By Wilson Adekumola
Concerned Elders of Imo State have debunked reports of purported endorsement of a particular candidate for the governorship election scheduled for November 2023.
This was made known in a statement jointly signed and issued by Chief Nicholas Adiele Oparaku and Elder Isaac Nnorom Okoronkwo on behalf of other members made available to journalists in Abuja, on Monday.
The statement reads, “Our attention has been drawn to misleading reports circulating in a section of the media, suggesting that elders of Imo State have endorsed a particular candidate for November 11, 2023, Governorship election in the State.
“Such is undemocratic, unconstitutional, and does not represent the position of Imo elders for now with regards to the coming governorship election in the State.
“For clarity, Imo elders have not endorsed any candidate neither have the elders delegated or authorized any person to issue any form of endorsement on any governorship candidate for now.
“To set the records straight, elders in Imo State have been reviewing the state of affairs of Imo State and in line with the fears, anxieties, and apprehension of the people of the State with a view to finding ways to salvage the situation and return inclusiveness, peace, harmony, and political stability in the State.
“As elders, the focus must be solely on the fortune, interest, well-being, and rights of the entire people of Imo State, irrespective of the political, sectional, religious, clan, and partisan affiliations, and not on a particular individual or political party.
“The reported endorsement of a particular candidate by certain individuals purporting such to be the resolution of elders of the State is therefore embarrassing as it portrays the elders as being partisan and politically compromised.
“Such endorsement donors must note that the choice of the Governor of Imo State resides with the people in an election.
“As elders, our duty at this moment is to ensure that the people enjoy the free hand to elect a governor of their choice without any form of coercion.
“It is imperative at the moment that the elders preserve their integrity as the non-partisan conscience of the State in the search for direction at this critical time.
“As elders, we have a duty to preserve the democratic tenets of fairness, unhindered participation, right to aspiration, and freedom of the people to choose their leaders without recourse to partisan coercion, blackmail, and promotion of the narrow-minded interest of a particular individual.
“What should concern us more is how to join forces with other well-meaning leaders to save our State from the perils of insecurity and hardship instead of engaging in distracting political voyage that is outside of our mandate as elders.”