By Ononye VC
In a statement released in Awka shortly after the election,Senator Ekwunife said..
“I wish to congratulate the winner of the Anambra state governorship election as declared by INEC, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, and join millions of Anambrarians to give glory to God for granting us a peaceful election.
In every democratic contest, there must be a winner and God, through the good people of Anambra State has chosen Prof. Soludo to lead the state. As responsible citizens and lovers of democracy, we must accept the wishes of our people as expressed on Saturday, November 6th and Tuesday, November 9th governorship polls.
It has to be said that this election was one of the most challenging for Ndi Anambra, our democratic existence was threatened by myriads of challenges. Leading to the election, the insecurity and killings witnessed across the state casted a shadow on the governorship campaign process. However, in the end, Anambrarians triumphed and came out, across the 326 wards in the state to cast their votes in what can be adjudged as one of the most peaceful elections in Nigeria in recent times.
While I commend Ndi Anambra for conquering their fears and fully participating in the electoral process, I equally commend the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for their innovations and introduction of the BVAS technology which no doubt helped in strengthening the credibility of the electoral process.
Similarly, I commend the security agencies for sustaining peace during the election. The Army, the Police, Civil Defence, Federal Roads Safety, community vigilante services and others played a huge role by ensuring that Ndi Anambra exercised their civic rights.
I equally commend the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano for their efforts in ensuring that all political parties were given a level playing ground. I hope that this election has marked a departure from the days of intimidation and harassment of those in opposition. The outcome of the election has shown that power belongs to the people!
Though the electoral process as witnessed across the 21 LGAs in the state gave our people the opportunity to choose their governor, it is sad to observe that cases of vote-buying characterized the poll, casting a dent on the electoral process. As we continue to develop as a nation, I hope that we make a departure from this ugly development and get our people to see the need to vote according to their conscience – without financial inducement.
While I urge the governor-elect to be magnanimous in victory, I enjoin him to waste no time in assembling competent team of men and women that will tackle the numerous challenges facing the state. Being aware of the gender gap that exists across all levels of government, I urge Prof. Soludo to be gender sensitive in the selection of his team.
I wish to specially congratulate the candidate of my party, the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo who I learnt has called the governor-elect to congratulate him. This gesture is the truest exhibition of the much preached spirit of good sportsmanship. I hail our candidate for his doggedness and commitment to democracy.
In the same vein, I congratulate Senator Andy Uba, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, Dr. Godwin Maduka, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo and other candidates who contested the election. You all made this election competitive and gave Ndi Anambra several wonderful options to choose from. You are all winners.
Our political party, the PDP fought a good fight, however, we must do the necessary introspection to ensure that we do better in future governorship elections.
God rules in the affairs of men. He gives power to whom He desires. We submit to His divine will at all times.
On behalf of my family, and the good people of Anambra Central Senatorial District, I once again congratulate our incoming governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo. I look forward to working with him for the peace and development of our dear state.
Congratulations Ndi Anambra!”