WITH the governorship and state assembly elections just twenty four hours away, the political parties and their respective candidates are now desperately jostling to sway public opinions as they also dangle enticing carrots to swing votes. The campaigns may be over but the quiet canvassing goes on.

Ugwuanyi
Ugwuanyi

The voter is today’s bride who is courted by many suitors. They flaunt irresistible juices to win her nod and invite her to inhale the sweet aroma of the niceties that await her if only she agrees to switch her loyalty. No effort is spared in the unholy scramble to woo the undecided electorate and influence their votes that may make mathematical differences in electoral outcomes.

As some specific segments get this extra attention, even if clandestinely, the permutations paint all manners of scenarios, often depicting the true picture of the chances of the office seekers and/or the wrong assumptions of the jaundiced analysts or the biased pollsters. To remain relevant and keep the dream of their principals alive, these sycophants and hangers-on would concoct the stories of hope to continue to hoodwink those victims whom they have deceitfully called “Your Excellency” or “Honourable” since the very day they announced their aspirations.

Sunset on many aspirations

It is now down to the wire. In a jiffy, the sun will set on many aspirations. Those men and women who are blinded by their insatiable lust for power will come to realize that those high cunning tricksters simply manipulated their vulnerability by expanding their expectations of non-existent poll victories. Some were smarter and did not go further than printing and pasting a handful of posters in their state capitals.

This was the case in Enugu State where even the apolitical dwellers do not need any gift of divination to predict the imminent coronation of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for a second term in office. While some ambitions were thrown into disarray, tens of other governorship candidates who flirted with the idea to govern the State formally threw their weight behind Gburugburu.

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, the two towns of Obollo Afor and Orba were besieged by thousands of supporters and party members when Rt. Hon. Ugwuanyi held the grand finale of his electioneering campaign. The large turnout of supporters and the victory chants that welcomed him to the last rally at his home local government headquarters and the reception at his Orba residence wiped away whatever exaggerated impression of any contest in the State.

From Senator Jim Nwobodo, the former governor of old Anambra State to the Deputy President of the Senate, Prof. Ike Ekweremadu and Senator Fide Okoro among many others who spoke at the rally, the clear message was that Governor Ugwuanyi has earned a reputation as a pacifist politician whose appeal transcends party lines and whose candidacy does not scare the opposition.

In unison, they opined that loyalty to friendship, bipartisan approach, clear evidence of innovative thinking in governance and the uniquely effective door-to-door campaign style will bring about unassailable landslide victory at the close of voting tomorrow. As the Gburugburu obsession lingers, the people’s affection for him is genuine.

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As Nwobodo put it, “Governor Ugwuanyi is doing well…there is evident peace and unity among all of us and I thank him for bringing everybody together.” According to Senator Ekweremadu, “for the first time in the history of our State, he (Nwobodo) joined us today (Wednesday) to witness the closing ceremony of our party’s campaign. I thank you (Ugwuanyi) for the peace and tranquility in Enugu State. There are no quarrels or bickering among the political leaders in the State.”

And from Senators Okoro to Hyde Onuaguluchi and Ambassador Justina Eze, it was all eulogies and testimonies of how Ugwuanyi’s bare-faced humility and performance in office have shaped positive attitudes and engendered new narratives in political tolerance.

Just the mere mention of his name sparks ear-splitting ovation. And when it was time to address the august gathering that Wednesday, the crowd went into frenzy. It was a display of emotions so pure and rare.

For Governor Ugwuanyi, his popular phrase that “it will end in praise because Enugu State is in the hands of God” foretells his conviction that a bright future beckons. In his pre-election address to the citizens and residents of Enugu State, the governor calls for peaceful and hitch-free polls tomorrow.

Enugu State is in the hands of God

According to him, “Enugu State is in the hands of God. In all we do, we give God due glory, honour and adoration. Ndi Enugu, I greet you all today in the name of the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob and the awesome God of David.

“We wish to thank the good people of Enugu State, irrespective of their political affiliations, for helping to sustain a peaceful atmosphere during the campaigns… As we all know, we will be going to the polls again on Saturday, March 9, 2019 (tomorrow) to elect the Governor and members of the State House of Assembly.

“I urge you all to come out en masse to exercise your franchise and to vote freely for the candidates of your choice. I also appeal to you, once again, to conduct yourselves peacefully and lawfully during the exercise.”

Chuks Ugwoke sent in this piece from Enugu

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