Mr Valentine Ozigbo, the Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just-concluded Anambra poll, has felicitated the Governor-elect, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.
In a statement issued in Awka on Tuesday and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ozigbo stated that he called Soludo on phone and wished him well.
“I have just called Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and congratulated him. I wished him well and prayed for his success.
“Let me also use this opportunity to congratulate all the candidates in the election in our dear state.
“We all have shown a determination to see that Anambra is better.
“It was an honour to run this race with you and congratulations again on your victory,” Ozigbo stated.
He further stated that he decided to go into active politics two years ago with the objective of “setting an example of excellence in governance and unifying Anambra and the Igbo people around a shared vision of greatness”.
He expressed his determination to always hold the in-coming government accountable “to ensure that the people’s wellbeing is foremost in its actions at all times”.
Ozigbo, who finished second in the poll, urged more Anambra professionals to go into politics to be able to contribute toward building a prosperous state.
“Pulled by the vision for a better and brighter Anambra, we set out on the quest for the governorship.
“We were resolute on taking revolutionary steps to address the decay and decline in security, infrastructure, education, healthcare, the environment and other social systems meant to serve the people,” he stated.
Ozigbo faulted the election, saying that it was fraught with lots of short-comings on the part of various government institutions.
He said the absence of adequate security and conducive environment in parts of the state led to election not holding in many places, hence encouraged fraud.
“Denominational politics was also a factor.
“We need to do a lot more to ensure that competence is never sacrificed on this altar and that democracy is practiced in line with its truest tenets.
He expressed worry that most of the workers deployed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the poll could not operate the voting machines in many places.
“INEC failed woefully to provide logistical support for its workers and so, election started very late in many places, while it did not hold in many others.
“All of these led to the disenfranchisement of the greater percentage of voters and staining the course of democracy.
“I will be dedicating time to champion the positive change we need to ensure that future elections are truly free and fair and that the will of the electorate prevailed,” Ozigbo stated.
He thanked the PDP leadership and his supporters for their support and contributions to his aspiration.
He said his “Ka Anambra Chawapu” (that Anambra may shine) message had permeated the consciousness of the people and the nation at large, hoping it would stick for a long time.
“I urge them to keep the faith, don’t ever let the candle that has been lit in you dim, the country needs your active participation in its affairs.
“I thank all the courageous men and women who believed in me, many of them without knowing me well.
“You are the heroes of our Ka Anambra Chawapu Movement.
“I am grateful to every single person who joined our movement and contributed in one way or another,” Ozigbo said.