Independence: Valentine Ozigbo calls for end to Anambra violenceOctober 2, 2021

The flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the forthcoming Anambra state governorship election, Valentine Ozigbo has cancelled all his scheduled campaign activities in the state following the renewed wave of violence in Anambra.

Chief Ozigbo who condemned the gruesome killings of Chief Lawrence Ezenwa, the husband to the late NAFDAC icon, Dora Akunyili and other prominent sons and daughters of the state by suspected bandits, however condemned the violence and called for an immediate end to the violence.

He gave the call in a statement to mark Nigeria’s 61st Independence Day celebration.

His statement read thus:

“Nigeria marks its 61st Independence Anniversary as a fresh wave of violence envelopes my home state of Anambra.

In the past few days, we have witnessed an alarming escalation of deadly violence in Anambra. We lost an eminent son and several others in what appears to be a renewed violent campaign by bandits.

Yesterday (October 30th, 2021), a prominent Nigerian public servant, medical doctor, and a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Lawrence Ezenwa, was killed in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra. He owned hospitals in Okija, Onitsha, and Okpanam in Delta State.

Dr Ezenwa, who is from Abia State, was visiting his wife’s village, Ukpo in Nnewi South, when he met his demise. His driver was also shot and killed. On the same day, a vehicle belonging to a federal lawmaker, Engr. Chris Azubogu was attacked, and his driver was killed in cold blood.

As a son of the soil and a leader, I find the latest reports of violence disturbing and condemnable. I call for a stop to all acts of violence, particularly against the innocent.

Due to this development, and in line with my belief that no life is worth anybody’s ambition, I suspended all my campaign rallies and public appearances scheduled for this week. Every life is precious and ought to be protected and preserved.

Indeed, all of Ndi Anambra and my family are shaken by the unimaginable violence, which took the life of our illustrious son, Dr Chike Akunyili, the husband of our iconic daughter, the late Professor Dora Akunyili. We mourn his loss and send our deepest sympathies to his children whom I have sent my private condolence. May the Lord receive the soul of the departed and grant his loved ones the fortitude to bear this tragic loss.

I also extend my condolences to the families of Dr Ezenwa and others who have met a violent end this week at the hands of gunmen on a rampage in Anambra. I believe that an injury to any one of us as Ndi Anambra is an injury to me. It ought to be the same for every person in a position of authority. This is a time for our leaders to stand up and demonstrate leadership we can believe in.

Every lawful step must be taken to address the growing incidences of insecurity in Anambra and the South East. Dialogue is a globally accepted approach to resolving agitations for self-determination. It is time that the Nigerian government opened the door for non-violent solutions to the crisis at hand.

I call for the end of the dehumanisation of my people, and any people for that matter. Everyone deserves to live in dignity and die with dignity.

As Nigeria marks her 61st Independence anniversary, I wish to call for sober reflection and determined action by federal and state governments. Agitations across the country are a direct result of economic and social injustices that have gone on for way too long. We cannot run away from the dark history of our past; it trails us like a shadow. We must confront our story, ask the hard questions, and right the wrongs to move into a better future.

I pray God gives our leaders the courage to do what is right, or he gives us leaders who do.

May peace return to our land. Happy Independence Day.”

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