- ‘Obiano will conduct LG elections’
Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra state has accused the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, and members of the 7th Anambra State House of Assembly of an alleged imposition of caretaker committees on the citizenry against their right of electing their choice representatives at the local governments.
The APC, in a press statement signed by its spokesman, Mr. Okelo Madukife, and made available to journalists in Awka yesterday, claimed that the LG Transition Committee Chairmen whose appointments where renewed last week, were mere stooges and rubber-stamps of the executive arm of the government.
The statement reads, “The two- phased high drama of Thursday January 16 and Friday January 17, 2020 that once again saw the Anambra State Governor overrule and instruct Anambra House of Assembly to overrule the Supreme Court, on the appointment of Caretaker Committees, instead of electing LG officials, is the greatest proof that the enemies of our democracy are in vantage positions.
“Against the will of Anambra persons who have been longing and craving for LG Elections, ANHA was summoned to a meeting by the governor on Thursday to rubberstamp impostors in respective LGs on Thursday January 16, 2020, a dare-devil act in itself running against the grain of a protest letter sent to the two actors by all political parties in Anambra State under the aegis of Inter- Party Advisory Council (IPAC), requesting the constitution of the board of Anambra Independent State Electoral Commission (ANSIEC).
“To rub salt to injury, when based on whatever opaque criteria, three out of 21 of such were rejected, the governor who called from Rome convened the house again where less than half of the legislators attended to complete the heresy against Anambra democracy.
“Our great party holds as before now, that Section 7(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic, which has been interpreted severally by the Supreme Court as inviolable be upheld.
“We call on all adults in Anambra State to guard their loins for this long struggle to free our state from the clutches of those who ordinarily ought to protect our laws, while allowing a fair competition of ideas to throw up good leaders and proper development of Anambra State. Yet Obiano- led Government, which has no legislative check, is under-developing the state, owing to stunted ideas against democracy and accountability.
“We challenge the numerous churches and religious groups in Anambra State who in any case participate in the politics of the state to rise to their challenge in admonishing Obiano Government that monies being credited directly to the LGs should be managed by those elected by the people, free of state government interference.
“We hope that the travesty of trying, though unsuccessfully to offer the cloak of legitimacy to an unconstitutional mode of governance, clearly ruled out by the Supreme Court, has met its ignoble end in this last attempt.
“As henceforth, Anambra State voters should recall any legislator that indulges in this caretaker business in the local governments alongside the unpopular outgoing governor of the state who feels insecure working with custodians of their people’s mandate.
“Finally, we urge that whoever emerged from the two-day rubber stamping under reference should not be recognised in connection with leadership of the local governments.
“We urge IPAC, to press the next button in the unrelenting search for the emancipation of Anambra State from yesterday’s criteria for leadership emergence and open a new vista, for a state now living behind the dream of its forebears.”
‘Obiano Will Conduct Local Government Elections’
Contrary to the claims by opposition parties in Anambra state that Governor Willie Obiano has allegedly decided that local government polls will not be conducted but adopt transition committees in its place, the governor’s aide comrade Innocent Nduanya has said such claims were arrant nonsense because the governor will conduct local government elections before he leaves office.
Speaking with our correspondent in Awka yesterday, Nduanya who functions as the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Political Matters as well as the Deputy President National Youth Council of Nigeria, described Governor Willie Obiano as a democrat, who believes in grassroots development through constituted local council authorities.
Nduanya said the APC’s stock-in-trade was to make the loudest noise like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He therefore queried, “How many of the states controlled by the APC and PDP have conducted local government elections?”
He said the governor was currently planning for elections in the 21 local government areas of the state; that opposition elements should not wake up from their slumber to distract the governor with the conduct of local government polls, noting that the former governor conducted local government elections one year before he left office.
The Director-General Anambra Youth Political Agenda 2021, noted that there were positive signs that the governor would conduct local council elections to enable people in the hinterlands to elect candidates of their choice to undertake governance and proper administration of those at the countryside.
Nduanya said, “Obiano is a pure democrat. If you go to many states, you can’t just wake up and accuse the governor in the social media; you will be attacked. But when it is done here in Anambra, Obiano will say please leave them. This is democracy. And democracy allows freedom of speech. So Obiano is a pure democrat and local government election is coming up in Anambra state.
Many of the APC states have not conducted local government elections for more than seven years. The same thing is applicable to PDP. So why must they accuse APGA only one state? The governor should be applauded for running a rancour-free state, irrespective of the wiles and vices of opposition parties.”
The National Youth Council Deputy President also debunked allegations of the APC that the governor equally refused to constitute the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC). He said the governor returned from his US trip few days ago and should be allowed some space to enable him to run the state efficiently and effectively.
Again, Nduanya challenged the APC and PDP to look inwards and find out if they have produced a governor like Chief Willie Obiano who, according to him, has been adjudged the best governor ever produced in Anambra state.
On Obiano’s recent Papal Knight Investiture, he admonished opposition elements not to engage in cheap blackmail and unnecessary politicisation of the governor’s current social status because the recognition was based on his commitment to the Catholic church at home and in the Diaspora.