Search Site: OnlineNigeria


The plot to stop me, Obi from being governor, by Ngige

Posted by CHRIS OCHAYI on 2005/09/05 | Views: 566 |

The plot to stop me, Obi from being governor, by Ngige

THE embattled governor of Anambra State, Chief Chris Ngige, is optimistic he will defeat his opponent, the APGA governorship candidate in the April 19, 2003 election, Mr. Peter Obi, at the Court of Appeal. He spoke to Sunday Vanguard in Abuja.

THE embattled governor of Anambra State, Chief Chris Ngige, is optimistic he will defeat his opponent, the APGA governorship candidate in the April 19, 2003 election, Mr. Peter Obi, at the Court of Appeal. He spoke to Sunday Vanguard in Abuja.

WE understand there is a negotiation going on be- tween you and the APGA governorship candidate to resolve this matter because it is likely to be hijacked again by another group, how would you react to this?

Well, there is an undercurrent of events, which presupposes that some people are interested in me not being governor and Peter Obi not being governor. That is what I have noticed. It is an undercurrent. We have our internal office summing up so we can analyse whatever we are getting and know what next to do. I have also heard about reports that I am negotiating with Obi. As at now, I can tell you that there is nothing like that.

But you said you are aware of an undercurrent of events going onÖ

(Cuts in) Yes, asking for nullification of the entire election so that in the event of that happening, there may be new candidates.

How are you preparing for this next step in the battle to retain your seat?

Well, I have appealed, yes, with some ground. There are twelve grounds which we filed and we got the copy of the judgement just yesterday (penultimate Thursday) and so we are going to file more grounds, the lawyers are studying the document.

You have got into so many troubles in the last two years, how would you describe the whole thing?

It is a moving step to development of politics in Nigeria and I keep on saying it doesnít matter whether I am now the sacrificial lamb. But for all I know, the terrain in Anambra State will never be the same again.

Overhaul of governance

Any day I finish, I go, be it in 2007, be it tomorrow, be it in three months' time, the place will not be the same again. It is a complete restructuring and overhaul of governance in the place and good governance to the people. It is the complete overhaul of electoral system vis-a-vis political parties and sponsorship and what have you and even among the actors. A lot of good people are now trying to come out to join politics; the place was dominated by mercantilism and commercialisation of politics. We are going to a new brand; to me, if thatís the price we have to pay for that and it has to be paid by me, so be it if that is what God wishes.

And if the appeal fails, what next?

If the appeal fails, then it means we are getting to the bridge; when I get to the bridge I will cross it. But I donít think the appeal will fail. I have read the judgement; it was talking about falsification and non-compliance with Electoral Act 2002 by Peter Obi. It didnít say compliance with the conditions of being declared governor. If you also look at the other issues, falsification portends criminality but it is beyond reasonable doubt, not on balance of probability according to the judgement of the tribunal. Now, let us look at George Muoghaluís case and Peter Obiís case. George Muoghaluís lawyer and Peter Obiís lawyers put in the same kind of petition A-Z, word for word. I donít know who copied from the other. The same judges threw out George Muoghaluís case on non-compliance with certain course of action by not joining some parties, which we canvassed, and the Court of Appeal upheld that decision. Now, when we canvassed that in Peter Obiís case, they said no, they had changed their mind.

Is that allowed?

They can change their mind but the issues will be determined in the Court of Appeal, we have grounds.

You were quoted as saying that you may proceed to ECOWAS Court; do you still stand by that?

No, I have said categorically that I did not say I would go to the ECOWAS Court. I did not say so. And I said that when the traditional rulers came to me on solidarity visit, they suggested that. They gave me a message and I now gave them an answer. So we followed the process of the law. And like I always say, you get to the bridge before you cross.

When you came in, the issue was that you aligned with Chris Uba to come in and you did all that it took to get the governorship, but what you did to get the governorship is now the subject of controversy. Did you rig your way to the Government House?

Well, you see, these are the issues that amuse me when they are canvassed. In Nigeriaís political lexicon, there has been always that word 'rigging' for everybody. And when some people want to also humour you or say things to make you laugh, they say you are out. So anybody who lost an election in Nigeria is rigged out. Thatís the common thing that has been generally accepted, so every election now is a rigged election.

I always tell people that you have to go back to Anambra State elections result of 2003, and from there, you can do an extrapolation whether I won the election hands down or not. Three elections were conducted in a period of 21 days starting first with the National Assembly elections (Senate and House of Representatives). We clashed with the other political parties for the three senatorial seats; we took the whole three for PDP, in the House of Representatives elections, out of eleven we took ten and lost one to APGA, in the House of Assembly, out of 30, we took 28, including ten in Peter Obiís local government - Aniocha I and Aniocha II.

This House of Assembly election was after my election. The gubernatorial election came same day and same hour with that of the president. If you go into the polling booth, you are given two ballot papers, one presidential and one gubernatorial. We won the presidential. How can it be that it was only the governorship we lost? And these people have gone to the election petition tribunal and contested the so called results which they are brandishing about, and this same tribunal ruled in our favour on inter-party basis that PDP won all those places. And I was the leader of PDP campaign in the state as their flagbearer, how come they say I lost? But these decisions are there and I have always said that Peter Obi was parading the urban towns of Nnewi and Onitsha and Awka. And he went about with motorcycle riders and forgot where he should go and get votes, the riverine local governments of Anambra East, Anambra West, and to some extent, Awka North.

Elections in Anambra West

When the results came out, he challenged it that there were no elections in Anambra West, but we have evidence to prove that there were elections. And funny enough, this same tribunal gave votes to Peter Obi in those places where he canvassed there was no election. Can you see the contradiction? Thatís why I tell you I am optimistic that at the Court of Appeal, he wonít win because the lower tribunal gave him even what he didnít ask for.

Let's look at it the other way, if the Court of Appeal upholds the ruling of the lower court, what will you say you have done for the Anambra people and what they should remember you for?

I have given them the kind of governance which could now be referred to as a benchmark. And it canít be reversed. The roads are there, nobody can excavate them. And they are roads that would last for twenty-five years. Some of them we did with cross stone base. And all the roads were constructed with drainage facilities to check erosion and to preserve the roads for a long time. There is no road I have constructed in Anambra State that does not have wide concrete gutters on both sides. In the bad areas, I made them with cross stone base, the quality is different. I have also changed the civil service. I have injected new blood there.

People said that the kind of politics you play is so rigid that you donít compromise and they call you all kinds of names such as 'too strong' or 'not flexible'Ö

(Cuts in) Use the word 'stubborn'; donít use nice words for me; saying a bad thing in a good way (general laughter).

...that you are too stubborn to talk to the people who are at the other side who are bent on taking something from your government or rather, cooperating with them in the way that could move Anambra State forward?

There is no person that is on the other side except Chris Uba.

All the other people in Anambra who want good things are with me. Chris Uba and a few people are on the other side. And they constituted themselves into a cabal. If I am going to compromise with them, I will compromise one hundred per cent. And compromising hundred per cent means they will be in charge of the government, they will be in charge of the treasury, and they will be in charge of those who work in the government. And when that is done, Anambra will get back to status quo ante. Chris Uba has been a major player in Anambra State in the last eight years. he has a contract to build the governorís lodge, that contract is about ten years. And they have been working on it; then I stopped it under the stoppage of all ISPO programme because if you believe in them, at the end of the day, not up to N200 million will come back to the state's coffers from the Federation Account.

Are you ready to compromise with Abuja?

Abuja? I donít know what you mean by that.

The PDP Secretariat, the Presidency...

The National Secretariat of the PDP has instruction, a script which they are carrying out. They are carrying it out and there is nothing I will offer them that would make them not to carry out the script. Nothing I will do for them even if I lie on the ground for them to march on me, they will still carry out the script. So I might as well stand with my people. PDP didnít do well in my place, the governor who was there before me was PDP.

So people didnít like PDP until I came during the election and because they had known me as a PDP officer who did not stand with the governorís programmes even though I was protective of him that he should be allowed to finish his tenure, they voted for me. So it is not a question of being uncompromising, they donít like my face, thatís what it is.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :

Add Comment

* Required information
Captcha Image

Comments (6)

Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...


Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding