Before a massive crowd of excited supporters and backed by frontline politicians, Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige announced yesterday his plan to return to the Anambra Government House.
He will run the November 16 race on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) whose leaders stormed Onitsha to drum support for Ngige’s ambition. Among the leaders were APC interim chair Chief Bisi Akande and former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha and his Ekiti counterpart Kayode Fayemi, were also at the Holy Trinity grounds in the commercial city of Onitsha.
The atmosphere was electric, with thousands of APC supporters, including various dance troops from the 21 local government areas, turning the city into a huge carnival arena.
Ngige was elected Anambra State governor in 2003 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was removed from office by the court on March 17, 2006.
Tinubu, apparently overwhelmed by the crowd while driving round the arena with Akande, Ngige and Oshiomhole was beaming with smiles and waving to the crowd.
When he ascended the podium and the microphone handed over to him by the master of ceremony, Sen. Osita Izunaso, Tinubu said with what he had seen, the people have genuine love for Ngige
However, he stressed that the people must protect their votes during the November 16 election, adding that what would happen in Anambra would be a revolution.
“The revolution will not be achieved without you. We have brought to you a revolution, but the most important thing is that our votes must be protected. Go and vote Ngige in and defend it. We have not come to the campaign, the name of Ngige, his name alone has done the campaign,” the APC leader said.
Tinubu’s oratory, the eloquence, of Fayemi, Okorocha and Oshiomhole as well as Akande’s wisdom put the party members in a frenzy.
Tinubu urged students and the youth to turn out enmasse and vote Ngige.
He reminded them of the revolution and change Ngige brought to Anambra during his first term in office and said the APC is the platform of choice.
Akande said: “Nigeria’s glory is returning to Nigeria through the platform of the APC and Ngige is now becoming the mascot of the future glory of Nigeria.”
Fayemi said what would happen in Anambra would be a struggle for the freedom of the people, adding that the 11 Progressive Governors of APC would stand behind Ngige in the race.
His words: “What APC has brought to the people of Anambra State is a package. Everybody is committed to this project. Some of the people gunning for the governorship seat of Anambra, we do not know their antecedents; our politics must be devoid of charlatans.”
Okorocha, who described Ngige as a man who dismantled godfatherism in Anambra politics, said that the hand of God was in his plan.
He said people were rushing to APC because they need change, adding that the much talked about change would come to Anambra first through APC.
Former national chairman of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) Dr Ogbonnaya Onu and the chairman of Ngige’s campaign team, Chief George Moghalu, said APC had started on a good footing and would also end on a good footing.
Moghalu said: “Anambra is not a training ground, the state is for APC, the assurance I am giving the people today is that we will deliver Ngige to the masses.”
Oshiomhole said: “We have not come to market a product. The new drug called APC is a tested one and the product here is a trusted and also a tested one. The thieves are not far way; you must defend your votes. Everybody is crying for change and that change is here with you.”
Igwe of Onitsha, Obi Alfred Achebe yesterday rounded off his Ofala festival in a grand style, pledging his commitment and dedication to Onitsha legacies and cultural re-armament.
Addressing citizens, Obi debunked the claims that he resigned as Anambra State Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council on account of differences with Governor Peter Obi over choice of candidate.
He rather said that having been in the position for over five years, that it was time for others to serve too, adding that he has enjoyed good and harmonious relationship with Obi, who accorded him due respect.
He said he was behind him in the support for Anambra North to produce the next governor in the spirit of equity and fairness.
He prayed for Anambra to get a good leader that would improve on foundations laid by Governor Peter Obi but appealed to voters to use their votes to enthrone a genuine leader out of the 23 governorship sspirants now gunning to govern the state.
Igwe of Onitsha urged the incoming Governor to create more jobs for Anambra youths to reduce crime rate.
Obi, in his remarks urged the people to respect traditional institution in all their dealings as true sons and daughters of Igbo land.
He urged Ndigbo to stand up firmly and insist that their traditional institution must be accorded full respect at all times.
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