….Accuse Obiano of having hand in indiscriminate litigations and procurement of “court orders’
…urge Chief Judge to ensure that Anambra State is allowed free hands to have its Nov 6 Governorship Poll outside the confines of rancor and acrimony
……Remind of numerous governance challenges facing the state including local and foreign debts to the tune of N120bn
By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Ahead of the November 6 Governorship election in Anambra state, the International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety) and South East Civil Liberty Organisations have warned politicians in the state to end the indiscriminate and frivolous litigations concerning the conducted and concluded Party Primaries to avoid installation of another “Supreme court or INEC Governor” in the state.
This is coming as the groups have accused Governor Willie Obiano of having a hand in the indiscriminate litigations and procurement of court orders that greeted the parties’ primaries in the state. Adding that his statement of 8th July 2021 tagged “PDP, APC have conceded defeat in November 6 election clearly points to this direction.
The Groups therefore called on Chief Judge of Anambra State to not only monitor and caution the Judges under him but also ensure that Anambra State is allowed free hands to have its November 6 Governorship Poll without rancor and acrimony.
They further urged the candidates of the mainstream Party leaderships to relocate to all nooks and crannies of the State to ascertain the plethora of governance rot and challenges waiting for anyone who credibly emerges the next popularly elected Governor of Anambra State; including but not limited to over one hundred and twenty billion naira (N120bn) local and international debt.
The Groups disclosed these in a statement signed Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair; Barr Chinwe Umeche, Head, Democracy & Good Governance; Comrade Aloysius Attah and Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme, made available to Sundiata Post.
The statement reads in full:
The Leaderships of Intersociety and the Civil Liberties Organization in Anambra State and Southeast Zone have observed with deepest dismay the raining of frivolous and discredited Court orders on the recently conducted and concluded Party Primaries by Political Parties fielding candidates in the November 6, 2021 Anambra Governorship Poll. This alarmingly disturbing development, if unchecked and not stopped, is capable of scuttling the Governorship Poll and denying the conscientious voters in the State their constitutional right to choose their leaders democratically. The despicable and condemnable development is also capable of allowing the State to endlessly wallow in underdevelopment, mass poverty, human and infrastructural insecurity and other unsafe conditions. Therefore, these hydra-headed monsters must not be allowed a space in our beloved State. The State’s malevolent politicians and dishonorable Judges are hereby strongly warned and advised to steer clear and leave the State alone so that their long suffering citizens will on Nov 6 2021 choose their leaders democratically, popularly and credibly.
The malevolent politicians and dishonorable Judges wherever they are or operate from must be reminded that the democratic forces that successfully fought and restored the culture of ‘one-man-one-vote’ in Anambra State are still much around and intact and had then included the Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization, under the headship of Emeka Umeagbalasi (Chair), assisted by Comrades Aloysius Attah, Uzor A. Uzor, Silas Anonde and others. Intersociety joined the struggle after its formation in July 2008. Traced back to 1999 when the country returned to civil rule, the democratic forces were instrumental at ensuring participatory electioneering in Anambra leading to the emergence of Dr. Chinweoke Mbadinuju, who, though, emerged popularly in the 1999 Governorship Election, but failed woefully in the governance of the State, to the extent that during his quest for second term, the democratic forces allied and ensured his rejection by his party and defeat at the poll of 2003 when he defected and contested under the then Action Congress. The Election was brutally rigged against the popular choice who later headed to court to recover the rigged mandate and the same democratic forces allied and rallied round the rigged until the mandate was restored in March 2006. During the three years plus interloper regime of the rigger, the same democratic forces refused to go home and sleep. In the successor election that brought the incumbent in 2013, the democratic forces again rallied round and ensured that the citizens of the State were allowed to vote and the winner won with popular votes cast.
It therefore saddens our heart that some leading politicians in Anambra State have madethemselves ‘perpetual propellers of individual and collective selfishness and foolishness’. To them, politics in the State has become a private estate or property, power lies on the masses including their right to vote and choose their leaders. We have carefully followed and studied the unfolding events in the past weeks especially how the Party Primaries were conducted and concluded. And our deepest concern is the negative impacts of such on the collective security, welfare and future of the State if left unchecked or not tackled headlong, which explains our breaking of collective silence and resolve not to sit by as ‘elders and allow a pregnant mother goat delivers in titters’.
It is therefore our finding that in the ruling APGA, the wrangling in the Party is nothing short of self -invited and self -inflicted. These are to the extent that the same greed and selfishness by some malevolent politicians in the Party disallowed a level playing ground and resorted to the anointment of a candidate instead of allowing all the aspirants to participate with a winner emerging through popular ink votes and gubernatorial persuasion. In PDP, same selfishness and greed in addition to privatization quest, played out leading to frivolous litigations and procurement of discredited court orders and quest for more. In APC, the figures produced for the ‘winner’ had never been scored credibly by any gubernatorial winner in any Governorship Election in the State since 1999. By the press statement of the Government of Anambra State, issued on 8th July 2021 and tagged “PDP, APC have conceded defeat in Nov. 6 election”, says Obiano; it is a clear evidence that the present Government of Anambra State has a remote hand in indiscriminate litigations and procurement of “court orders’”, all aimed at stampeding the ‘not-credible’ Independent National Electoral Commission into removing names of some candidates or that of a candidate considered as a threat and by extension wanting to replicate what happened in Rivers, Zamfara States as well as the Supreme Court magic in Imo State where the Court magisterially awarded itself “roles and functions of INEC” including conduct, collection, collation, award and announcement of results and declaration of a winner.
We also saw some candidates who pretended to be “aspirants” but turned out in the end exposing themselves as being planted by opposing political actors for purpose of causing disharmonies in the Political Parties they claimed to belong. This is to the extent that after congratulating their opponents who gathered more votes and won, they turned around and made themselves a willing tool within and outside their Parties and resorted to frivolous litigations. Some also tipped themselves to emerge victorious at all costs at their Party Primaries and when the reverse became the case, they refused to accept defeat and support their Parties and their flag bearers into winning the Poll or ‘defecting’ to other Parties and grab their Governorship tickets. This is where the decision and wisdom of the Capital CEO, Ifeanyi Ubah becomes commendably appreciated and emulative. He has till date stayed put in his Party, YPP, and assisted in no small way in building same. Unfortunately most of political players in the country including Anambra State, are potential defectors who hardly believe in political ideologies and Party manifestos and serially and shamefully jump from political party to the other.
As for the dishonorable Judges who go about issuing court orders from left, right and center, aiming at scuttling the Nov 6 2021 Governorship Poll, we are surprised that they have not learnt a single lesson from the tragedies of the recent past co-perpetrated by the Judiciary and have in the instant case sworn to make themselves willing tools in sustained efforts at scuttling the Nov 6 Governorship Poll. The immortal saying has it that “Hallowed Chambers of the Court of Law are usually a host to sane and insane litigants and motions on notice, but the same Court is bound to ensure that what is taken out from the Hallowed Chambers are purified and cleaned so as not to cause havoc or calamity in the society where the litigants came from”. It is sad that reverse has become the case in the instant case. It is therefore the sacred duty of the Chief Judge of Anambra State to not only monitor and caution the Judges under him but also ensure that Anambra State is allowed free hands to have its Nov 6 Governorship Poll outside the confines of rancor and acrimony.
Finally, we strongly call on politicians and other political players in Anambra State to stop and end the maddening rate of indiscriminate and frivolous litigations concerning the conducted and concluded Party Primaries and desist from giving the State and its entrenched popular voting culture away to potential Supreme Court or INEC magic thereby depriving the State’s voters from voting the candidates of their choice and give room for the installation of another “Supreme Court or INEC Governor” in our beloved State. The Anambra politicians and other political players must inexcusably play by the rules. It is also time for the candidates of the mainstream Party leaderships to relocate to all nooks and crannies of the State to ascertain the level of governance rot waiting for them in the event any of them credibly emerges the next popularly elected Governor of Anambra State.
It must also be pointed out that many governance challenges abound in the State, ranging from local and international debts of N120bn or more, menace of revenue touts and roadway brigandage, flittering into private pockets of 80% of the Anambra public revenue generation, huge governance expenditures and over-bloated cabinet size, high costs of nursery/primary education and monopolization of same by private individuals, sorry state of key infrastructures especially roads, waste management, gutters/waterway blockage, dilapidation of school/health institutions, consumption of contagious and unclean water, incessant communal violence and chieftaincy disputes, bastardization of value system and acute provision of social services, muscling of democratic processes in the Markets, plethora of security challenges, squandering of public resources and so on.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair
Barr Chinwe Umeche, Head, Democracy & Good Governance
For: Civil Liberties Organization, Southeast Zone
Comrade Aloysius Attah, Zonal Chairman
For: Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization
Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme, State Chairman