Anambra 2013: Dr Ngige Holds The Ace This Time By Joe Igbokwe
During the 2010 Anambra governorship elections, I was not in support of Dr Chris Ngige, even as he was in the same party with me. I wanted Governor Peter Obi to get a second term because of all the troubles he went through to reclaim his mandate and all the troubles he suffered going through criminal impeachment and through courts and tribunals to reclaim his mandate. I stood my ground for him because His Excellency Obi is a good man, a performer and a gentleman. Politics notwithstanding, Governor Obi has lifted Anambra State up through committed and responsible leadership. He has added serious values to the politics of Anambra State. When the history of those who lifted Anambra up will be told, He, Obi, will take his place in the hall of fame.
For supporting Governor Obi in place of the candidate of my party ACN, I got lots and lots of punches and condemnation. Dr Ngige‘s team led by Dr. Okpagu loaded three buses of Ngige supporters and went to our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at Bourdillon, Ikoyi, Lagos to ask that I should be removed as the ACN spokesperson in Lagos for anti-party activities. Asiwaju BAT put a call to me. The National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, was there. Other party leaders including Governor Aregbesola were there. Asiwaju BAT put the phone on speaker for me to hear what Dr. Okpagu and his group were saying. I heard everything and I know what I told BAT and Chief Bisi Akande. Time and space will fail me to begin to give copious accounts of the series of events that transpired then and the panels I faced and what I said. The rest is now history but it was an excruciating and daunting experience for me. I have never regretted it.
Today, I want to apologize to our party leaders and all those I hurt for not supporting Dr. Chris Ngige then. I remember the hot arguments and exchange of words I had with the supporters of Dr. Chris Ngige. I will appeal that we put this matter behind us and move on. In politics, they say that there are no permanent friends or foes. It is a game that is supposed to be played with fun and fun-fair, and with the spirit of good sportsmanship. I am led to plead that we should let the sleeping dog lie and let us move on. We have a target and that is to make 2014 a memorable year. We will join the teeming and enthusiastic Anambra voters to elect Dr. Ngige as the Governor of Anambra State, so let us all move forward with that spirit until victory is achieved.
Now, as Anambra governorship polls come up on November 16 2013, I want to announce that APC is coming to rule Anambra State and Dr. Chris Ngige is the owner of the game. This is authoritative and yet final. All the energies at our disposal will be deployed to make this a reality. We will put our hands, our feet, our eyes, our brains, our strengths, our human and material resources to make the dream come true. This support would not be based on flimsy grounds but the best interest of Anambra at heart. We will work hard to elect for ourselves a man best suited to continue the progressive march Anambra has been having since the coming of Ngige and his historic liberation of Anambra politics from the shackles of godfathers and minions. It was that liberty that ensured the success of Governor Obi and I bet the most remarkable way of permanentizing it is to ensure that the liberator himself is seen to power.
My unflinching support for Governor Peter Obi to rule Anambra for eight years made me to ignore the monumental achievements of Dr Chris Ngige in Anambra State for three years he was in office but within the scope of my conscience, I knew then that he opened the eyes of the people of Anambra State that government can do something tangible given the right leadership. For the avoidance of doubts, the template of Anambra renaissance we all are benefiting from today was set up by Ngige when he damned the hawkish demands of the godfathers to free Anambra and its resources for the people of Anambra. He went on to embark on massive works to clean up Anambra and put in place durable infrastructure bases that will jump start the state, which was then reeling from the doldrums of the Chinwoke Mbadinuju era. The roads he built are still standing today as a testimonial to his vision and foresight. The bridges, the health facilities, the schools and other infrastructures he started and completed in Anambra are today living testimonies to his commitment to Anambra and his competence for the task of governing the state.
Before the coming of Dr Ngige, Anambra was a state to be pillaged and plundered with nobody asking questions because they think Anambrans are mere traders who do not care about governance. Senator Chris Ngige opened our eyes and in almost 12 years, we saw leadership at its best. Under our own very eyes, we saw Anambra transformed to one of the states with good roads in Nigeria. You cannot believe it you can transverse major towns in Anambra State in less than two hours because of good and well connecting roads. It is unbelievable, it is unthinkable, it is unimaginable. Another area both Obi and Ngige tried their best is in the area of Security knowing our state to be a cash driven state and therefore den of criminals. There were regrettable incidents and casualties but both did not leave any stone unturned to reverse the trend. However, there is still much to be done for the incoming Governor in 2014. We have to chase criminals away from that very important state for people to have peace. These are jobs that need a strong-hearted man with proven capacity to deliver to do. It is not for the faint-hearted.
Every Anambra indigence knows that Dr. Ngige was the trail blazer in the restoration of Anambra to glory for if he had failed to battle the ubiquitous godfathers that were holding the state and its resources hostage, he would have lined his pockets, been a good boy and allowed the status quo to remain. Chances were that he would not have been removed and would have had his eight years and retired to opulence while Anambra wallows in the quagmire. The giant development stride he started in Anambra made for the restoration of responsible and accountable government in the state, hitherto serially abused by all manners of outlaws and free loaders. That the people of Anambra know these facts remains the reason why Ngige is celebrated as a folk hero in all nooks and crannies of the state today and why most Anambra people feel that he, and only he alone, is the guaranteed best on who will take Anambra to the next level from 2014.
The people of Anambra State need not look too far for the leader that will be on the driver’s seat in 2014. We have a tested and trusted Ngige to return to office to continue the good work Governor Obi is doing right now. Dr. Chris Ngige has what it takes to return to State House, Awka, and continue the good work he started and which Obi took up these last eight years. Dr. Ngige proved to Anambra and Nigerians that a man who is a man must stand his own ground come rain, come sunshine. Ngige proved to us that charlatans and scoundrels should not dictate the course of events in a very important state like Anambra. Ngige proved beyond every reasonable doubt that his 35 years career in the Federal Civil Service is not for nothing. Ngige proved beyond reasonable doubt that courage is desired of anybody who is privileged to be said to be a leader. Ngige fought political idiots and nitwits to liberate Anambra State. Ngige proved that leadership is not measured by height or might. Please do not elect a person who will come to learn leadership while in office. Ngige is a great and powerful hand; trusted and tested to hold on to. Please use him.
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