By Favour Goodness
Sen. Eyinnaya Abaribe, the Minority Leader of the Nigerian Senate, has revealed that the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, never gave the order for elections not to hold in Anambra State.
Abaribe made the submission when he addressed a town hall meeting with the leadership and students of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka.
The town hall meeting, which was held at the ASUU NAU Building, was organised by Valentine Ozigbo, the flag-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2021 Anambra guber election to present his manifesto to the university community.
While addressing the large gathering, Senator Abaribe revealed that he called Mazi Kanu’s lawyer, who confirmed that the order did not come from the IPOB leader, accusing unknown fifth columnists of engineering the rumours.
“Who gave the order that there will be no election? IPOB has never said that there will be no election in Anambra. It is the handwork of 5th columnists,” Senator Abaribe said.
The respected lawmaker went on to drum support for the PDP candidate, describing him as a “gentleman with impeccable character.”
“When I decide to support anyone seeking public office, I am more interested in the character of the person. If you can not stand up for your people, you don’t deserve to be a leader.
“Anambra deserves a governor that will not always go to Abuja, plate-in-hand. We want a governor that will stay in Anambra and work for his people.
“It is rare for me to endorse a candidate publicly, but in Val, I have seen someone who is sincere, qualified and eager to work for the people. Hold me responsible in the unlikely event that he does not fulfil his promises.
“Anambra roads are a nightmare, and we all suffering from it. Every citizen wants quality roads, electricity, education, and healthcare. In my interaction with Ndi Anambra, an average Anambra person needs a governor with impeccable character, and that man is Valentine Ozigbo.
“So go out and tell your people that a great change is coming in Anambra State, and it is coming from Val and the PDP,” Senator Abaribe, who represents Abia South in the Green Chamber, added.
In his address, Mr Ozigbo urged the university community to carry out due diligence on all the candidates contesting the November 6 election.
“A lot is at stake in this election. We need a servant leader who listens and can build a team across party and denominational lines. This election is about enlightened self-interest, not selfish interests.
“Many candidates are in the race, so it’s up to us to make our decision based on the content of character. We must insist on the right candidate in the right party, emerging through the right process, and making the right promises.
“Before the PDP primary, we visited all the 21 local government areas in Anambra State to ask the people what they want. We realised that Ndi Anambra have two basic needs – security and roads.
“We also realised that the needs of the people vary from area to area, and this gave birth to the cluster approach, which is embedded in our Ka Anambra Chawapu Manifesto.
“We, therefore, mapped out five clusters to cater to the needs of Ndi Anambra based on their unique economic potentials – Onitsha Cluster for Commercial activities, Awka and environs as an administrative and tourism hub, Omambala Cluster for agricultural expansion, Nnewi Cluster as an industrial hub, and in the Old Aguata Cluster, we will explore creating a technology hub where our youths can harness their talents and contribute to solving global problems.
“We mean well for Ndi Anambra, and we are looking forward to partnering with the academia to make Anambra a place to be proud of,” Ozigbo, a respected business leader, added.
Mr Peter Obi, the immediate past Governor of Anambra, who also spoke at the event, said that he was excited to dialogue with the university community as they own the future.
“Nigeria is collapsing, Anambra is collapsing, and our only problem is the habit of installing incompetent people in leadership positions. In Valentine Ozigbo, Ndi Anambra has someone who cannot afford to fail. Vote for him; he will not disappoint,” Obi remarked.
Also addressing the gathering, Prof. Stella Okunna, who served as Chief of Staff in Obi’s administration, urged the people to support Ozigbo, who she described as “down to earth, knowledgeable, and humble.”