Anambra Governor-elect, Prof Chukwuma Soludo has praised a woman who rejected the sum of N5,000 to sell her vote during the recently concluded governorship election in the state.
Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA) hailed the woman while receiving his certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Awka, the Anambra State capital on Friday.
The former Central Bank governor described the woman as virtuous, and said she exhibited the true spirit of a typical Anambra person.
Recall that the woman from Ukwulu in Dunukofia Local Government Area rejected the offer, insisting that though she did not have N5, 000 at that moment, she would never accept any money that would make her vote against her conscience.
It was reported that Governor Willie Obiano gifted the woman N1m in appreciation of her action.
Speaking at the Anambra State INEC office, Soludo said the woman had made the state proud and must be rewarded.
He said; “At this moment, I summarise the action of the woman of Ukwulu who rejected N5000 to influence her vote as a metaphor that represents the spirit of Anambra.
“The woman said I am poor; I don’t have any money in my pocket, but I won’t take N5,000. That is the spirit of Anambra and her action is the resilience of the Anambra spirit.
“This is the moment, and the hour has come. God knew that at this hour, my deputy and I will have these certificates in our hands. We thank God for making this day. This is Anambra, the Light of the Nation. This is the state that helped to bring democracy to Nigeria. This is the state of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr.Nwafor Orizu, Sir Loius Ojukwu, Professor Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie and many others”.
“We can never take for granted the determination of the various institutions that saw us to this day, starting from the presidency; the president himself and the security agencies for insisting on a level playing field and we want to say that the era when some people would sit somewhere and write results is over.
“In the build-up to the election, there were tense moments because we were told repeatedly that some people said they had decided to conquer and take Anambra. In Anambra we don’t take, we make the people vote. And I am glad that the federal agencies, from the presidency and the national institutions, insisted on ensuring a free and fair election.
“I have to single out two institutions namely, the judiciary and INEC because as part of this process, the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, stood out to ensure the integrity of the judiciary. Without that, we won’t be here today. It’s a long story.
“I want to commend INEC which was consistently assuring us of its determination to conduct this election. Even when people said it was impossible to conduct the election, the Commission believed that it was possible, having set its agenda in terms of execution”.