Anambra 2021: Anxiety, fear of being humiliated during campaign grips failed politicians — Intersociety

Ahead of Anambra 2021 gubernatorial election, the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has said that failed politicians are scared of being pelted with stones and sachet of water at campaign grounds.

In a statement signed by its principal officers: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chinwe Umeche Esq., Obianuju Igboeli Esq., Chidimma Udegbunam, Esq on Saturday, Intersociety said intense fears have gripped failed politicians especially in the area of facing the masses and campaigning for their candidates and political parties.

It observed that the fear is so high that the state ruling party and its Government of Anambra State have devised several deceitful means to go about its community to community, street to street and market to market campaigns apart from converging rented and paid crowds.

Intersociety explained that, to ward off such public humiliations, Anambra Government installed Market leaders who were few days ago directed to “arrange for emergency general prayers and inform traders that Commissioner for Trade and Commerce will be visiting after which shops will be opened”.

It added that at Onitsha Bridgehead Market, the State Government specifically directed the Market leaders to fix Wednesday, 29th Sept 2021 for “general prayers and visit of the Commissioner”.

“One of the Market leaders told Intersociety that they were told in confidence that “it was APGA Governorship campaign tour disguised as emergency general prayers,” a deceitful method resorted to so as to avoid incurring the wrath of traders including a rain of stones and sachets of ‘pure water’.

“Fear of traders’ anger was further compounded by the recent installation, which is still ongoing, of Government loyalists as “market leaders” using Government appointed caretaker executives, without allowing traders to freely elect their leaders at poll. The resort to ‘emergency general prayers’ was designed to take traders unawares, if not, markets will not only be deserted but those who attend will most likely rain them with stones and sachets of ‘pure water’ to demonstrate their anger and frustration at monumental governance failure in the state,” Intersociety said.

The statement reads partly: “Success in democratic leadership is globally measured by combination of ‘input and output legitimacies’. While ‘input legitimacy’ is earned at electoral poll arising from ‘living mandate’ given by winning majority of ‘living’ or popular and credible votes cast’, ‘output legitimacy’ is earned by outstanding performance of the elected leader in office. ‘Mechanical legitimacy’ arises when a candidate successfully rigged or allowed himself or herself to be successfully rigged in at poll and thereafter bought himself or herself into the consciousness of the citizens by fixing a critical component of decayed public infrastructure such as road network; earning himself or herself a ‘mechanical popularity’. In Anambra State, former Governor Peter Obi is the immortal beneficiary of the former while former interloper Governor Chris Nwabueze Ngige symbolizes the latter.

“Outgoing Governor Willie Obiano, on his part, earned ‘pseudo input legitimacy’ from 17th March 2014 to 17th March 2018 and zero ‘output legitimacy’ from 17th March 2014 to 17th March 2022, a period of eight wasted years.”

Intersociety explained that ‘guerrilla tactics’ and clear lack of issue based campaigns and governance blueprint have remained the stock-in-trade of most of the candidates, noting that to them, the Seat of Anambra Governor is a private estate and an opportunity to live lavishly and kingly, cruise left, right and center in a long convoy of exotic cars as well as lavish obtainment of chieftaincy and church tiles.

The group also explained that Anambra public funds have been permanently structured as ‘permanent means of livelihood’ for some political actors who have sworn not to give their candidates a breathing space.

“We seriously fear continuation of grip of the State and its public funds by greedy politicians and nova riche in the next dispensation unless urgent critical steps are taken to thwart same.  Most of the candidates have also been assessed and found to be thousands of miles away from being in the know of mountainous governance challenges facing the State. This is to the extent that they do not have concrete and practicable or workable policy directions on: boundary and territorial security and safety, citizens’ safety and security, water safety and security, health security, environment safety and security, mobility (road network) security and safety, communal security and safety, industrial growth and safety, revenue mobilization, governance costs reduction, urban planning and space management and human rights and rule of law,” Intersociety added.


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