By Henry Umoru
PRESIDENT Umaru Yarâ€™Adua hasblamedÂ the National Working Committee, NWC, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for its inability to conduct a primary election in Anambra State for next Februaryâ€™s governorship election.
Specifically, the president faulted the party leadership, led by Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, on its handling of the aggrieved members of the party over the nomination of Professor Chukwuma Soludo as the partyâ€™s governorship candidate in the state.
The president who spoke through Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, in Abuja, at the first Anambra State National Summit on Security and Development with the theme, â€œAnambra: the challenges of Values and Relevance in the 21st Centuryâ€ warned those who are planning to rig the election to have a rethink.
â€œWe are quite sad because we believe that PDP, being the ruling party, should lead by example, if we have to do primaries, we have to express that look, we can elect people democratically but under the circumstances the party found itself, it had no option than to say okay, we have to pick one person among all.
â€œI donâ€™t want to go into whether they did the right thing or the wrong thing but some of the candidates delayed themselves, using the court to frustrate the whole effort made to select a candidate.
â€œI assure the Anambra people that for the next election, we will provide enough security so that at the end of the day, it is the person that the people want that will emerge as the governor of the state.
â€œEnough security that can stand any threat will move to Anambra State. We must make sure that the 2010 election must be credible, the one coming up in Anambra state must be credible and stand any test because if the Anambra election is not done properly, people will even discredit the 2011 elections.
â€œIt is one of the reasons why Mr. President felt so sad that our own party, the PDP, couldnâ€™t conduct primaries in Anambra stateâ€.
Jonathan, who attributed the cause of the kidnapping and insecurity in Anambra State to greed, warned that the government will no longer allow very few deviants to create problem in the state, adding that very rich people in the state purchase guns for the kidnappers.
According to him, there was the urgent need for all hands to be on deck if the people must get it right in the state and return Anambra State to its past glory.
Speaking further, he said, â€œIn terms of security, we have security challenges all over the country. From Borno state in the north down to Rivers, Bayelsa in the Atlantic, there are security challenges. Anambra also has a fair share of the challenges.
The greatest problem we have is in governance because government is primarily to ensure the protection of lives and property and the Federal Government is providing the security obviously but the state governments are called Chief Security Officers because you must have people that coordinate.
â€œBut where a state governor is not given the opportunity to work, where a state governor is constantly embattled, where people whoâ€™ve made money, where some of them are even richer than the state, instead of investing that money to help, to create the enabling environment for the state to grow, they will rather use their money to frustrate the state government, or frustrate the people.
â€œThey create problem or security challenges. Most of the societal problems we are having are induced by us, especially those of us in the political circle.
I remember when Mbadinuju was the governor of Anambra state, there was this allegation that if Mbadinuju wants to have a programme that the governor will be involved in, one millionaire will also set up a party and make sure that they block the whole place and hit the music so loud that the governorâ€™s programme would collapse.
â€œSo Mbadinuju almost spent his whole four years fighting with multi-millionaires. It got to a point where salaries were not paid for a year; schools had to close. The political challenges that we have in the state are man-made which, with leadership like this, the Anambra will be able to correct.
â€œI can assure you that the Federal Government will make sure the 2010 election in Anambra state is conducted properly. If there are some people who are thinking they will import thugs or whatever from anywhere to go to Anambra state to rig themselves into office, they should start thinking again.
Only yesterday, I had a delegation from the European Union that paid me a courtesy call and they raised issues on good governance and credible election and I assured them that the government is committed to strengthening the electoral laws, to ensure that things are done properly.
â€œYes about 50 people were interested being governor of Anambra state from PDP, it is a worthy one if those people were coming genuinely to contribute their quota to the development of the state, then it is healthy because all the people who are credible enough to be governor should aspire, but if it is for some other reason that these avalanche of persons want to contest, then it is regrettable.
â€œThere were allegations that maybe some money-bags will buy off party officers, bribe them, so we said let us send the governors because if you can bribe the governor then you are something big, except that person is not worthy to bear that honour, governor.
I think about three governors were involved in the Anambra state PDP primaries, and even senators and so on.
â€œWhen they got there, one senator called me and said, when they got to the ward to conduct the first set of primaries, the people were happy that they have never seen voting in Anambra, that the idea of coming to vote alone, they were excited.
One of the governors also said that people were excited that at least they could vote. So, the ordinary Anambra people want to vote, they want to express their interest, they want to vote a candidate of their choice but some cabals have caged the system but we will break that.
â€œI know that it has been highlighted that the Anambra people are gifted in all aspects be it at the political front, be it at public service, be it in the academic, be it in sports even in religion. I think they have the people to drive the needed re-orientation for people to change.
â€œThe only thing is that the Federal Government, the state government and the people of Anambra state will collectively work together to ensure that we donâ€™t allow the very few deviants to control the state. Even the problem of kidnapping and armed-robbery is actually because of unemploymentâ€.