Chief Samuel Okoronkwo, the Ebonyi Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, says Gov. David Umahi is free to support a candidate of his choice in the upcoming Ohaneze Ndigbo general election.
Okoronkwo said this in an interview with newsmen on the sideline of the election and inauguration of a new executive for the state chapter of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation on Friday in Abakiliki.
The commissioner said that as a delegate to the January 10 election slated for Owerri, the Imo capital, “Umahi is free to support any candidate of his choice.
“It is normal in democratic norms for a delegate to support a candidate and the Ohaneze Ndigbo elections would not be an exception.
“This does not mean that any candidate is contesting on behalf of Ebonyi,” he said, adding that all the candidates were on their own.
Okoronkwo, who supervised the election, commended the electoral panel and delegates for their transparency and maturity.
“The electoral panel sent from the Ohaneze Ndigbo headquarters ensured that the elections were conducted at the local government and state levels.
“The elected persons will be going to Owerri to participate in the organisation’s general election,” the commissioner said.
Chief Okey Ozumba, the Chairman of electoral panel for the Ebonyi elections, thanked the candidates for their orderly conduct and urged them to reposition the organisation in the state.
“We are pleased with the level of coordination in Ebonyi and urge the new executive to work in harmony to achieve the organisation’s set goals,” he said.
He urged Igbo people to unite and forge a common front toward realising their dream in Nigeria and allow brotherly love to influence their dealings with one another.
The new Ebonyi Leader of the organisation, Dr Peter Mbam, thanked the delegates for ensuring his emergence and pledged to work for the good of all the members.
Mbam, who is the Special Assistant to Gov. David Umahi on Small and Medium Enterprises, urged the members to rededicate themselves to the cause of the organisation in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 15 members of the executive were returned unopposed.