By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—Orlu Elders Council, OEC, has condemned what it called “the unnecessary brigandage witnessed in our senatorial zone in the last presidential and National Assembly elections”.
The leader of the Council, Professor Francis Dike, SAN, who made Orlu people’s feelings known while fielding questions from journalists in Owerri, also said it became imperative to state their stand on the outcome of the last polls.
“We condemn the high level of brigandage witnessed in our senatorial district in the last elections. As elders of the zone, we condemn it. The development put our zone in very bad light and we hope that the perpetrators of that dastardly act, will not repeat the act in the next election”, Dike said.
Continuing, the OEC leader fumed that what happened in Orlu senatorial zone during the last elections will never be repeated in Imo State again.
“We want to apologize to the people of Imo State, for the embarrassment that the Orlu senatorial zone could be portrayed in national and international media, as a place where impunity reigns supreme. We want to commend Professor Innocent Ibeawuchi for his resilience in standing against impunity, with all the pressure to go against his conscience. Imo State is truly proud of Professor Ibeawuchi”, Dike said.
While saying that it had become imperative, more than ever before, for the elders of the state to make their position known on the issue of who succeeds Okorocha, the OEC leader also said that they have painstakingly followed the process of elections right from primaries of various political parties, as well as assessed the governorship candidates of various political parties and their manifestoes.
“We have taken a decision, to unanimously back Chief Emeka Ihedioha because he has what it takes, in terms of experience, capacity, track record, pedigree to bring about the expected positive change in the state”, Dike said.
According to Professor Dike, they were not unaware that Ihedioha had been endorsed by almost all the relevant and notable bodies and organizations in Owerri Zone.
“Talking about Emeka Ihedioha as Owerri Zone candidate, diminishes his greatness. We will issue a communiqué soon by all the zones on his endorsement. All the notable and illustrious sons of Orlu Senatorial zone are here and we have stated in clear terms that we will not support anybody from Orlu zone for the governorship of Imo State this 2019. And we want our people to adhere to that”, Dike said.
Speaking, former Governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa, commended the move by Orlu Elders Council, describing it as, “a critical and bold step in the right direction.”