Controversy erupted in Awka this afternoon when the state chapter President of Ohaneze Ndigbo and former national president of the Association of Town Unions (ASATU), Chief Damian Okeke Ogene threw caution to the winds to throw the weight of the pan Igbo Organization behind the reelection bid of the incumbent governor Willie Obiano in a rally in Awka
An Onitsha-based businessman, Chief Jude Kodilinye who saw the move of the Ohaneze chief as “dangerous and reprehensible”, noted that the pan-Igbo organization should be non-partisan, since all office seekers are all sons and daughters of the state, irrespective of the political party affiliation.
Madam Chika Umenwa, a pharmacist in Awka appealed to duty bearers, including the governor, to avoid overheating the polity by politicizing all things in the state.
According to her, if the governor and his supporters believe he has performed, then let his achievements speak for him.
She disclosed that politicizing communities, their leadership including churches were actually the hallmark of a failed but desperate leadership. She expressed despair what the situation would be if other aspirants who are actually bona fide sons and daughters of these communities resist and engage their church leaders, monarchs and town Union executives “for this political radicalism”
Okeke-Ogene who was Chairman on the occasion of the rally which opponents of the Obiano administration alleged was hastily and desperately bankrolled to attempt to salvage the rocking reelection boat of the governor, urged other aspirants to shelve their interest and support Obiano.
He emphasized that Gov Obiano should be allowed to complete his two terms in the interest of equity and fairness, and said that the emergence of an All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) regime in the state marked the full integration of ASATU in the scheme of things as the fourth tier of government in the state.
Taken up on the people’s reaction, the Ohaneze chief said Ohaneze remains father to all, and that her role would continue to be advisory.
The National President of ASATU, Dr Jude Okolo in his address said the rally was buoyed by their desire to build a more stable and prosperous Anambra state.
That the association organized the forum as a platform to bring Ndi Anambra together to review situations in the state, propose solutions to the people’s common challenges and engender the right sense of awareness in the affairs of the State.
He pledged the unflinching loyalty and support of ASATU to the Obiano administration in view of his radiating accomplishments and visionary policies.
Okolo also highlighted the need for Ndi Anambra to show genuine commitment towards the Anambra project by putting aside party differences and joining hands with government in transforming the state.
Governor Obiano commended Ndi Anambra for openly endorsing him for second term, and thanked the Association for its support to his administration, assuring he will not disappoint them.
The visibly elated and happy governor pointed out that his administration was already living the dreams of the founding fathers of APGA for the development of the State.
The Governor said by the time his administration would have lasted eight years in the saddle of affairs, Anambra would definitely standout as a model state in the country.
The rally, held at the Dr Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, saw a capacity-filled arena as the people from all councils, communities and zones through a motion and voice vote unanimously threw their unalloyed support for the Governor’s re-election bid.
The event was attended by key stakeholders in the state including former Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, traditional rulers, Presidents General and representatives of the general assemblies of the various communities.