BY VINCENT UJUMADU and OKONKWO EZE
Attempt by leaders of catholic church in Anambra State to agree on who the church would support in today’s decisive election of a new governor in the state failed as they could not decide whether to ask their followers to vote for Senator Chris Ngige of the APC, Ifeanyi Ubah of the Labour Party or Willie Obiano of APGA.
The meeting which was said to have been convened by Archbishop Valerian Okeke of the Onitsha Archdiocese, ended in fiasco as Nnewi Diocese were said to have walked away in protest when they suggested that Ubah should be placed as their first choice,
The suggestion of Nnewi Diocese that Ubah should be place as first choice was because he is currently building a cathedral for them at Nnewi but majority others were said to have preferred Ngige, adding that he should either be placed as number one choice or nothing else.
However, Archbishop Okeke who presided over the meeting, was said to have declared both candidates ‘no victor, not vanquished’ and asked all to go home and tell everybody to vote for candidates of their choice.
During the meeting, Ngige was said to have emerged tops on the poll which the church heads conducted with Ifeanyi Uba trailing second and Obiano third but the APGA elements tried to blackmail Ngige by alleging that President Jonathan doesn’t like Ngige and asked that him (Obiano) be adopted but the blackmail also failed as the argument split the church leaders with some saying that even if Ngige should not be preferred it certainly cannot be Obiano that is unknown.
It’s like mass return in Anambra
The atmosphere in most communities in Anambra State was like there was a declaration for mass return in the state.
Except for the Yuletide seasons, the large number of people returning to the communities was tremendous, which was an indication that the voter turnout would be high today.
Following the curfew imposed in the state by the security operatives until the end of the election, travelers to the hinterland besieged most of the motor parks for journey home, although transport fares were unchanged.
Party vehicles still moved around till late in the evening yesterday, although the occupants no longer campaigned as they did on Thursday.
Because it is an isolated election, thousands of journalists, some of them claiming to be representing funny –sounding newspapers besieged the INEC offices yesterday for accreditation and officials of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and INEC had rough time determining who merited accreditation and who could not.
Also hotels in the major cities in the state were fully booked as early as 12 noon yesterday, making some of the visitors stranded.