Okigwe Senate: Leaders endorse Okewulonu’s aspiration

After months of intense pressure and wide consultations with Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, leaders, chieftains and stakeholders in Okigwe senatorial Zone of Imo State, the former secretary to the Imo State Government and a Chieftain of the PDP, Chief (Barr) Chris Okewulonu (Ebekuodike), has officially declared his interest to represent the zone in the senate come 2019.
Making his intention known to the Okigwe Zonal Executives of the PDP and other stakeholders amidst fanfare and effusion of excitement by the people, Okewulonu stated that he is contesting as a mark of honour and in deference to the clarion call by Okigwe people for him to step in and restore the zone’s socio – economic and political fortunes. He said that he has taken time to ruminate on the matter and has also made consultations widely ahead of his declaration of interest.
Okewulonu, who was also a former Federal Commissioner in-charge of South East Zone in the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Abuja, pointed out that his aspiration will usher in prosperity, unity and progress in Okigwe Zone. He explained that he will accord priority to human capacity development especially as it concerns women and youths in the zone.
Okewulonu averred that he will provide quality representation and an audible voice in the senate which according to him, “will end the era of bench warmers in the senate.”
He also opined that he will bring to the front burner, the issue of restructuring which the people of South East are earnestly clamouring for. “Equity, fairness and justice demand that our people need to be heard.”
The frontline senatorial aspirant assured that he will deploy 27 years experience garnered in public service to the advancement of Okigwe Zone’s interest. According to him, experience and passion are two major drivers of his aspiration.
“The welfare and well being of Okigwe people will be upper most in my agenda if elected into the senate. I will establish vocational/skills development scheme as well as institute scholarship programme for deserving youths to assist them further their education. I will also leverage on my wide spread contacts for the benefit of our zone. My mission is to spread prosperity in Okigwe zone and not poverty,” Okewulonu pointed out.
Stressing that he believes in inclusive administration, he hinted that he will regularly brief the zone of his stewardship in the senate and also receive feedback from them. This, he said, is to eliminate any communication gap between the zone and himself. He further averred that constituency projects will be evenly distributed among the six local government areas in Okigwe zone, assuring that he will insist that indigenes of the zone, who are qualified to execute such projects are given the jobs without compromising quality and set standards for the execution of such projects.
Okewulonu, who spoke amidst shouts of “Ebekuodike” from the enthusiastic crowd, gave his word that his “representation in the senate will be far different and better” from what they have witnessed in the past. He also informed them of the commencement of his constituency interactive visits to all local government areas in the zone starting with Ihitte Uboma.
The Okigwe zonal leadership of the party under the chairmanship of Chief Silas Onyeiwu, while responding, averred that the antecedents of Chief (Barr) Chris Okewulonu as an honest, reliable and hard working Okigwe son, is well known to everybody.
They stated that Okewulonu is an asset to the party, pointing out however that the party has resolved to provide a level playing ground for all aspirants in the party to ensure cohesion and unity.
The zonal leadership also clarified that “elective offices in the party would not be zoned or donated to anyone at this critical time when the party is fighting to regain power. Due process will be our watch word in conducting free and fair primaries to ensure that the best and acceptable candidate emerges.”
Later at his country home, Avutu in Obowo LGA, elders of the community, on getting report of Okewulonu’s delaration to run for Okigwe senate seat, trooped out en-masse and beseeched his residence. They sang joyously in Okewulonu’s honour and described him as “a worthy son of Okigwe zone whom they believe would restore their hope for a better tomorrow.”
The elders thereafter poured libations to their ancestors for the gift of Okewulonu. They also blessed and wished him success in his political pursuit.
At his maiden consultation visit to Ihitte Uboma LGA, the party chairman of the area, Hon. Jude Ofoegbu stated that the choice of Okewulonu to represent the zone was arrived at in order to save Okigwe Zone from going into political oblivion.
Ofoegbu argued that “the senate is for matured and experienced minds like Okewulonu and not for boys. Those talking about zoning should also know that we cannot sacrifice merit on the altar of zoning.” He warned that any mistake done again by the zone in the choice of electing its senator, will confine it to political backwardness for the next eight years.
Corroborating, former Chairman of Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC), Barr Marcel Ogwuegbu recalled how Okigwe political leaders persuaded Okewulonu to run for the senate in order to give the zone a face lift. He explained that Ihitte Uboma LGA has endorsed Okewulonu for the senate after consulting widely.
According to him, but for Okewulonu, the PDP in Okigwe Zone would have gone into extinction. “Okewulonu has been carrying the party since we lost the governorship in Imo. To us, he is the only man with capacity to win election for PDP in Okigwe Zone and we have resolved to follow him throughout his campaign”.
Adding his voice, the former member who represented Isiala Mbano State Constituency in Imo State House of Assembly, Hon (Chief) Jasper Ndubuaku contended that “Okewulonu’s aspiration is the first time a true party member is seeking to represent us. All those who represented us in the past were strangers.”
Ndubuaku pointed out that Okigwe Zone is suffering today due to bad representatives, stressing that PDP is still alive in Okigwe because of Okewulonu’s commitment and philanthropy. He described Okewulonu as “a practical, consistent and trustworthy person Okigwe people can entrust their mandate with because of his antecedents.”
He said that Isiala Mbano delegates will vote massively for Okewulonu because he is the most qualified for the senate seat in Okigwe Zone.
In his remarks, the former majority Leader of Imo State House of Assembly, Hon (Chief) Stanford Onyirimba stated that “we need a capable man, whose name will win votes for PDP and he is Chris Okewulonu. There is no more room for experimentation.”
Onyirimba said that Okewulonu is “our opportunity to reclaim all that we have lost these past years to selfish representatives in the National Assembly.” He assured that Ehime Mbano people are solidly behind the aspiration of Okewulonu.
In similar vein, former Executive Chairmen of Onuimo and Okigwe LGAs, Hon (Mrs) Nkiru Ibekwe and Chief Paul Ogujiofor respectively, re – echoed the choice of Okewulonu as the unanimous decision of their council areas.
Ibekwe said Onuimo LGA resolved to back Okewulonu in order to safeguard Okigwe’s future, pointing out that it is not by coincidence that everybody is testifying to Okewulonu’s goodness and leadership qualities.
Ogujiofor also explained why the people of Okigwe LGA are behind Okewulonu’s aspiration. “Though my brother is contesting but he is no match for Okewulonu. We need a man of proven character and integrity, and who has capacity to win election for PDP and not just a mere contestant,”he stated

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