Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close



INEC has no right to shut anyone out. If the people want a goat, let them vote for a goat – Gov Peter Obi

Posted by By RAZAQ BAMIDELE on 2007/02/27 | Views: 739 |

INEC has no right to shut anyone out. If the people want a goat, let them vote for a goat – Gov Peter Obi


Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State is the first and for now, the only governor that has lost his mandate twice and regained it twice through legal and constitutional processes.

Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State is the first and for now, the only governor that has lost his mandate twice and regained it twice through legal and constitutional processes.

When he won the 2003 governorship election on the ticket of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA), it took him almost three years to find himself in the government house which a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), candidate, Dr. Chris Ngige, was occupying, albeit, illegally.

And interestingly, no sooner he settled for work than an illegal impeachment also threw him out. And just like a cat with nine lives, the impeachment was quashed by a court of competent jurisdiction and Obi regained his lost mandate.

During his brief courtesy visit to the corporate headquarters of The Sun Publishing Company, in Lagos, Obi, who fielded questions from top management staff led by the Managing Director and Editor-In-Chief, Mr. Mike Awoyinfa, declared that "as a Christian, I bear no grudge against anybody, I have forgiven all."
He also spoke briefly on other issues like completion of his tenure, position of his deputy and 2007 elections.

Excerpts:
The visit
I felt it is right for me to go out to tell some friends like you that I am sincerely grateful. I think the best thing to do is to say thank you. So, on behalf of myself and my family, I say thank you very much.
I say thank you for what you have been doing for Anambra State and Nigeria in general. I think that is the way democracy can survive. I want to say I am very grateful.

INEC and 2007 elections
People should be allowed to contest elections. We should allow the quality of our democracy to improve. We should allow people to take decision on the type of government they want. Let everybody contest freely. Even if people say they want a goat, give them a goat. And after four years they can vote the goat out.

Completion of tenure
Another issue is that of tenure. And actually, the press and Nigerians should be the ones campaigning about it and not me. That is what is enshrined in our constitution and we have to respect it.
It says the tenure of the governor starts when he or she is sworn-in. It is very straight forward, it is respected all over the world. If we follow our constitution, we don’t need to hold our elections the same day. This is not part of our constitution that we have to hold our elections the same day.

If we hold our elections on different dates, you would find out that all these tensions would reduce. If different regions hold their elections on different days, we would know that today, Oyo State is holding its elections and when it is Katsina, we would know it is Katsina. So, you would be able to campaign with good conscience and everything.

We were all here when people were asking for additional tenure after they had completed their two terms of eight years, and here is somebody who won election and was not asked to form a government. And when he eventually won to govern, he was being denied of his right. That is injustice.

Campaign of calumny against former Anambra leaders?
I do not engage in campaign of calumny. What I said exactly is that governance is not only about building roads. They say this is somebody’s achievement and I say we can do more. What is wrong in that? It is a continuous thing. If one government says when we were there, we did this, and another also says we do this and at the end of the day the total mark is 40 per cent, it is a failure.

Let me give you an example. When we came in, there was no single habitable office. We didn’t even have a secretariat. No single hospital accredited by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. We don’t have any functional water scheme. We don’t have anything.
When you take it in sequence, you can not say it is about this. It is to be all inclusive.

Etiaba’s position
What the court declared was that the impeachment was a nullity. And when it was a nullity, it is a simple language which means we should go back to where we were.

Fears over 2007 elections
I won’t say I have fears. I know it is not a war. But if the people worked hard, we can stop the confusion. What the media, corporate bodies and individuals should do is to work hard to stop the confusion and let the elections hold.
If the elections held on different dates, the tension would be reduced. It is like when they are talking about someone who is to take over in California, we would say that is in California. And when something is happening in New York, we would say that is New York. When the time of New Jersey comes, that would be New Jersey wahala. But if the election is held the same day and everybody is saying eh, wait a minute, this man is not qualified, this man is not good, the whole place would be electrified.

Anambra situation after crisis
I wish I know. All I said to them was that, for me, it is past. I am a Christian, I don’t bear grudges. That is what the scripture teaches.
All of us here are members of a lost generation. We only strive so that our children could have a better place to be.

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