At last, the 2019 General Elections in Nigeria are over with the winners celebrating and losers, either accepting their fate, or going to court. That is normal. But beyond the elections is the generally peaceful attitude of Anambra people before, during and after the elections.
While in some states of the federation, all hell was let loose during and after elections, with a great toll on human life, Anambra State witnessed relative peace. Despite reported skirmishes in some parts of the state during that period, they paled into insignificance when compared to the scenario in other parts of the federation. Indeed, Anambra has always not been associated with bitter and violent politics, no matter how intense the campaigns are. These last elections were not different and we are therefore compelled to congratulate the citizens of the state for living true to type.
Anambrarians have also been known for their independent and mature approach to politics. The average Anambra man or woman votes according to their convictions at any time, regardless of what obtains elsewhere. During the time of NRC and SDP, Anambra was the only state in the entire Southeast Geopolitical Zone that had an SDP governor. Again in the aftermath of the 2003 general elections, Anambra was also the only Southeast state with an APGA Government.
During the election for Gov Willie Obiano’s second term, Anambrarians massively supported him despite the popularity of the former governor, Peter Obi, whose candidate, Henry Oseloka Obaze, contested on PDP’s platform. Yet the same Obi that was virtually rejected in 2017, was massively supported in this year’s Presidential Election. A majority of his party candidates were also voted for in the National Assembly Elections. Thereafter, the people reverted to supporting Gov Obiano two weeks later by voting for APGA candidates to ensure political stability in the state. Again, all this was done without resort to violence but simply showed the independence and maturity of the people of the state.
Now that the elections have come and gone, it is our hope and prayer that those elected will justify the confidence reposed in them by the electorate by dedicating themselves to the service of the people without witch-hunting those believed not to have voted for them. That is the true manifestation of statesmanship. They should make legislations that will benefit their people rather than their personal interests.
There should also be adequate checks and balances in the state to ensure good governance. While the state legislature should not cause distraction in the good governance of the state, it should also avoid being a rubberstamp legislature. It will be doing a great disservice to the state if it becomes any of the two.
We expect also that members of the National Assembly should work in harmony with their state counterparts and with the state government. What should be of paramount interest at every point is the good of the state; for while politics and politicians come and go, Anambra State will remain, especially when the political opponents of today may well be political allies of tomorrow.
We heartily congratulate all the winners as we look forward to an improved performance all round.