By Tony Edike
Ikemba Nnewi and leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu- Ojukwu, warned yesterday that the constitutional crisis about being created allegedly by the Court of Appeal over the governorship seat of Anambra State could leadÂ to another civil war.
Ojukwu, APGA’s presidential candidate in the 2007 general election, spoke against the backdrop of growing speculations that the Court of Appeal is set to deliver judgment in Dr. Andy Ubaâ€™s case at the appellate court seeking to be declared governor at the expiration of Governor Peter Obiâ€™s tenure on March 17, 2010 on the strength of his victory in the 2007 governorship poll.
The APGA leader said in Enugu that the courtâ€™s verdict which has been adjourned indefinitely could lead to anarchy in the country if it goes the way of Uba of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
According to him, it would be unacceptable for the court to hold a view different from that of the Supreme Court which had adjudicated on the issue and ruled that there ought not be a governorship election in Anambra in 2007 since the seat was not vacant.
He drew the attention of the Federal Government and indeed, Nigerians to the so-called impending catastrophe which the judgment could cause in Anambra State and the nation.
He claimed that the people of the stateÂ are looking up to him to lead them in the event of another crisis which could be very bloody.
He said: â€œIf you noticed I have kept well away to the background for quite some time. And it is on good reason. The first problem I will hint before I answer your question is this â€“ That to understand me, one should bear in mind that no country had two civil wars without suffering deeply from such mistake. In my mind, what we are playing out is not anything short of playing with the possibilities of another civil war.
â€œI say this because whenever the term civil war is used everybody remembers me. Well, I am still alive. I donâ€™t want to be part of a second civil war. But sadly, as we are playing â€œkosoâ€ (game) with our affairs in Anambra State, I also think, to understand what I am trying to say, we should understand that a pillar upon which justice stands is that the constitution is supreme.
â€œNothing we have beats the validity of the constitution of the land. We must bear in mind that we set up courts and they go through and sort out our various litigations. And we have at all times to remember that a fundamental issue is, that you cannot get something out of nothing. If there is no cause, then you cannot get a verdict.
â€œNow having said that, the things we should bear in mind is this: One, the Supreme court said one, two, three whatever it is. Two, the Appeal Court is in no way superior to the Supreme Court and three, If there should not have been an election, there cannot be anything coming out of it.â€
He went on: â€œThere is an incumbent governor. That incumbent governor has not fulfilled in absolute his tenure. I make no apologies about this; the Anambra people are looking unto me, and I am sure most of them have already decided that if we have to fight again, I will be Commander-in-Chief. So, I want to make it clear today I am before you and I am begging. Please I am begging, not drag us into another civil war.
â€œI make it quite clear that whatever we are playing with we must know the full consequences of it. The full consequences are that we are stepping with our eyes wide open into another bloody conflict. I will not sit around and allow Anambra State to be used as a balloon ball for children to kick around. No. We have our rights. We are a people. I will certainly, to the end, support justice for Anambra State.â€
The APGA leader, however, added that unless there was justice under the law, peace would elude the people. â€œMy own concept of peace is a peace under law. Peace and law. And therefore what does the law say? The law makes it quite clear that the Supreme Court is supreme.â€