From Chuks Collins, Awka
THE former Governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife has appealed to those he called on the President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress, APC, to respect the wishes of the Anambra electorate in the 18 November governorship election.
Addressing journalists in Awka under the aegis of the Anambra Elders Forum comprising prominent sons of the State, Dr Ezeife said there had been allegations of some political parties planning to rig the election, but those who allow themselves to be rigged in would not be allowed to govern the State.
He described the recent interception of two truckload of election materials in a hotel in the State as an ominous signal.
In a written four-page statement entitled, “National appeal to people in power”, Ezeife said Anambra people should be given a free hand to choose a leader of their choice in the coming election.
According to him, “On behalf of the people of Anambra State, and in the name of God, I appeal to the people in power to have sympathy and allow Anambra people to pick who should govern them.
“Remember, there is God in heaven, when you sit, in Kaduna, or elsewhere, outside Anambra and boastfully announce to your associates, who you have picked to be governor of Anambra State. There should be limits to envy; there should be limit to hatred. I beg the people in power to show mercy.”
Ezeife said that Anambra people would resist any attempt to rig in a candidate to rule over them. He emphasised that, “…If you are rigged in, we are the ones you will govern; is it not? Then, let them come and govern us let us see,” Ezeife said while responded to a question of what the people of the state would do if a candidate was imposed on them.
The former Governor said that part of what the elders council agreed upon during a meeting with Gov Obiano shortly after he emerged victorious after the Nov 2013 governorship poll was that if he could fix security in the State, that he would be given a second term.
To that extent the governor has fulfilled his election promises and deserved to be reelected. Ezeife therefore enjoined the people not to mortgage their consciences in the poll for pecuniary consideration.
“You know that security situation got to a point when traditional marriages which should be done in Anambra were being done in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt as the people were afraid of coming back home because they would be kidnapped.
“So, during a meeting with the Governor during his early days in office, we asked him if he thinks he can fix security and he said yes. So the elders said that if he was able to do it, that he could get a second term.
“Today, you all live in Awka and can see the level of security in this place. That is why the elders believe that he should have a second term,” Ezeife said.
Reacting to the threat by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to scuttle the election, a visibly exasperated Ezeife said, “The threat is the worst mistake any Anambra man will make. I can’t imagine that any Anambra person, or Igbo man or woman can imagine that this is in the interest of Igbos. What interest can be served by not having election?
“What happens if there is no election? What happens if the incumbent is to leave office and there is no one to succeed? That government which unleashed python dance is the same government that will now declare a state of emergency and choose who will be the governor, and don’t you think they will choose your brother?
“Nothing good can come out of that boycott plan, rather Anambra people will loss seriously and I do not understand how an Igbo man will ever contemplate this. Absolutely, nothing good can come out from the IPOB decision. God did not create us without brains. The IPOB decision is useless and of no sense.”
“I urge Anambra people to come out en masse and vote for the candidate of their choice,” the former governor passionately appealed.