The Ebonyi Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports, Charles Akpuenika, says Gov. David Umahi’s endorsement of Rt. Hon Francis Nwifuru as his possible successor in 2023 is a plus for the youths.
Umahi at the weekend announced his endorsement of the Speaker of Ebonyi House of Assembly, Chief Francis Nwifuru, to succeed him in office as governor.
The action was trailed by criticism, especially from other governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who considered endorsement “illegal and undemocratic”.
Akpuenika said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki on Thursday that the governor showed that truly, “the youths are the society’s future.
“The current Ebonyi Executive Council is dominated by youths and having youth to succeed the governor shows real commitment towards realising this goal. Most states promote the wellbeing of youths only on paper, especially during elections,” he said.
The commissioner described Nwifuru’s choice as apt because he would consolidate on the governor’s achievements in office.
“The speaker knows all about the governor’s numerous projects because he had been with him even before becoming governor in 2015. He will be trusted to consolidate these achievements and ensure that good governance continued in the state.
The speaker is known for his peaceful disposition, having ensured a peaceful assembly since 2015. He has also embarked on several people-oriented programmes, including empowerment and scholarships,” Akpuenika said.
According to him, youths are presently putting structures in place to ensure his success.
Akpuenika, who also doubles as the leader of non-indigenes in Ebonyi, said they would support the speaker’s candidacy because of his benevolence toward them.
“We are presently enjoying ourselves under the Umahi’s administration and would support someone trusted to sustain the trend,” he said.
He appealed to other aggrieved APC governorship aspirants to sheath their swords and work towards ensuring its success at the polls.
“There will be only one governor at a time and when it’s anyone’s turn to assume any position, nothing will stop it,” Akpuenika said.
NAN reports that political activities have heightened in the aftermath of the governor’s endorsement of the speaker.