Our People Mourn By Onyebuchi Ememanka

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Ladies and gentlemen,

I had planned this speech since last night when it became obvious to me that the same forces that had held our people down were determined to do everything under the sun to have their way today.
I was left with two choices – either to step down or march all the way to the end and accept defeat. I chose the latter. I made that choice because I needed to show our people that a man is nothing without his honor and that my integrity cannot be subjected to monetization.

Three days ago, delegates from across the three local governments voted for me massively but just before the process was concluded, thugs aided directly and openly by big men who I thought were decent, broke into the hall and scattered the entire thing. The people who did this and the big men of Osisioma politics who openly aided them still move about freely. They are all known. None of them has been questioned.

The last two days have been about the most challenging in my entire life. With my two eyes, I saw a deliberate attempt buoyed by a well oiled machinery to stop me at all costs.

Delegates from Ugwunagbo were held hostage this morning, threatened and cajoled openly and were marched from Addrex Hotels Ogbor Hill, like army recruits, to Ngwa High School. When they told me what happened, I asked them to do whatever their hearts tell them.
It got so bad that delegates were asked to show their ballot papers to a designated person before voting. This was to confirm that they followed instructions to vote in a particular direction.
As the delegates voted, they came out with tears in their eyes, especially the women. The men wore long faces and most of them embraced me and then left immediately. Some of them advised me to go home. I refused and stayed there till the end. Even while the electoral panel members announced the results, their hands shook and their voices cracked. I stayed there and thereafter made a brief speech.
This is the first time in my life that I am witnessing the declaration of the results of an election with no single clap nor shout, even by the supporters of the supposed winner. Everyone wore mournful looks. It was indeed a sad day and I feel for our people.

Before I left, I gathered our people and addressed them. I told them that it is well. They all followed me home. They are broken hearted. They just left my house now.

To be honest, I fear for our party. I am sincerely worried. Our people are deeply wounded. They feel insulted and embarrassed. They feel let down. They watched helplessly as a rapacious coalition truncated that which they desired passionately.

A dark cloud looms over our land. There is pin drop silence all over. It’s unusual. It’s strange. From Osisioma to Obingwa to Ugwunagbo, there is mourning in the land.

This coalition may have won the battle but have they won the war? That is the issue. A greater battle lies ahead. The general elections will come and I hope this same coalition that did this violence on our people today will get ready for a repeat performance in the general elections.

Let me end by thanking our people for the great love they have shown me all these months. From my home Osisioma to Obingwa to Ugwunagbo, our people have made their voices heard and made it clear that they want change. They demonstrated their desire three days ago but their choices were brutally assaulted. I pray God Almighty to heal our land.

I thank also the members of the PDP Electoral Panel. They are men of honor. All of them. I do not want to go into details of what happened but these men have won my respect for refusing to sell their conscience to the devil.

I thank my supporters and friends who stood by me in this race. They have been wonderful. I received lots of help from many people. I didn’t have money to prosecute this election but my friends repaid my years of goodwill by coming to my assistance. God will replenish.

I thank my family for the support they gave me. Those who accused us of not having a big surname have seen that it is a big mistake to judge a book by the cover.

I remain indebted to my brethren in the Anglican Communion who remained steadfast in prayers and supplications. I am grateful to all Christian leaders and groups who supported us on a daily basis.

To you, Blessing Adaeze Ememanka, my one and only Lolo Ururuaja! The wife of my youth.
Nne lei, of a truth, you are a blessing to me. I keep saying it that I don’t know how far I would have gone without you. We will sort ourselves out in ZA OZA ROOM.

People ask me what my next plans are. Our people wanted me to say something today on the way forward. I told them to be patient. I have just finished a battle that has engaged me for a long time now. I feel drained physically and mentally. I need to rest and recover my strength. I need to give time to my family who have borne the brunt of my persistent absence from home. Thereafter, I shall speak, after a thorough review of the situation. I am new in politics and my mind set about life is philosophical.

To my brother, Hon. Sloddy Adaelu, I hope this whole thing has taught everyone of us some deep lessons. I looked forward to seeing you today. I would have loved to personally congratulate you, but you didn’t come. Accept my congratulations. No matter how nonsensical today was, you have been declared winner. Enjoy the victory but please note that you have a lot of work to do, Nwanne. A whole lot. I hope you do it and quickly too. The signs are not good at all.

I thank God Almighty, the great Jehova who gives strength and power, for the courage to even start this. I fought like a man. I did all I could. I won the hearts of our people. The world has heard our voices.

God bless you all.


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