By Victor Ezeja
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has congratulated the Anambra State Governor-elect, Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo, promising to offer him assistance in order to deliver best governance marked by robust development of the state.
Soludo won the governorship election on the paltform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), in a very hot contest.
Senator Ngige, who gave his word to Soludo in a goodwill message released on Wednesday, said the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should be magnanimous in victory.
He said Souldo had a resounding victory at the poll which was well deserved, adding that he has no doubt that the people of the state have made the right choice by voting for him as Governor.
“Ndi-Anambra have spoken with this resounding victory. Having contested in 2010 with Soludo, who was then the PDP candidate and myself in ACN; an election in which I was ‘awarded’ the second position even though I won outright and Soludo third, I knew that with his tenacity of purpose and drive, he would one day make it to the seat of the Governor of Anambra State.
“It is a case of patience and endurance, an aspiration nurtured to serve the people with all his strength, I seriously believe,” Ngige averred.
He advised Soludo to remain focused on delivering quality governance to the people, adding that “much has been given, hence the expectation is very high.”
The Labour Minister commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a free, fair and credible election, even with the initial hitches posed by the malfunctioning of the Biometric Voters’ Accreditation (BVAS) system in some polling units across the state.
He added that the Anambra election was a testing ground for INEC’s use of BVAS in the voting process and urged the commission to work hard and address their challenges to guarantee a free, fair and credible election in the future with use of the machine.
Ngige also commended security agencies for the level of professionalism they displayed towards civilians during the electoral exercise, and also thanked the voters in the state for coming out to exercise their civil rights through voting, despite the cases of insecurity that beset the state.
“ The election has come and gone and it is very free, fair and credible. Mr. President has in deed lived true to his assurances to Ndi-Anambra and by this very fact, demonstrated once again, that he is no enemy to Ndi-Igbo. What a better value to democracy, than a legacy of credible elections, in which the will of the people reigns supreme.
Ngige called on all candidates who contested with Soludo to come together and join in the collective task of taking the state to a greater height, saying “ I therefore urge the other candidates to be good losers and join hands with the Governor-elect to give the state the best.
“As an elder statesman in the state, I have no choice than to irrevocably stand with my dear Ndi-Anambra in their desire for an unfettered freedom to choose their leaders. It is a legacy we must bequeath to the posterity of our people.
“Similarly, I urge Professor Soludo to be magnanimous in victory. Time is here for him to reach out to everybody, including those who aspired with him in his APGA, as well as others who contested on the platforms of other political parties, notably, the PDP, APC, YPP and ZLP, so as to join hands to elevate and restore our state to its enviable position in Igbo land and Nigeria in general.
“ There is no doubt that our dear state, visibly veered off the track of progress since the last three years, when the incumbent Governor started suffering from a second term gubernatorial fatigue.
“On my own part, I’m willing to assist him consolidate the gains made by the previous governors. I will make available to him, human and material resources, to make another successful Governor in our dear State.
“Instructive also, is that our hands of fellowship to Professor Soludo is reciprocal, him being a leading member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council(PEAC) that has been assisting the President’s Economic Sustainability team, led by His Excellency, the Vice President in getting our economy out of the doldrums with the COVID-19 pandemic .”