Candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Andy Uba, Prof Chukwuma Soludo and Valentine Ozigbo, yesterday locked horns in a debate to tell Ndi Anambra what they have in store for them if elected on November 6.
The debate which covered the economy, security, education, health, environment and infrastructure among others, was put together by the Arise Television in conjunction with a non-governmental organisation, Enough-is-Enough.
The programme was anchored by Dr. Reuben Abati and Ngozi Alaegbu, who fired the first salvo by asking the candidates if they were satisfied with the level of preparedness by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), considering that the fear of violence is a major concern of the electorate.
The PDP candidate, Ozigbo said he was satisfied with the arrangement to the extent that enough security operatives had been deployed to the state but felt dissatisfied that the situation was allowed to fester over time. He also urged the people to come out in mass and vote in a candidate that would bring about the desired peace, development and security in the state.
Prof Soludo of APGA admitted that there was a security challenge in the state but insisted that it was a recent development and that it was politically motivated by some individuals, who feel that the only way to gain political advantage was by creating fears in the minds of the people. He equally said he was satisfied with the level of security arrangement on ground and suggested that efforts at intelligence gathering should be redoubled.
Senator Uba also expressed satisfaction with the level of security arrangement but feared that voter apathy might be a problem. He noted that voter apathy has always been a norm in Anambra and lambasted Governor Willie Obiano, for refusing, as the Chief Security Officer of the state, to engage the group threatening the peace of the state.
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On how to tackle the security, Ozigbo who blamed both APGA and APC for failing the Anambra people security-wise said he would go back to where former Governor Peter Obi left it. He said he would provide local vigilantes, equip them regularly and provide employment for the youths.
Soludo said he would call for dialogue to resolve all the issues that are causing crisis in the state, even as he attacked Uba, the APC candidate, for not saying anything about the insecurity in the state for the eight years he spent in the Senate.
He accused Uba of engaging the people only during election season and criticised the PDP when he stated that the party oversaw a government that institutionalized kidnapping in the state, citing the kidnap of the former governor of the state, Dr. Chris Ngige, as example. He accused Uba of playing a central role in the infamous kidnap of Ngige as Anambra governor.
Uba denied the accusation, saying he had nothing to do with the kidnap, saying that he was outside the country when it happened. Ozigbo also called on the people to put behind what happened in the past and face the future as what they have now is a new PDP.
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