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Traditional Rulers, Clerics Uphold Anambra Election, Urges Massive Turn-Out

By Mazi Odera
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The Anambra State Central Senatorial Traditional Rulers Forum has charged principal actors in the Anambra Governorship Election to respect the mandate of the people. In a communiqué issued after its meeting, the royal fathers enjoined them to desist from actions or utterances that could over heat the polity or disrupt the prevailing peace and stability in the State.

Presenting the communiqué to journalists in Awka, the Chairman of the Forum and Traditional Ruler of Okpuno, Igwe Sunday Okafor commended the people of the State for conducting themselves peacefully during the exercise and enjoined those involved in the supplementary election to turn out and exercise their civic responsibility.

The traditional rulers urged whoever would emerge as the winner of the election to be magnanimous in victory and take steps to accommodate all stakeholders in a spirit of no victor no vanquished.

They charged the people to look beyond the election and work together for the continued progress of the State.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor has described the State Nov. 16th Governorship election as free, fair and successful. Speaking to journalists at Neni, Bishop Ezeokafor said the result collated so far represented the will and choice of the people.

He said there was no ground for anybody to call for total cancellation of the exercise and enjoined those behind the call to give the people reasons why the election should be cancelled. He explained that the minor hitches experienced in some places were not enough to justify cancellation of the election, noting that no election everywhere has so far be adjudged perfect.

Describing those agitating for cancellation as “bad Losers, the Bishop stressed the need for people to learn to accept defeat in good faith so that the society could move forward. He however charged INEC to ensure earlier arrival of materials in future election.

In their own separate reactions, Archbishop Christian Efobi and Bishop Owen Nwokolo described the election as fair and peaceful and insisted that cancellation of the polls was not an option at all. Efobi counseled those that lost the election to accept defeat, as, according to him, there cannot be two victors at a time.

Similarly, the Director of Health Services, the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Rev Fr. Patrick Omuta has condemned in strongest term the call for the cancellation of the election. He was speaking yesterday to journalists at Obosi, during the foundation laying ceremony of the Archdiocese's Maternity Complex at Ugwuagba.

His words: “Enemies of Anambra State are blackmailing u, but God has shamed all of them. We had a successful election, rather than concede defeat; they ran to Lagos and are trying to use the press to destabilize the State peter Obi has brought decency and civility to. During the election, there was no case of violence anywhere, no shooting, and no brigandage.

It is painful that after the election, some people who did not vote, who cannot even locate Anambra State on the map became experts on Anambra matters. We thank God for a Governor like Peter Obi, who has been using his maturity and sense of decency in handling the matter. We shall continue to stand by him at all times. It is Anambra forward ever; backward never.


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