Some indigenous members of the Ishi-Ozalla Community, operating under the auspices of “Concerned Citizens of Ishi-Ozalla Home and Abroad,” have issued an appeal to Governor Peter Mbah to put an end to the ongoing harassment and intimidation faced by those who supported his candidacy during the 2023 general elections in their area.
Speaking at a press conference in Enugu, the group, asserting that they owe no apologies for supporting Governor Peter Mbah over a candidate from their community, pledged to resist any further intimidation and mistreatment of innocent citizens who exercised their right to vote.
Chief Ike Ogbodo, the leader of the group, emphasized the importance of recognizing when politics is over and supporting the government in power for the sake of better development.
He recounted the events leading up to the 2023 general elections when the Ishi-Ozalla Community faced various challenges, including the purported and unconstitutional suspension of Mr. Obinna Nvene, the President General of Ishi-Ozalla Community. Ogbodo highlighted that they had sought intervention from Governor Peter Mbah, who condemned the actions and clarified that the state government was not aware of any suspension. He stressed that due process had to be followed, leading to the suspension of the imposed traditional ruler, Chief Sylvernus Okeke.
Expressing concern about the current situation, Ogbodo questioned the attempt to impose a new President General of the town union when Mr. Obinna Nvene, who was unanimously elected, was never allowed to serve. He concluded by reflecting on the potential consequences if Governor Peter Mbah had not won the election.
Another member of the group, Mr. Solomon Uchegbu, highlighted the developmental challenges in Ishi-Ozalla and urged Governor Mbah to intervene by calling Chief Frank Nweke Jr and his supporters to order. Uchegbu expressed disappointment in the division within Ishi-Ozalla and emphasized the need for unity.
The group called on the Governor and the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs, and Rural Development to establish a panel of inquiry to address the issues amicably. They reiterated their unwavering support for Governor Peter Mbah, emphasizing that his recent Supreme Court victory confirmed the people’s mandate for sustainable development in the state.
In response, the embattled President General of Ishi-Ozalla Community, Mr. Obinna Nvene, mentioned that the last meeting he presided over was on March 20, 2021. He explained that he had approached the court seeking justice to be allowed to function. Mr. Nvene commended the recent efforts by the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs, and Rural Development to resolve the crisis and urged citizens to remain law-abiding and supportive of Governor Peter Mbah’s administration.