SENATOR UCHE EKWUNIFE 12TH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME:
PAST PRESIDENTS GENERAL OF COMMUNITIES RECEIVE TRAINING ON COMMUNITY SECURITY
When we finished serving our communities as PGS, we were scattered but Senator Ekwunife brought us together. We are grateful to her for facilitating this programme and always looking out for our welfare", Mazi Omife I. Omife - President Association of Past President General Anambra State (APPAS).
Senator Uche Ekwunife Empowerment
PDP'S VALENTINE OZIGBO CONGRATULATES SOLUDO, DELIVERS A THANK YOU MESSAGE TO NDI ANAMBRA
I have just called Professor Chukwuma Soludo and congratulated him on being declared the winner of the Anambra State governorship elections, 2021. I wished him well and prayed for his success.
Let me also use this opportunity to congratulate all the men and women who contested our dear state's governorship this year. You all have shown a determination to see that Anambra is better. It was an honour to run this race with you.
Two years ago, I decided to go into active partisan politics with a number of objectives in mind.
First, to use Anambra to set an example of excellence in governance. The second was to unify Anambra and Ala Igbo around a shared vision of greatness. The third was to inspire more professionals to go into politics. I believe that attainment of these would go a long way in changing the story of black men and women in this world for the better.
Pulled by the vision of a better and brighter Anambra, we set out on the quest for governorship, resolute on taking revolutionary steps to address the decay and decline in security, infrastructure, education, healthcare, the environment, and all other social systems meant to serve the people.
As laid out in our Ka Anambra Chawapu Manifesto, we planned to transform Anambra into the most competitive sub-national economy in Nigeria by opening up public, social, and commercial spaces leveraging on the strength of our youth and women. Ultimately, to make Anambra the pride of Nigeria.
Given where we started and where we are today, we consider ourselves winners. Our Ka Anambra Chawapu message has permeated the consciousness of Ndi Anambra, and the nation at large. It is the strongest message that has come out of Anambra 2021, and it continues to beat in the hearts of Ndi Igbo.
On unifying Ala Igbo, I believe that every Igbo person now understands that they have a voice in me because I will forever speak in the interest of the Igbo Nation and the rest of the marginalised and forgotten in Nigeria.
During this journey, especially in the last months, I have met many professionals who have been inspired into politics by our message and asked me how I got to this level in my first attempt. I urge them to keep the faith. Don't ever let the candle that has been lit in you dim. Our country needs your active participation in her affairs.
We documented our grand vision for a brighter and better Anambra and presented it to our people with the energy to implement it. Though we may not have the opportunity in the immediate to get it started, we will be holding the government in power accountable to ensure that the welfare of the people is foremost in their actions at all times.
I acknowledge that we could not have done this alone. I am a child of Grace. I thank the Almighty God who chose me for this mission for His abundant mercies and love.
I thank all the courageous men and women who first believed in me, many of them without knowing me well. You are the heroes of our Ka Anambra Chawapu Movement. I also thank everyone who believed, even without meeting me, who heard our message and came out in full support.
I am grateful to every single person who joined our movement and contributed in one way or the other. The thousands who showed us so much love, from youths and women in the grassroot, to those in the diaspora, to the Non Indigenes, various church groups across all denominations, market women, civil servants, artisans, and many more. Thank you for your prayers, your material, financial, and intellectual contributions. May the Lord reward you abundantly.
I thank the leaders and pillars of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at the national (especially the PDP Governors), state and ward levels who stood by us and worked tirelessly to win the mandate of Ndi Anambra. I appreciate your amazing support and friendship.
Most importantly, I thank the entire Ndi Anambra - home and abroad. The openness, love, and enthusiasm with which you received us, especially as we campaigned across the state, is one that my wife, my running mate and I will cherish forever.
This election was fraught with a lot of short-comings on the part of various government institutions. The security agencies failed to provide a peaceful environment for campaigns to hold. On election day, they were absent from many polling centres leading to elections not holding or held in situations that allowed for chaos and fraud.
The national electoral commission presented untrained and poorly trained staff who could not operate the voting machines in many places. They failed woefully in providing logistical support for their staff and so elections started very late in many places and did not hold in many others.
The use of government funds and resources to corrupt, coerce, and intimidate voters, PDP party agents, and electoral officials was a major factor in determining the outcome of this election.
All of these led to the disenfranchisement of the greater percentage of voters and staining the course of democracy. I will be dedicating time to champion the positive change we need to ensure that future elections are truly free and fair and that the will of the electorate prevails.
Denominational politics was also a factor. We need to do a lot more to ensure that competence is never sacrificed on this altar, and that democracy is practiced in line with its truest tenets.
In all, I am more determined to working for a better future for our children by remaining in active politics and rebuilding our party to be more united and more robust for those who come after us. Ka Anambra Chawapu.
May God bless you all and bless Anambra State.
Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra 2021
ANAMBRA ELECTION AND THE WOMEN OF EBENEBE
- James Eze
The women of Ebenebe, a sleepy town in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, are the true heroines of the Anambra election which took place last Saturday. A viral video from a polling unit showed where they turned down a princely N5000 bribe money, brazenly given by some party agents at a polling station, with one woman heard loudly and defiantly saying in Igbo language, “APC emego anyi ife; anyi achoghi APC”. Meaning, “We have been dealt by the APC; we don’t want APC again”. They were emphatic in their rejection of the bribe money openly clutched by some unscrupulous party agents. They left no room for negotiations. They were firm and final in their approach. They are poor rural women, ravaged by wants like all rural women, but they put up extraordinary courage in the face of inducement and took the moral high ground. And that’s why I celebrate them today!
These women are remarkable. They could have taken the bribe and still voted according to their conscience. But they didn’t want a stain on their conscience. The motto of The Guardian newspaper describes conscience as an open wound which only truth can heal. The women of Ebenebe held onto truth…their healing truth.
Ebenebe town is not Nnewi or Ihiala or Orafite or Osumenyi where most of Anambra’s billionaires come from. But what they lack in billionaires, they obviously have in moral ones. “One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised,” says Chinua Achebe. The women of Ebenebe have bluntly refused to be compromised. That singular act, little as it seems, gives a lot of hope to Nigeria.
The true value of the symbolic courage of the Ebenebe women is that they live in the same state where a serving deputy governor had been lured away to a rival party. They live in the same state where serving and former members of parliament had defected to another party after alleged inducement. They live in a state where the basic measure of success is how much money one has. But they have written their story in gold and their names ought to make history. They have taught us that you can live poor and still live with dignity.
The relevant NGOs and constituted authorities should seek out these Ebenebe women and make them a shining example of what Nigeria could be if we get our acts right. The symbolism of their courageous act must not be lost on us. We must act and act now!
Some times, providence offers us a beacon of light with which to illuminate the pathway to the future. But it is up to a discerning society to recognise it and use it well. Aba women did a similar thing in 1929. Their courage inspired self-belief in our founding fathers to challenge the colonial masters. Enugu coal miners rose against their users on November 18, 1949. Their act of defiance inspired the Zikist Movement which eventually toppled colonial rule. Can we elevate the Ebenebe women’s act? The joke will be on us if we miss this opportunity to set a new moral tone for our society at a time when the larger population of the youths are involved in get-rich-quick-or-die-trying schemes.
The women of Ebenebe are a gift we cannot turn down!
Eze a journalist and author, is based in Awka,_ _Anambra State.
I wish to congratulate the winner of the Anambra state governorship election as declared by INEC, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, and join millions of Anambrarians to give glory to God for granting us a peaceful election.
In every democratic contest, there must be a winner and God, through the good people of Anambra State has chosen Prof. Soludo to lead the state. As responsible citizens and lovers of democracy, we must accept the wishes of our people as expressed on Saturday, November 6th and Tuesday, November 9th governorship polls.
It has to be said that this election was one of the most challenging for Ndi Anambra, our democratic existence was threatened by myriads of challenges. Leading to the election, the insecurity and killings witnessed across the state casted a dark shadow on the governorship campaign process. However, in the end, Anambrarians triumphed and came out, across the 326 wards in the state to cast their votes in what can be adjudged as one of the most peaceful elections in Nigeria in recent times.
While I commend Ndi Anambra for conquering their fears and fully participating in the electoral process, I equally commend the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC Nigeria) for their innovations and introduction of the BVAS technology which no doubt helped in strengthening the credibility of the electoral process.
Similarly, I commend the security agencies for sustaining peace during the election. The Army, the Police, Civil Defence, Federal Roads Safety, community vigilante services and others played a huge role by ensuring that Ndi Anambra exercised their civic rights.
I equally commend the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano for their efforts in ensuring that all political parties were given a level playing ground. I hope that this election has marked a departure from the days of intimidation and harassment of those in opposition. The outcome of the election has shown that power belongs to the people!
Though the electoral process as witnessed across the 21 LGAs in the state gave our people the opportunity to choose their governor, it is sad to observe that cases of vote-buying characterized the poll, casting a dent on the electoral process. As we continue to develop as a nation, I hope that we make a departure from this ugly development and get our people to see the need to vote according to their conscience - without financial inducement.
While I urge the governor-elect to be magnanimous in victory, I enjoin him to waste no time in assembling competent team of men and women that will tackle the numerous challenges facing the state. Being aware of the gender gap that exists across all levels of government, I urge Prof. Soludo to be gender sensitive in the selection of his team.
I wish to specially congratulate the candidate of my party, the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo who I learnt has called the governor-elect to congratulate him. This gesture is the truest exhibition of the much preached spirit of good sportsmanship. I hail our candidate for his doggedness and commitment to democracy.
In the same vein, I congratulate Senator Andy Uba, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, Dr. Godwin Maduka, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo and other candidates who contested the election. You all made this election competitive and gave Ndi Anambra several wonderful options to choose from. You are all winners.
Our political party, the PDP fought a good fight, however, we must do the necessary introspection to ensure that we do better in future governorship elections.
God rules in the affairs of men. He gives power to whom He desires. We submit to His divine will at all times.
On behalf of my family, and the good people of Anambra Central Senatorial District, I once again congratulate our incoming governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo. I look forward to working with him for the peace and development of our dear state.
Congratulations Ndi Anambra!
- Senator Uche Ekwunife, PhD (IYOM)