The candidates of the frontline political parties in the Anambra State governorship election holding this Saturday, Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC), former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof Chukwuma Soludo, and, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), candidate, ex-Transcorp boss, Mr Valentine Ozigbo has blamed the agitations of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on leadership failure.
The trio who were guests in a special debate organised for them ahead of the coming Saturday governorship election in Anambra State by the Arise TV in collaboration with a civil society group, Enough Is Enough in Awka, the state capital, yesterday agreed that there was need for Nigeria’s political leaders at both the South East states, and, federal levels to dialogue with the IPOB leadership, and, indeed, every other agitation groups to find out their grievances, and, find a way of redressing them.
Andy Uba condemned the killings allegedly associated with the IPOB, and promised that if elected governor, he would initiate dialogue with the leadership to find ways of resolving their grievances.
Prof Soludo stated that the killings that have trailed the governorship election were, rather, politically motivated and stated that the state had been adjudged most peaceful of all states in the country until the build up to the election and challenged the APC candidate to give explanation to why the situation arose.
The PDP candidate, Ozigbo, urged that the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu who is currently in incarceration with the Department of the State Security (DSS) from where he is defending himself on accusations of treasonable felony, should be released unconditionally, and, the group de-proscribed as a terrorist group.
They also provided insight into their manifestoes on how to address issues of other critical areas of the state including, democratisation of the local government system, education, economy, youth employment, agriculture, oil and gas.
Andy Uba, for instance, lamented the absence of elected leaders at the local government, poor education sector and economy and promised that his administration would not only conduct local government elections within six months after inauguration, but would offer free education at all levels.
“We will pay teachers well, and organise proper training for them,” he said.
Among several other major economic innovations, Soludo said he was committed to improving on virtually all development programmes of APGA government in the state.
Ozigbo rather held both APC and APGA responsible for the insecurity and poor development strides in the state, and pledged that in addition to ending criminality in the state, his administration would ensure greater youth employment, growth in the economy and advancement of the education sector.
Meanwhile, candidates of some other parties, including that of the Action Alliance, a US-trained medical professional, Dr Godwin Maduka criticised Arise TV for reducing the governorship debate to candidates of the APC, APGA, and, PDP, insisting that candidates of all the parties ought to have been involved.
“The problem of Anambra State is leadership, and those candidates of the three political parties (APC, APGA, and, PDP) are not the most qualified to be governor of Anambra State. All of us should have been invited, even if it is giving each of us five minutes to speak”, Maduka argued.