The All Progressive Congress (APC), has okayed the release of the time table for the gubernatorial election in Anambra State, saying the schedule is in line with the provisions of 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended).
Disclosing this to some selected journalists at the party’s office in Awka, the state capital, on Friday, ahead of Saturday’s APC South-east Stakeholders Summit in the state, a chieftain of the party in the state, Chief Augustine Azubuike Muomaife, said the time-table would guide political activities and test run of Electronic Voting with Anambra 2021 poll.
Muomaife who is the state Youth leader of APC pointed out that the party, having resolved its crisis. was getting ready to take-over power from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), come March 2022.
He noted that the APC had perfected its a plan to install a youth as the next governor of the state, adding that the youth had paid their dues to produce a governor of Anambra state and President of Nigeria of Igbo extraction come 2023.
According to him, APC would leverage on the good governance and good roads provided by the former governor of the state and chieftain of APC, senator Dr Chris Ngige, lamenting that the roads built under the watch of APGA governments of Peter Obi and Willie Obiano had failed, unlike that of Ngige built before then.
Muomaife disclosed that the facelift the Southeast was getting in terms of the infrastructural provision was made possible by the Mohammadu Buhari-led APC government.
He dismissed the threat of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Chukwuma Soludo and widely-touted flag bearer of APGA in the 2021 race, arguing that it was even an APC chieftain, Senator Andy Uba who facilitated his appointment.
The State Chairman, of APC, Chief Basil Ejidike, who also speaks on the development, welcomed the Governorship timetable released by (INEC), saying his party (APC) welcomed the timetable with delight.
Chief Ejidike said the APC is now strong and united more than ever.
He said that the party had no misgivings about their chances in the election because it had identified its fault lines in the previous election and is working on them.
“It is not a surprise to us, INEC made it known before now that the election would come up in November, we have been getting prepared.
“We learnt our lessons from what happened in the past and I want to assure you that it will not happen again.
“Before now, we are like a house divided but this time, no one will be left behind, we are going into the election as one body,” he said.
The State APC Publicity Secretary, Arc. Okelo Madukaife said Ndi-Anambra would have been liberated November 6, 2021.
On his part, Mr Valentine Ozigbo, the trailblazer among the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) governorship aspirants in Anambra State, has also lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the early release of the timetable for the upcoming Anambra State Governorship Election, which holds on November 6, 2021.
Addressing the press at his campaign office in Awka, on Friday, Mr Ozigbo welcomed the timetable and the electoral process sequence, saying that it makes room for adequate planning, which no doubt will engender smooth electoral process.
“I am certain that the early release of the timetable would prevent any form of ‘fire brigade’ approach. It would rather allow for well planned and seamless executed electoral activities,” the PDP’s leading aspirant told the journalists.
“Considering the complexity, rancorous nature, sky-high interests involved in electioneering processes and the unique political environment of Anambra State, it is worthwhile and commendable on the part of INEC to bring the people up to speed on the Commissions electoral plans early enough.
“After all anything worth doing is worth doing well, and no excellent job is ever done in haste,” he said.
Mr Ozigbo further observed that the lengthy period between the primary election and the main election is “a good omen and a pointer in the right direction” as it would allow for final resolution of disputes that may have arisen after the party primary elections.
“The salience of this situation, if achieved, is that the voters will go to the polls with a clear mind of who the flag bearers of the different political parties are,” he added. “Thus, cocksure of who they are voting for.”
Ozigbo, who is the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, used the opportunity to call on the judiciary to do all that is legally allowed to resolve all primary election litigations that may rear their ugly heads before the general election.
Further, he reminded the judicial arm of the government of its prime of place in the sustenance of our nascent democracy.
Summing up on this, he called in aid Socrates description of the essential qualities of a good judge: “to hear courteously; to answer wisely; to consider soberly, and to decide impartially.”
Unarguably, these words remain as true today as they were when Socrates first spoke them more than 2,400 years ago. To him, “the role of the judiciary in ensuring sanity, sustenance and stabilized democracy in the country cannot be overemphasized.
On the other hand, he bemoaned the likelihood of over-heating of the polity by political actors as a fall out of the released timetable but cautioned that politicians in the state must not unduly overheat the polity and that the government of the day in the state must not sacrifice governance on the altar of politicking.
He called on INEC to make the continuous voter registration exercise, pursuant to Anambra 2021, people-friendly so that those eligible for the exercise can do it with ease. This, according to Ozigbo, will encourage massive turn out of the people.
While promising to devise and deploy measures like aggressive dissemination of information about the exercise and sensitization of the populace through his political paraphernalia at the appropriate time, the business mogul, also urged the people to be alive to their civic responsibilities, noting that voter apathy and citizens, especially the middle class, indifference to politics is not helping our democracy.
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