From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Fireworks may have started over Anambra State governorship election billed for November 6 with the chieftains of contending parties bickering on the chances of their parties in the contest.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, fired the first salvo when he said the All Progressives Congress (APC) would deploy fair or foul means to ensure victory.
Ngige said Imo Governor, Hope Uzodimma, spoke his mind when he said, during the party’s stakeholders’ meeting in Awka that he would use ‘seen and unseen forces’ to ensure that APC wins the poll.
Speaking in his community, Alor, Idemmili South Local Government Area, he defended Uzodimma’s statement, explaining the ‘seen forces’ to be APC stalwarts while the ‘unseen forces’ is God.
But APGA National Chairman, Victor Oye, told Uzodimma it would be a mistake if he was expecting President Muhammadu Buhari to influence the election for APC on November 6.
Also, former national chairman of APGA, Vitor Umeh, described Ngige as a boastful politician who has never won an election freely in the state.
“What happened in 2017 is supposed to be fresh in the mind of Ngige whom I read in various newspapers insulting APGA, insulting the government, and writing us off.”
He vowed that Ngige would lose his ward.
“APGA has a structure in every corner in Anambra State. He is boasting that he must take power from APGA and flush us out on November 6. After all his boasts in the previous elections, he has always lost his ward. And on November 6, 2021, he will lose his ward again. He has never won in his ward.”
When he says these things I don’t know whether he thinks we are no longer alive. He is a customer I have had since 2003.
“In 2003, we defeated him in almost all the polling units in Anambra State and PDP rigged the election and put him in power. And we went to court and got rid of him. In 2010, he tried it again and we bashed him very badly. So, he has always been losing election to APGA. In 2011, he lost senatorial election to the late Dora Akunyili. He rigged the election, we went to the tribunal, and with his tricks he frustrated the petition from being heard because he had seen the results and knew he had lost. And after 180 days, the petition was struck out. There was no judgment delivered. So, he didn’t win the election. There’s no election in Anambra State that Ngige can say he has won.
“Whenever he wants to talk, he should know those of us who have been in the trenches with him are still alive. And this year will not be different. His wild comment is enough to earn him a sack. There’s nothing that will lend credence to his boast except that he is trying to overheat the polity and lay a foundation for rigging that he is known for.
“We will not allow that. We shall approach Anambra people with our record of service and our achievements. God willing, he will attend the airport commissioning ceremony at Umueri. And if I see him there, I’ll ask him, how do you do? What have you to say about this? What are you going to tell Anambra people to follow you with your empty performance?”
Contrasting the maturity of APGA with the destructive tendencies of PDP in the state, Umeh said: “APGA has brought an atmosphere of peace in Anambra State. We may disagree; being human, but we don’t disagree to the point of bringing the system down. But there are parties I know if you allow them, they will burn down the state again. They have that culture of destruction and no matter how people may have meandered around into that platform, the culture of destruction is still there.”