BY NWANDO OKEREKE
The November 16 governorship election is near. It is time for the electorate to choose right. It is time to reshape the destiny of the state. It is time to experience a new dawn.
We are all concerned because we want to ensure good governance in the state. We, the Anambra people, want fresh breath and 2014, through the November 13 governorship election, should be the take off point.
This is just a wake up call and an appeal to all the political parties that will contest the November 16 governorship election in the state to ensure that their candidates play by the rules of the game.
We do not need touts on the day of the election and we need not intimidate or harass opponents either on the road or at the various polling stations across the state. I want us to note that we are all brothers and sisters from the same state, speaking the same language and with the same tradition and almost the same religion.
We are not here to campaign for or against any candidate. We just want to remind all and sundry that, no matter how it goes, it is the electorate that has the mandate to elect Gov. Peter Obi’s successor. In doing this, we must be orderly and calm. We must go to the polls with every sense of dignity and maturity.
We must be ready to celebrate with our candidate gently in victory and gallantly in defeat. But, we must not elect people of questionable past as Obi’s successor. No matter what anybody may hold against Obi, the truth remains that he “was an all embracing governor who ran all inclusive government.” Thus, it will not be good of us if we replace him with a governor who will go there tomorrow to take up a fight against the other members of the state.
For me, November 16, 2013 is the date we, the Anambra people should vote against those men whose past records and arrant display of notoriety via treasury looting and wanton destruction of public utilities compromised the interest of the common Anambra man and woman.
Such group of people must not be allowed near the corridors of power if the state is to occupy its choice place on the Nigerian economic and political landscape. Anambrarians are urged to pray for a creditable and godfearing leader and vote for the candidate that would represent and protect the collective interest of the masses.
We should say “No” to sponsoring anybody to destabilise anybody. This wake-up-call has since been taken to the grassroots, covering every town and village in the state and even reaching out to our people outside the state and also using social media, Internet to make sure that every Anambra citizen of voting age thinks home for the development of our state as we take a firm decision to vote for the right governor, who will be capable of taking us to the Promised Land.
Now is the time for us to seek for the solution to our problems in the state. By so doing, we the Anambraians must, out of necessity, seek for a man who will make the state great and better no matter how difficult the journey may be.
Anambra in its present status has reached that point when it must make a conscious decision to determine whom to vote for and break away from unholy and inglorious godfatherism or politics of patronage and, by extension, heavyweights.
It is the people of Anambra that would decide who would rule them. Not outsiders from the state, individuals or “cash and carry” politicians and “well connected” political heavy weights whose stock in trade are confusion and division. I want us to realise that the age of money politics is over in Anambra State. This is the age of making sacrifices for the State. This is the time to contribute to the genuine development of the state. This cannot be done on a faulty electoral process of intimidation, harassment and ignorance.
We are also using this medium to create awareness that the state should be a place where everybody should contribute his or her own quota to make it better rather than stealing government money to derail the system. It should be a place where the unborn children will one day express delight and be grateful to our generation.
The State has not really got its fair share of the dividends of democracy. This is because of infractions and acrimonies arising from imposition of candidates. We want this to stop. I don’t want us to get mischievous and begin to think that all the political parties are in a mess. It is not true. Disabuse your mind from all forms of gimmicks by the political parties and focus on persons and personalities. The political parties have a right to bring any candidate but the people should have the ultimate right of picking the ideal candidate for the state.
One of the beauties of democracy is freedom of choice, so the state electorate should ensure that the ideal candidate for a new-look Anambra State emerges through free, fair and credible election on November 16. Our vote must be made to count. Our queuing up for hours to vote should not be rubbished by desperate politicians.In recent times, a lot of transformation has gone through the minds of the people of Anambra State to the extent that they have vowed that it would not continue to be business as usual. At least, we now know that if people continue to do the same thing they will still get the same result. Nothing changes! So, there is need for a positive change in the way we see, work and advance the cause of the state.
The governorship election is going to be a battle for change. This battle will not be fought with guns and other war ammunition but with our voters’ cards. The reason is because there is a mental revolution that is going on in Anambra State at the moment. We are tired of illicit political past. Anambra State, going by the calibre of human resources we have, is supposed to be one of the states to be reckoned with in Nigeria. But, this has not been because of desperation on the part of our political avalanche of governorship aspirants.The people are in dire need of change. We need a new beginning, a candidate that would give the State a fresh breath.
Anambra 2014 election is the test ground for people of the state, and indeed Nigerians who love to see good things happen in their country to enthrone a honourable and purposeful leader in Anambra. Anambra 2014 election will be used to re-shape the destiny of the state. It should be the year when all hopes of a better and fast-growing economy, and development of the state, will be fast-tracked.
■Okereke writes from Awka