Barely just 48hours to the November 6, Anambra governorship election, key Igbo leadership voices, including the former Aviation Minister, Chief Osita Chidoka; the Minority Leader of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and a Law Professor cum activist, Dr Sam Amadi have called for an immediate halt to violence and hostilities in Anambra state for a peaceful conduct of this Saturday’s election.
The stand was part of the outcome of Wednesday night’s extensive virtual conversation initiated and anchored by Chief Chidoka on practical ways to push through the agitation of the southeast people, particularly within the context of the Anambra governorship election.
The call became imperative as external forces, criminal elements and desperate politicians have seemingly hijacked the genuine agitation of the people and cashed in on the situation in the state to unleash violence and frame-up innocent persons to justify state-backed brutality in the state and the region.
They urged all the various agitating groups for self determination in the region to shame and disarm their traducers by asking Anambra people to come out and choose the leader that approximate to the type of personality they would like to represent Ndi Igbo in their agitations and yearnings as a people.
The participants held that such a position by the groups would strengthen the demand for political solutions and engagements towards the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
In urging that the people be allowed to vote, the discussion held that “the act of Ndi Anambra voting on Saturday is a major part of the affirmation of our self-determination as a people. If the people cannot decide who will govern them through an election, they are not close to determining their future through a democratic process. Denying the people the right to vote is a major denial of their rights to self-determination”.
The geopolitical zone, they observed was better realized when the movement participate in the political process and throw up political leaders who share the vision and aspiration of the people. Election boycott will destroy that possibility.
According to them, “when the people elect a leadership that represents their hopes and aspirations, they are in a position to pursue the people’s agenda more effectively. Whatever is the plan, it has to go through a political process; if you have governors and legislators who share in the vision, it would be easier to realise such vision”.
Senator Abaribe pointed out that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu would have languished in Prison if he was not a Senator and ready to meet the bail condition that required a Senator to stand surety. “You have to be in the game to score a goal”, he noted.
The discussants therefore insisted the November 6 date for the Anambra election should be sacrosanct, adding that any activity that will not give room for peaceful conduct of the election is equivalent to pressing a self-destructive button on the state and the southeast region.
On the “sit-at-home, directive, the leaders lamented that such is already taking a significant toll on the economy and general wellbeing of the people of the southeast region.
In a press statement from the event made available to journalists in Awka, the media aide to Chidoka, Mr Ikechukwu Okafor, noted that Senator Abaribe submitted that “the sit-at-home directive is hurting our economy and destroying private enterprise which is our major competitiveness. We must find a more strategic way to pursue the agenda without placing the burden on our people”.
While Dr. Amadi called for a more pragmatic strategy such as the Catalonia approach of self-development and using the movement platform to achieve political control.
Chidoka also restated the call for a peaceful election on Saturday. He noted that the election is a significant part of the self-determination process of the people to elect the leader that can best advance their agitation instead of allowing situations that give their traducers the upper hand to perpetrate violence and foist undesirable leadership on them.