We ‘ve not endorsed any guber candidate for 2014 – Anambra monarchs
By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA—AS the intrigues for Governor Peter Obi’s successor in 2014 continues, 70 traditional rulers in Anambra State yesterday denied a newspaper report (not Vanguard) that they had endorsed a particular candidate for the position.
Rising from a meeting at Otuocha in Anambra East Local Government Area of the state, the royal fathers, under the aegis of Olu-na-Adagbe Traditional Rulers’ Council, said they were not part of a statement credited to the traditional ruler of Igbariam, Igwe Kelly Nzekwe, that a former Secretary to the State Government had been endorsed by the royal fathers from the area.
Igwe Rowland Odegbo, the traditional ruler of Nteje in Oyi local government area, who is the chairman of Olu-na-Adagbe Traditional Rulers’ Council, told newsmen that such a thing never happened.
He described as embarrassing and insulting to the body of respected traditional rulers, an attempt to have their names linked to the endorsement of any governorship aspirant, adding that traditional rulers had vowed not to interfere with political process in Anambra State.
According to him, what happened was that the former SSG, Chief Paul Odenigbo, was conferred with a chieftaincy title by Igwe Nzekwe. He insisted that on that occasion, there was no political statement from the royal fathers present and that there was no attachment to the chieftaincy conferment.
Though he admitted that Odenigbo served Anambra meritoriously as SSG, he said the chieftaincy titled conferred on him had nothing to do with politics of Anambra governorship in 2014.
He said: “The council is still wondering why a non-political and brotherly group photograph taken by monarchs during conferment of a title should be used to portray that we had endorsed someone.
“As traditional rulers and custodians of the culture of our people, we have at no time engaged in partisan politics.
“We have not screened anybody and so could not have endorsed anybody. We are providing an open platform for all our sons and daughters who are interested in contesting the governorship election in 2014, irrespective of their political parties, to present themselves to us for our prayers and scrutiny, as we are looking for the best hands for the job.
“We also encourage political parties to look towards Anambra North as they search for the candidates that will fly their flags in the forthcoming governorship election.”
Another royal father, Igwe Chukwuemeka Ilouno of Ifitedunu community, who is the secretary of the council, said that at no time did Odenigbo consult the council as a group to talk about his political ambition.
He warned those planning to drag the name of royal fathers into politics to desist so as not to bring down the curse of the gods on themselves.