One cannot, but assume that Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze, the Honourable Secretary to the State Government in Anambra State is speaking from his heart in the views experessd in a recent the report of his appearance on NTA Awka where he among other things, “urged Anambra electorate to stand ready to defend their votes” Actually, one has to do more than assume that he is speaking from his heart because he has shown himself to be a gentleman, and a person of integrity.
Therefore, when he speaks, one tend to believe that he is telling the truth. But, there lies the paradox which he is to the Governor Peter Obi administration. In the report he supposedly, “urged all registered voters, 18 years and older, not only to go out and vote during the forthcoming elections, but to be sufficiently vigilant so as to ensure that their votes are not compromised or stolen”.
Such progressive stance of distilling the idea of one-person-one-vote to the Anambra State’s electorate runs counter to the plans that APGA-PDP and the Obi administration have on the ground, and are continually perfecting every hour of the day; to rig, compromise and steal the Governorship election by any and all means necessary.
Mr. Obaze’s stance obviously offends those that he works with and the hierarchy of APGA-PDP that are neck-deep in this sinister plan against Ndi Anambra. His stance on the sanctity of the vote in deepening and protecting our democracy must really irk his co-travellers that are hell bent on imposing and shoving down the throat of Ndi Anambra their anointed candidate in the person of Chief Willie Obiano.
Their first point of stop in this grand plan to foster Chief Willie Obiano on Anambra State, was the disqualification, from the contest, of both Professor Charles Soludo, the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, and Mr. Oseloka Obaze himself.
Then, they eliminated the rest of the APGA field of Governorship aspirants such as Hon. Uche Ekwunife, Barrister Chinedu Idigo and Mr. Obaze’s predecessor in the office of SSG, Mr. Paul Odenigbo, by stage-managing the APGA primary election through manipulation and swapping of the delegate list to ensure that Chief Obiano emerged winner of the primary election.
There is the sudden promise to add 5,000 workers to the State’s payroll. Many have for good reasons branded this as Anambra 2014 Employment Scheme and has seen youth, adults, the aged and the weak. Some have been queuing up in the last five days as captured by photographs already in the media.
This has become a recurring decimal in Anambra State whenever Governor Peter Obi is involved with an election. In 2010, it was the sudden promise to hire 10,000 Local Government workers just weeks to the election. That plan turned out to fail as dsigned, but a little section of the plebeians were do doubt fooled. In any case that election was not ultimately decided in the field.
That was 10,000 workers to be added to unelected Local Council Governments! The prospects of that employment was used to blackmail the Local Council workers then to vote a certain way in the 2010 Governorship election, or risk losing their jobs to the new workers, while the prospective new workers were told that their employment would be nullified if Mr. Obi did not win.
They were never hired once the election was concluded despite Obi’s victory in that election. Now, with this new and sudden announcement to hire 5,000 teachers, there is a clandestine “documentation” of the State’s workers in a remote location in Enugwu Agidi, in Njikoka LGA. And there is the recent mind-boggling lump N1.5 Billion cash payment to the Church for Mission Schools in Anambra State.
This is in furtherance of courting the violently combustible mixture of Church and State in Anambra State. This latest scheme of giving false hope of employment, and grand payment into the religious politics of Anambra State are only the latest in the series of thinly veiled conspiracy and blackmail of using government to cow people into submission; and using government’s money to buy favour, therefore, votes in the coming election.
Such desperation to ensure Chief Obiano’s emergence as the next Governor of Anambra State runs counter to Mr. Obaze’s progressive stance on the sanctity of the vote in deepening and protecting our democracy in the coming Governorship election.
We, the progressives in APC, stand with Mr. Obaze’s altruistic stance, having himself, been schemed out of the Governorship race on the grounds of reasons that flout APGA’s primary election guidelines. It takes courage to offend one’s co-travellers, but such courage is what is needed if we are to get it right in Anambra State.
One hopes that INEC is not only watching, but also is taking serious and copious notes and gearing up to ensure that the franchise of Ndi Anambra is not denied, or their mandate stolen from them. We also hope that the security agents would not allow themselves to be used for this sinister and evil plan against our democracy and Ndi Anambra with the phenomenally confusing funding of Federal Government Security agencies with Anambra State’s meagre resources.
Our stance is: let the people vote for real and let the votes count. for real.
Chibuzor O. Obiakor,