The Presidency has assured that the November 14 governorship election in Anambra State will surpass those of Ondo and Edo States in terms of transparency and credibility.
This assurance is coming on the heels of the calls on the various candidates in the election to engage on issue based campaigns rather than attacking personalities.
Special Adviser to the President on Inter Party Affairs, Ben Obi, who made the commitment in Abuja, at a colloquium organized for the 23 candidates in the election, by Anambra State Towns People Association, ASTPA, and Anambra State Public Officers and Elders Forum,ASPOF, said that the government is desirous of conducting a free and fair poll.
Obi said that President Goodluck Jonathan had mandated him to repeat the feat he achieved in Edo and Ondo states by conducting workshops for political parties on the need to have a free, fair and credible election in the state, disclosing that he had fixed the exercise for the 21st of this month.
‚ÄúI have a clear mandate from Mr. President to conduct sensitization workshops for free, credible and transparent elections in any state going into election, so that the people in that state will engage themselves in a free, fair and credible elections and bring about the state of harmony, state of peace. We did that in Edo State, it worked, we did that in Ondo State, it worked.
‚ÄúSo, we are bringing back what we did sometimes ago in Edo and Ondo State, where we organized thorough fora that brought in peaceful elections in those states,‚Äù he boasted.
He said the Presidency was not interested in who emerges victorious at the election, saying rather, it was after the success of the exercise.
‚ÄúYou recalled that the candidates that emerged from those states were all opposition candidates. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and Olusegun Mimiko, from Ondo State emerged from the opposition and after their victories; the first congratulatory messages for them were all from Mr President.
‚ÄúAs far as this administration is concerned, we are committed to conducting credible elections at all levels in this country. That is why on the 21st of October the candidates have been involved; the parties have been involved for this sensitization exercise,‚Äù he stressed.
Obi, who insisted that the candidates must engage in politics of issues, added that they must have the mindset of coming to government to surpass Governor Peter Obi in terms of good governance after emergence at the poll just as he noted that Anambra State has the greatest entrepreneur in the southern region of the country.
‚ÄúWe have to engage in politics of issues, we have to engage in politics of understanding, selfless service. Anambra is a state that produces the greatest entrepreneurs in this sub region of the country.
‚ÄúI told them here that we are not expecting anything less than what Peter Obi has done. Anybody that comes up after Peter Obi has to do double what he has done. Obi has done well, but there is need for improvement,‚Äù he insisted.
Hei said the Federal Government was expecting the candidates not to flout electoral laws, hence they must educate their followers and supporters to do the right things at before, during and after the poll.
Obi said he would have been happy if the various actors had heeded to the advice of the state governor, Peter Obi on the zoning of the governorship slot.
Chairman of the Organising Committee, Austine Ifedinezi, said the forum became necessary for Anambrarians to interface with the various governorship candidates on their programmes.