Peter Obi


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Peter Obi, APGA Candidate Speaks


Press Release after the nullification of the 2003 Anambra State Gubernatorial Election



August 12, 2005


My beloved people of Anambra State.Today the Anambra State Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka announced to the world that I, Peter Obi, am the duly elected Governor of Anambra State in the 2003 gubernatorial election. This long-awaited verdict, this resounding affirmation of justice, has reiterated the integrity of the Nigerian judiciary.

This judgment, we must never forget, is not a victory for Peter Obi as an individual. It is not a victory for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) as a political party. It is essentially a victory in the development of Nigerian democracy, an impetus for creating a much better society for our children and childrenís children. It has lent credence to the point that, in the journey of life, there are no alternatives to treading the path of truth.

When I sought your votes during the political campaigns for the Anambra governorship election, the promise I received everywhere I visited was that you would vote for me en masse, given the comprehensive manifesto of programmes I enunciated. But, apprehensive of the possibility of vote manipulation, you also wondered if it would be feasible to prevent the stealing of your mandate. I remember giving the general assurance that, once you voted for me, the rest should be left to me and our God, the Father Almighty, who cannot be deceived by the antics of man.

We have reclaimed your mandate to the general cadences of joy and gladness. But the most memorable aspect of our victory is that we achieved it through peaceful and democratic means. We have obtained justice, the fundamental pillar of peace, without recourse to any form of violence whatsoever. It is on the basis of this genuine peace, which issues from justice, that we all, indigenes and non-indigenes of Anambra State alike, must now forge ahead in this new era, to appropriate true and lasting development that is not based on lies and propaganda.

I recall that discussing the crucial topic of leadership in my manifesto, I had made this solemn promise: "Our government will establish character and integrity in governance. We will restore core societal values, transparency and accountability. We will also establish and manage a creative climate where people are self-motivated towards the mastery of their long-term goals in a participatory environment."

The time for redeeming the promise has finally come, this dawn of a new era. We shall promptly put in place an all-inclusive government composed of men and women of impeccable credentials. This is because there is much work to do. I stated and stressed in my election campaigns that any month I did not pay staff salaries, pensions and gratuities by the 30th day of the month, I would resign my governorship. In like manner, my solemn promise to address problems related to agriculture, education, the environment, health, industrialization, infrastructure and security, in Anambra State stands.

My dear people of Anambra State, it is obvious that the challenges before us are enormous. But they can be surmounted if we act as one. That is why I must repeat the appeal I made at the beginning of this statement. The certainty of our electoral victory, which has today been confirmed by the Elections Petitions Tribunal, is down Godís benevolence, and to the steadfast support that you gave to my efforts to reclaim the mandate you freely gave to me. It is a historic feat that we achieved without emitting one abusive word, without throwing a single punch, and without resorting to any undemocratic methods. I URGE YOU ALL, MY VERY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, TO MAINTAIN AND SUSTAIN THIS ATTITUDE OF POLITICS WITHOUT ACRIMONY AND VIOLENCE. It is only in the atmosphere of peace and stability that we can repair our damaged society, reconstruct our destroyed infrastructure, restore the battered essence of our people and revalidate the dignity and uniqueness of Ndi Anambra as a special people known and respected the world over as honourable and go-getting.

"You shall know the truth", said our Lord Jesus Christ in John 8:32. "And the truth shall make you free." The truth has imbued us with a new lease of life based on freedom. This new era of our peopleís freedom has no room for recriminations. It cannot be subordinated to witch-hunting. It is not in consonance with vendetta. We have forgiven because, being predominantly of the Christian faith in this State, we dare not forget that in The Lordís Prayer we plead thus with God the Father Almighty: "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." We have forgiven also because, as Ndigbo put it, anger against kin can only be flesh-deep; it never gets to the bones.

There is much work to do. Recognizing that igwebuike (Unity is Strength), I welcome with open arms all levels and all segments of our State in the task of giving our people a new heart. I extend an open-ended invitation to every indigene of Anambra State, irrespective of political affiliation, to join hands with me in the onerous but attainable and honourable mission of healing our collective wounds and badly battered psyche. A new era has begun.

Long live the All Progressives Grand Alliance. Long Live new Anambra State and Nigeria that are indexed on equity and justice.



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