By Tony Adibe
Governorship candidate of the Accord Party for Enugu State in 2023, Barr. John Nwobodo has lashed out on the traditional rulers, describing their endorsement as worthless since the native rulers did not command the respect of their subjects.
The politician also vowed never to step down for another candidate, insisting that he has what it takes to lunch the state on a higher pedestal of development. Nwobodo, who was answering questions from newsmen in Enugu, said things have not been moving well in Enugu State, adding that he has come to put things in good order.
Commenting specifically on the endorsement and blessings being given to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), governorship candidate, Dr. Peter Mbah, by various traditional rulers from the three Senatorial zones, Nwobodo said that he was sure of victory and would not surrender to anybody.
Nwobodo, however, restated that the native rulers’ endorsement is not worth anything because “the traditional rulers do not command the respect of their subjects to dictate for them the candidates to vote for.”
He said that he is not moved or bothered by the endorsement because most traditional rulers do not see eye to eye with their subjects.
Nwobodo said: “We are not worried by the traditional rulers. Most of them do not carry their subjects along. In fact, 99 per cent of them cannot influence their subjects on the direction of whom to vote for.
“I am not worried at all and of course, I can tell you that most traditional rulers in this part do not command the loyalty of their subjects. They do not because they have so much ridiculed themselves by their deep-rooted involvement in partisan politics.
“So, if they do not have the loyalty of their people, they cannot command the respect of their subjects. So, I don’t see how their endorsement will affect our chances.”
The Accord Party governorship standard bearer said though he was shocked that the traditional rulers jettisoned their exalted positions as custodians of culture to fall headlong into party politics, their endorsement will not prevent him from moving on.
He condemned the royal fathers roundly for being partisan.
Nwobodo said: “I must say that I am shocked that our supposed revered traditional rulers, and leaders of various communities should jettison their roles as custodians of culture to delve into politics. The traditional rulers are not supposed to be involved in partisan politics. Every candidate is a son and a citizen of the state, so it is not welcomed that the royal fathers should have a preferred candidate, Peter Mbah of PDP.
“For us in Accord Party, it is an unpleasant scenario, and it is something that we condemn. We want the traditional rulers to toe the part of honour and concentrate in providing leadership in their domains and abstain themselves from partisan politics.”
He urged traditional rulers in Enugu State henceforth emulate their counterparts in the north and western Nigeria by steering clear from active politics. He said he is poised to achieve his objective, reiterating that he would never think of stepping down for any of the opposition candidates.
“Why should I step down for somebody? I have the best programme for this state. I have the best ideas to turnaround the state and cannot see myself stepping down for any candidate,” he retorted.
He said, however, that they are not averse to a working relationship with other candidates that, “take the state to a better level than now.”