Posted by News Express | 9 April 2015 | 3,661 times
Former Anambra State Governor, Dame Virgy Etiaba, and one-time President-General of the defunct Onitsha Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (OMATA), Chief Godwin Okeke, have advised aggrieved candidates of the March 28 National Assembly elections in the state to stop lamenting and take their grievances to the tribunal for redress. They also urged the voters not to be discouraged but to troop out en masse to vote candidates of their choice in this Saturday’s House of Assembly polls in the state.
Etiaba and Okeke, who spoke with newsmen in separate interviews in Awka, pointed out that the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, needs like minds to work with to consolidate on the gains of democracy he has been delivering to the people.
Dame Etiaba said out that the reports that got to her indicated monumental display of lawlessness and electoral manipulations during the NASS polls in the state. The grand old lady, the first woman governor in Nigeria, said the conduct of the NASS elections in her ward was relatively smooth and calm but quickly revealed that “in other areas, I learnt money exchanged hands and a lot of hitches and manhandling of people took place.”
On the alleged connivance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies during the election, Dame Etiaba advised them as well as stakeholders to ensure that the March 28, ugly electoral experiences do not re-occur.
Dame Etiaba, who took over from Chief Peter Obi after his impeachment, recalled that it took the administration three years to recover its stolen mandate. Her words: “No matter how long it takes” the ugly specter that took place on March 28 National Assembly elections, the truth will eventually come out. We were in court for three years after our hard-earned mandate was stolen and given to us by the voters, but we eventually reclaimed it. Nothing is lost. The God of justice will always avail the just.”
Dame Etiaba emphasised the need for the people of the state to adhere to the wake-up call to support and encourage the Obiano administration on the forthcoming State Assembly elections based on the good works he has done especially in the past one year.
“Even a blind person in Anambra State can testify that Governor Obiano has performed creditably. He has to carry on with his vision. Noting is supposed to dampen his vision. No matter how long it takes the aggrieved to pursue justice, the truth will surface,” she said.
On his part, Chief Okeke, who is the owner of G.U.O Motors Nigeria Limited, corroborated Dame Etiaba on the need to opt for justice to recover their mandate. He sued for peace, advising the people to remain prayerful as the outcome of the elections was an indication that God heard their many prayers for a peaceful election and transition.
Chief Okeke called on the voters to vote for APGA candidates in the State House of Assembly election, emphasising: “Because they are the people that will support APGA to secure at least 90 percent of the seats in the State Assembly election, that is the only way this governor can sustain the tempo of development in all sectors of life across the state.”
According to him, “God is using Governor Obiano to perform and record resounding achievements in just one year.” He added that any vote not cast for APGA would affect the pace of development and bring about challenges for governance and compel the governor to channel the fund which he would have used to consolidate on his good works to fight vicious political opponents and attendant lawlessness.
Chief Okeke condemned the flooding of security operatives, including soldiers, and deployment of armoured vehicles numbering four at Anaocha Local Government Area alone, as a ploy that could scare the voters and create the erroneous impression that the elections could degenerate into war, lamenting that many voters went home on sighting these military war vehicles.
•Photo shows Dame Etiabia.
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