Politics

ANAMBRA ’17: Chidoka makes one last push for vote of pro-Biafra groups in campaign finale

Osita Chidoka, candidate of the United Progressive Party (UPP) for the November 18 Anambra governorship election, has rounded off his campaign in virtually the same way it was run— with an overt, even dramatic play for the support of pro-Biafra groups.

Chidoka specifically delivered a message to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) saying they were not criminals, unemployed youths or terrorists.

He also said that he and his party had a message of peace, hope and liberation for the South-East.

The UPP candidate claimed that his party had the broadest demography of supporters and volunteers who were hoping for liberation from long-standing marginalisation.

Chidoka gave the statement at the grand finale of his governorship election campaign Wednesday at Onitsha, Anambra State, saying “November 18th is liberation day.”

According to him, “We ask that in the election of 18th November, the will of ndi Anambra be respected. And for that purpose, I have a message to our brothers and sisters; those who belong to the IPOB and MASSOB; you are not criminals, you are not unemployed youth and you are not terrorists. But we bring a message that the best way to agitate in a democracy is through a political process and a political party.”

Recall that Chidoka it was who drove Nnamdi Kanu, missing leader of the proscribed IPOB from detention upon fulfillment of bail conditions. He had also consistently spoken insupport of the group and the Biafra agenda, specifically backing self-determination as a cardinal principle of the UPP platform.

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The full statement below:

At the flag-off of our campaign on September 31, 2017 at the historic city of Amorka, home of the famous Uli Airport; that historic Biafra airport that embodies the Igbo ingenuity and survival; we brought a message of hope, liberation and peace. We recalled that when our leader, Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu was leaving, he promised to bring back peace to our land.

Today, we bring the message of peace to the southeast, but the only way this peace will endure is if the will of the people of ndi Anambra is respected on the November 18 governorship election. Through the campaign, we have been encouraged by our people. The generality of ndi Anambra spoke with one voice in support of the UPP and we do not take that for granted.

To their credit, we have run a robust campaign. We have the highest demography of supporters and volunteers across the nooks and crannies of Anambra state. As we speak, we have over 45,000 foot soldiers on the streets of Anambra engaging voters directly and converting them, and their number keeps growing by the day. We have over 400 experts in our situation room and call center constantly engaging voters all over Anambra state.

We have people engaging on our mobile app; we have the highest social media network and the highest following in this election. Our message has reverberated, not only all over Anambra, but also all over the country and beyond. We have the highest number of people contributing financially to a campaign; we have the highest number of people listening to our message through multiple channels; we have the highest number of youth supporting a campaign. We have shown that we can do it. We have shown that we are the people to make Anambra state a great state. Today, we round off our campaign; a campaign that has taken us to the nooks and crannies of our state; to all the wards, communities and local governments in Anambra state. We have campaigned vigorously; you all have worked hard. You have shown that we can run a campaign without looting a state treasury.

You have shown that you can campaign without the police and the Army supporting you. We have shown that we can run a successful campaign without a god-father and stand firm in our declaration that only God the Father will determine the result of this election. And now, our message goes forth to the nation.

The only thing we demand of this nation is in the words of our old national anthem which says, ‘oh God of creation grant this our one request, help us to build a nation where no man is oppressed’. We ask that in the election of 18th November, the will of ndi Anambra be respected. And for that purpose, I have a message to our brothers and sisters; those who belong to the IPOB and MASSOB; you are not criminals, you are not unemployed youth and you are not terrorists. But we bring a message that the best way to agitate in a democracy is through a political process and a political party.

We want to assure you that your message has been heard, your voice has reverberated across the country; it has resonated across the world and the time has come for you to institute a government that represents the interest of the people of ndi Igbo. We are asking you to retreat from the streets and join the UPP, and send our people to the state houses of Assembly, National Assembly and to the government houses and we will go with one message; the message of a nation where no man is oppressed.

As we wait for election day, we will remain peaceful; we will not be agitated. We will refuse to be dragged into violence because we know who we are and where we are going. We will not have thugs in our polling units. We will not bribe any agency of government. We will believe in God and we will trust in our people. As we go to the poll on Saturday, we want to sound it loud and clear that any attempt by any body whatsoever to subvert the will of ndi Anambra will be met with stiff resistance.

Nobody can intimidate us; we will make sure that our voters vote, that the votes are protected, that the votes count and that the result reflects only the will of Anambra people. God being by our side, we are already victorious.

 

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