Ebonyi State come 2023 are not deprived even as we seek the general cooperation of all to support the decision of the stakeholders, traditional Rulers, and the Governor on the choice of Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru for a better Ebonyi State”, it stated.