Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Anambra gubernitorial election, Valentine Ozigbo has said that the November poll would be impossible to rig.
He said with the introduction of B as well as the electronic transmission by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), rigging would be dead on arrival.
Ozigbo who spoke during a Vote Not Fight conversation with Nigerian music icon, 2face Idibia, however urged the electoral umpire to up its ante through increased public enlightenment especially at the grassroots.
He said, I’m happy also with what INEC has done so far, but I need them to up their game in terms of enlightenment. There’s a narrative that some persons are planning to rig the election.
“I can tell you that with the little that I know, it’s impossible for anybody to rig this election. With the introduction of Bivas by INEC, and now with the electronic transmission, all the game plan of whoever contemplating rigging has fallen.
“But we need this messaging to get to the nooks and crannies of the state so as to assure them that their votes will count and not just having a peaceful election.
“This is one way we can deepen democracy in Nigeria and ensure the right person emerges and for good governance to be instituted.”
According to Ozigbo, he had never solicited assistance from anyone to rig election for him nor support him in manner that would disenfranchise his opponents, calling on his supporters not to engage in any form of violence.
“Don’t fight for me, God will fight for me. Just make sure you stand your ground so nothing wrong happens in your unit or ward so our votes would count.
He further regretted growing insecurity in the state, urging every citizen of the state and other persons of goodwill, including those who might be sent from outside the state to create this havoc to sheath their swords.
He added, “Even before I emerged as the flagbearer of my party, one thing I kept insisting is apart from avoiding discussing other aspirants, I tried to build friendship and comradeship to enable us build a peaceful coexistence during the elections.
“Unfortunately soon after the primary, Anambra took a different dimension. Look at the level of insecurity. Why suddenly now in a state known to be peaceful? And who is orchestrating it and what do they stand to benefit?
“I’m using this opportunity to urge every citizen of the state and other persons of goodwill, including those who might be sent from outside the state to create this havoc to sheath their swords.
Ozigbo commended the musical icon for championing such a noble cause, urging him not to relent.
His words, “All you are preaching is symbolized by my candidacy. I’m happy at your consistency. We’re talking about how to change our stories as black people. We’re given bad names and in some cases rightly so. We’ve not done enough to justify our existence here on earth.
“One reason that prompted me to go into this election is that that story can change and there’s no better place to begin than Nigeria and there’s no race to examplify that than the Ibo and there’s no headship than Anambra.
“How to use Anambra to set an example of what good governance ought to be is the issue. The only way to actualize this is through proper recruitment process in leadership.
“Democracy is not flawed by its principles but the way it’s being conducted. What I preach for long before I entered into politics was how to make it impossible for incompetent people to emerge as candidate of any political party. So that at the end of the day, you’ll have a win-win situation no matter what happens.
“When we have social interventions like this, it helps to send right signals and hopefully educate the populace especially the candidates to ensure they conduct themselves in civilized manner.
“All we’re praying for and all I stand for is a peaceful, free and fair process. I allow a level playing field because I know that when that happens, a competent person will emerge and I’m confident that under a free and fair process, I Valentine will be the next governor of Anambra state.”
Earlier, Idibia had appealed to the PDP candidate to maximize his position to urge youths in the state to embrace peace and shun electoral violence.
“They will take the message serious especially when it comes from your person. We’re happy the level of violence is reducing and we look forward to a time it will be history in our electoral processes,” he noted.