Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Enugu State governorship candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Chijioke Edeoga, has urged voters in the state, to vigorously defend their votes at the forthcoming March 11, governorship and House of Assembly polls against those he called ‘political robbers.’
He said this on the heels of growing fears over possible use of violence in the forthcoming elections.
Edeoga urged voters to defend their votes as a means of eliminating politicians that have turned the economic resources of the state into their private estate.
The LP candidate who spoke while addressing party leaders and supporters from Aninri and Awgu Local Government areas said he was aware of plans by certain political actors in the state to use violence and thuggery to influence the outcome of the polls but believes that the people can resist such plans when united in resilience.
Edeoga commended voters in Enugu for their massive support for the Labour Party in the state during the presidential and national assembly elections on February 25.
He urged them to replicate the feat during the forthcoming governorship and house of assembly elections to cement the emergence of Labour Party as the new platform for freedom and expedite development in Enugu State.
The former Commissioner said that voting for Labour Party was important because it would reinforce the massive support given to the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, during the last elections.
He said it would serve as further proof that the votes cast in Enugu was no fluke, especially given that the election is currently a subject of litigation in the court.
“You do not have to be afraid of these threats of violence. They are merely trying to make you afraid. They tried it during the last election but could not succeed.
“We must uphold the integrity of our communities by resisting the invasion by outsiders, whether they call them Ayes, or they call them Black Axe or they call them Black Thugs, whatever they are called, this victory by democratic forces, as we know is likely for Labour Party, should not be thwarted; it should not be frustrated.
“We have to make sure that the right of individuals; women, men, and youths; to vote freely, without coercion, without disturbance, without humiliation; to vote who they choose must be maintained.
“Enugu State is touted as a peaceful place. Any effort, whether clandestine or open; any threat to disturb the peace of Enugu State should be resisted.
“I am enjoining, I am asking, I am calling out all youths of Enugu State, all citizens of Enugu State to resist the ongoing attempt by the PDP and their henchmen, to rig the election that is coming on Saturday.
“The path to victory by the Labour Party is clear and incontestable, and it is an eloquent statement of the new direction which Enugu State wants to go. But we are facing the danger of a reversal, by people who have ruined Enugu State, misgoverned Enugu State, and have shown lack of empathy and lack of love for our people.
“So, please, do not allow our votes to be destroyed. Vote at the polling units and stay to see that they are counted. He reminded the people of the state that the direction of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was for people to stay at their polling centres until results are counted and uploaded and urged them to resist any attempt by any electoral officer or agent to move away from polling stations or collation centres without announcing and uploading the results to the INEC portal.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of democracy. I am therefore begging and pleading that everybody from our different local governments, once the results are announced, make this final sacrifice for democracy and freedom in Enugu State. Move to INEC headquarters in Enugu State.
“We must occupy, we must be vigilant we must wait. If we lose one night’s sleep around INEC in Enugu, we would have paid a reasonable price for our liberty and democracy.
“I am calling on you to come prepared. Bring bread, bring biscuits, bring tea, bring water, move from all local government headquarters to Enugu in your vehicles, in your bicycles, in your Keke NAPEP, trek with your legs, if that is what is convenient, to the headquarters of INEC and keep watch, wait and pray that INEC does the needful in response to what is clearly the manifest desire of Enugu people as expressed clearly in the votes that have been announced,” he said.