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Prof. Wole Soyinka has frowned at people who try to celebrate Dr. Chris Ngige as the liberator of Anambra. Though he said he was delighted at the way he challenged Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, but he said that no matter what he did or heroic act he might have performed that the fundamental flaw remained that he was part of the clique that fraudulently stole the mandate of the people of the State in 2003.

He said this at the International Conference on Africa organized under the auspices of the Chinua Achebe Colloquium at Brown University held at Westin Hotel, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Soyinka who agreed with Prof. Chinua Achebe and Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu who had earlier said that the 2010 Anambra State gubernatorial election was a test case for the 2011 elections in the country, called on the people of Nigeria to stand against the election being manipulated in any manner.

In his Keynote speech, Gov. Peter Obi, who was also one of the panelists alongside Prof. Achebe, Soyinka, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu eulogized Prof. Chinua Achebe for standing against evil in the State as he demonstrated by the rejection of a National Honour during Obasanjo time.

Calling for vigilance and the efforts of all stakeholders to prevent manipulations of the election, the Governor lamented that the people Achebe described as “'a small clique of renegades' and their beneficiaries are still the frontline politicians of some of our political parties

campaigning for the 2010 governorship election in Anambra State. In spite of the fact that their actions in the past led to the complete destruction of the State, with assets worth over 30 Billion Naira destroyed, no public remorse has been demonstrated. They have neither curtailed their lawlessness nor do they appear prepared to do so.”

According to him, “The way out of their traps and gangsterism is for law-abiding and progressive politicians to sacrifice their individual ambitions and benefits and work together in order to ensure that the electoral laws are strictly observed and that the votes of the electorate freely and appropriately cast determine success of the election.”

Insisting that the means by which people gain political powers being more fundamental than what they do thereafter, he cautioned against politicians sealing themselves to the devil, concluding that without willing godsons there will be no godfathers.

Other personalities that attended the Colloquium include Senator Ken Nnamani; Abubakar Umar; Walter Carrington, former American Ambassador to Nigeria; Prof. Jean Herskovits of the University of New York; Prof. John Avans of the Northwestern University; Prof. Abiola Francis of Harvard University; Ibrahim Auwalu, the Nigerian Consul General, New York; Prof. Obiora Udechukwu of St Lawrence University; Princeton Lyman, former US Ambassador to Nogeria; Emeka Izeze, the Managing Director of the Guardian Newspapers; Senator Ben Obi; Prof. A.B.C Nwosu and many more.

Speaking after the event, Prof. James Okeke said it was a shame that only Gov. Peter Obi came amongst all those contesting the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Anambra State. In his words, “I hope others are not indirectly telling us that they do not support free and fair election in Anambra State.”

At the Colloquium, one Ikesiama said he was representing Ngige. The way and manner he behaved made the organizers not to recognize him. During question time, he complained bitterly and together with his wife and Vincent Unachukwu, the one from Oraifite, who credited the Nkwor Oraifite road constructed by Obi to Ngige asked what could at best be regarded as foolish questions. Obi in his characteristic humility answered those questions