By Ononye VC
Ndi Anambra, ekenm unu.
Umu nnem, the outcome of this gubernatorial election presents hope and a new beginning for our dear state. For the second time in the last four years, Ndi Anambra boldly chose to stand on the side of positive history. People who thought that 21/21 was a fluke have seen history repeat itself in a most memorable way. 19/21 is a massive repeat of history. The difference is just two! And so, against intimidating odds, we stood tall and reclaimed the dignity of our people. Ndi Anambra, we proved to be true sons and daughters of our fathers and mothers and lived out the full meaning of our motto: Light of the Nation!
Fellow citizens, this sweet victory belongs to you. It belongs to that courageous woman in Ebenebe who turned down the N5000 bribe for her vote because she knew that though money could buy her temporary relief, but Anambra would be a better place if she voted according to her conscience. It belongs to our loyal party men and women who resisted temptations of financial inducement from rival parties to fight under the banner of APGA because they knew that victory for APGA is victory for the ordinary citizens of our dear state. And finally, it belongs to Ndi Anambra at home and in the Diaspora who stood behind APGA, not because we have met all the expectations of our people but because even in the foundation my Team and I have laid so far, they see enough sunlight to believe that Anambra State is like the sun which is bound to rise, against all odds. And that is why we won this election.
Ndi Anambra, in pursuit of excellence, we placed merit above narrow interests. We choose a candidate whose pedigree announces itself. Prof Chukwuma Soludo has a name to protect. I have no doubt that he will not let you down. However, on a personal level, Ndi Anambra, you have made me proud. You have shown the world that when a determined people come together as one in pursuit of what is right and just, they bend the arc of justice in their favour.
I must quickly warn, however, that the victory we celebrate today is not a winner-takes-it-all! The motto of our great party is onye aghana nwanne ya (be your brother and sister’s keeper). So, our arms are wide open to our brothers and sisters who fought this battle on other platforms to join APGA. As for those who allowed themselves to be lured away from our great party, our arms are wide open to you too. Please come home! The wound of political battles may be costly but it heals fast. We must not allow a brief struggle for power put a permanent division between families and friends. We must come together to build a prosperous homeland for ourselves and our children.
Ndi Anambra, this is a day of celebration; not for long speeches. The most important speech has been made by the people at the polls. So, I must end this address, but not without thanking the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the will of the people to prevail in this election. Indeed, I am happy to recognize and appreciate the massive efforts of the National Chairman of our party, Ozonkpu Victor Oye, the former National Chairman and distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic, Chief Sir Victor Umeh, the Director General of APGA Campaign Committee, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu and of course, the Governor-elect of Anambra State, Prof Chukwuma Soludo. I also thank the leaders of the church and the traditional institution, leaders of the various market associations, farmers’ cooperatives, the town unions and our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora for playing active roles in this election. Without a doubt, you have demonstrated to the world that though we may fight with each other, the bond of brotherhood that holds us together is stronger than our disagreements!
My gratitude also goes to the Nigerian Police, the Army, the Navy and all the security agencies for providing a watertight security to ensure a peaceful election. I thank my beloved wife, Ebelechukwu for standing by me all through the campaign period and mobilizing umunwanyi Anambra to come out and perform their civic duty on November 6 and 9. Darling, oga adili gi mma!
In conclusion, Ndi Anambra, thank you so much for voting Prof Chukwuma Soludo. It is the best parting gift you will ever give to me!
God bless Anambra State
God bless Nigeria