While the candidate of the ruling All Progressive Grand Alliance, Governor Willie Obiano, is not taking anything for granted, others and their candidates are also not lying low in their determination to take over power from the incumbent. In as much as this practice is good and normal under democracy, the strategy of some politicians who have started trading all sorts of detrimental accusations in the run-up to the election is very worrisome and calls for concern. The situation is also compounded by the threats of violence and calls for boycott coming from certain quarters. These actions are obviously not necessary because they are capable of heating up the polity and causing wanton destruction of lives and property.
Though the people are entitled to freedom of expression under the law, such should not be abused or used to cause confusion and disharmony amongst the citizenry. Also, the agitation for self-determination and independence should not be superfluously carried too far with the tendency to undermine the rights and liberties of others. It is, therefore, necessary for those behind the threats to have a rethink and embrace peace. We cannot afford to plunge the country into avoidable crisis and chaos. Our democracy has already been tainted by violence during past elections and there is a need to avoid a recurrence. Therefore, it is very pertinent for all hands to be on deck towards ensuring a smooth exercise. We are to shun all activities that could cause rancour before, during and after the polls. We are to go about the performance of our right to vote without fear of intimidation or victimisation and abide strictly by all the rules and regulations guiding the election and most importantly, those who do not have anything to do with voting on that day should stay away from the polling centres to avoid being used by desperate politicians and other disgruntled persons to cause confusion and problems.
It is important to state that this write-up is neither meant to support a particular political party/candidate or to condemn the right of any person or group of persons to be independent. The main objective is to encourage all concerned persons to get it right by upholding the sanctity of our democracy, the government and the nation. Consequently, the people should see the election as a contest between brothers and not a do-or-die affair. All the candidates cleared by INEC are deemed to be qualified and eligible to occupy the seat of power. So, the electorate have an opportunity to make a choice amongst viable individuals. This is the time to look beyond party symbols and slogans in determining who should be entrusted with the affairs of the state. In as much as one may say that the incumbent governor has done well in the last four years, there is also, no gainsaying the fact that there are still rooms for improvement. Thus, the people are to choose between giving him another mandate to continue with his job or vote in another person to replace him. At the end of the day, the candidate with the majority of the counted valid votes will be declared the winner and, that is the beauty of democracy.
Therefore, this exercise should be seen as the summation of the people`s will which must be duly respected and jealously guided by all and sundry.
Related to the foregoing, Ndi Anambra should have it at the back of their minds that the outcome of this election will be binding on the state for the next four years. As a result, it is pertinent for them to take the exercise more seriously and not allow moneybags or disgruntled people to hijack or disrupt the same. Also, they should search their conscience and vote for someone who will genuinely put the interest of the state above personal gains; the person who will sustain and continuously improve on the drive for job creation; someone who will sustain and improve on the provision of necessary infrastructural facilities that will have positive impact on the lives of the people; someone who will sustain and improve on government’s support for peasants and small scale businesses; someone who will look beyond parochial, religious and partisan sentiments in the discharge of his duties; someone who will always put Anambra first in all socio-political and economic matters and; most importantly, someone who will ensure the maintenance of peace and security in the state, to mention but a few.
It is obvious that Ndi Anambra are faced with an onerous task of getting it right. Therefore, the popular saying in politics that, ‘There is no permanent friend or foe but, permanent interests’, should be embraced. The people should see themselves as pursuing the same objective of taking the state to greater heights. The victory of any of these contestants should be seen as victory for all. The people should use this exercise to make a bold political statement by coming out en masse to vote.
In a similar vein, the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies should carry out their duties professionally without fear or favour knowing full well that the survival of our democracy depends largely on the conduct and discharge of their assigned responsibilities.
All hands must be on deck to ensure a credible and conclusive election in Anambra State come Saturday.