By Anthony Ogbonna
#AnambraDecides2017: In the just concluded governorship election held in Anambra state which has seen the Governor of the state and candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Willie Obiano emerge the winner with a landslide victory, the candidate of the United Progressives Party, UPP, Chief Osita Chidoka has said that him and his party lost the election not because of paucity of ideas or lack of “structure” but because of superior financial firepower.
Chief Chidoka also said that the people of Anambra state traded their votes during the election because they “doubted we would truly represent their interest,” even though they aligned with their manifesto.
Chief Chidoka who said thathe accepted the outcome of the election as a true democrat however maintained that he won the election at the most important place, which is in the hearts of the people who saw his sincerity.
He said he had rejected to the idea of buying votes when some voters made the bid because he came with a new approach which is void of vote trading but adorned with issue-based campaigning.
Chief Chidoka also thanked those who voted him as well as congratulates Governor Obiano on his victory at the polls. He however said he is retreating but not surrendering and would always be ready to lend a hand of direction to towards achieving a better governance for the people.
The statement reads thus:
“On September 30, 2017 we officially flagged-off our campaigns for the election. That event at Uli, the remarkable site of the historic Biafra Airport remains significant to our people in our collective search for a new beginning.
Our campaign attracted the finest and brightest of Anambra. The bold and the courageous were with us as we exerted our best in running the most robust issue-based and technology-driven campaign in the history of our dear state.
We attempted to change the course of events and chart a new beginning for our state. We believed and we dared; we engaged with all patriotic vigour as we held strongly that the long awaited time for our people to experience a new opportunity had come and we labored for it.
In all, our focus was the people; the forgotten, the poor and the disadvantaged. They were the prime impetus for our involvement. We beheld their agony and we strived to redirect and vent that energy through a genuine political process. We heard the complaints of our people and we worked to redirect them from the streets to the ballot box.
Upon that pedestal, we rejected god-fatherism and money politics. Instead, we made personal sacrifices and worked with small donations and goodwill of a few good men and women. Our campaign started and remained issues-based. We attacked no persons; we looked up in faith because we believed.
But from the ballots, we heard the voice of our people. We heard it loud and clear. On November 18 our people announced strongly their rejection of politicians. They traded their votes because they doubted we would truly represent their interest. While our message resonated with the people they doubted that the political class cared about them. They voted for the highest bidder.
When by Thursday a large percentage of our supporters insisted that they will not vote unless we paid, I insisted we will not pay for votes. The decision not to pay ended our good run. We accept the voters’ decision. We also heard our people, by their turnout and transactional approach, as they took sides with our Party’s considered view that the issue of justice, equity and fairness should be canvassed within Nigeria.
In all, we hold our heads high; high because we did not lose the poll due to paucity of ideas or lack of “structure”. We lost to superior financial firepower. As Democrats, we concede to the voters’ choices. The true hallmark of democracy is the respect for the voice of the ballot as that of the majority.
But the inner truth is that we won! We won at the most important place; in the hearts of people; our people who saw us toil and push in the arena against all odds; who saw the sincerity of our mission and gave all in support of our quest for collective good. We salute you for your support and personal sacrifices to the campaign.
We therefore make no apologies for our decision to refrain from money politics and chart a new course for a clean, knowledge-based campaign driven by patriotism. We make no apologies for our campaign philosophies and our positions on momentous issues that directly affect our people. We are proud to have spoken for them.
However, an important issue has come out of this election. This election represented a referendum on our future. No matter the number that came out to vote, they have made the choice and we do hope that the future we all envisioned for our children and us has not been mortgaged by their action.
The election, with all its evident flaws has come and gone, but now that we have engaged in the political process, we will remain engaged. We will retreat for now but we shall not surrender. We wish the Governor-elect a successful tenure, but we will still be available to point out the way and provide credible alternatives for our people.
Finally, we thank all our volunteers, party loyalists and teeming supporters from across the state; courageous men and women who labored tirelessly to give wings to our dream. I salute you all. We are not discouraged but shall continue to propagate our message of a new Anambra. We shall continue on the course for which we went into the race and we shall continue to believe and work until that new Anambra of our dream is born.
Thank you and God bless Anambra State.”