The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State has rebutted the claim by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) that the state government could not conduct Local Government elections in the state because of ligations.
Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, APGA’s state chairman, had in a recent interview blamed non-conduct of local government election in the state on what he called litany of litigations at the Supreme Court.
Recall that the state Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo had at his inaugural speech on March 17, 2022 announced that he would conduct local government election in the second quarter of his first term in office.
Anambra State, since the return of democracy in the country in 1999, had only conducted the LG election once; and that was by the end of Peter Obi’s tenure as governor of the state in January 2014.
Reacting to Obi-Okoye’s claim in a statement, a chieftain of the APC in the state, Okelo Madukaife, expressed surprise at the claim, stating that there was no court restraining conduct of LGA poll in the state.
He said: “Our attention has been drawn to a rehash of old tricks in new words by the Anambra State Chairman of APGA, Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, to the effect that Local Government (LG) elections are being stalled by cases filed by parties in court.
“Not surprisingly, Obi-Okoye did not mention the parties, the subject matter of the suit(s), or the specific orders, if any, tying the hands of the Anambra State Government on LG elections.
“Gov. Peter Obi of APGA used that excuse until it suffered self-expiration. Gov. Willie Obiano applied that excuse to corner the resources of LGs. Now Gov. Soludo, who was emphatic about holding LG election in September 2022, as part of electoral promise has failed and is finding a leeway in the latest APGA umbrage.
“In the first place, were LG elections to hold today, APGA will be contesting. So, it suits APGA over which Obi-Okoye presides in the state to unconstitutionally maintain control of 21 LGs, at the expense of development and due process.
“Therefore, speaking through Obi-Okoye, APGA is only trying to defend an unjustifiable plunder that is putting Zik’s home state down in the comity of Nigerian states, to the extent that Anambra State is the only state in the South East that has neither formed democratically elected LG governments, nor set a date for the purpose.
“In time, the state may yet become the last in Nigeria. Speak of the first becoming the last under APGA watch. Talk of Anambra State not having a democracy where it matters most.
“Come Sept. 02, 2023, Edo State will repent from the sin that Anambra is older at by electing LG officials.
“We look beyond Obi-Okoye’s weak defence, knowing that there is no injunction against LG elections to request Governor Soludo to stop hiding behind his fingers, and roll out a timetable to hold LG polls, as Anambra may not be able to afford a situation where each political party will appoint its own Caretaker Committees, after 24 years of patience. Enough is Enough!”