The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State on Thursday began its campaign for the state’s Nov. 2 council elections.
Handing over the party’s flag to the various candidates in Enugu, Gov. Sullivan Chime urged them to strive to replicate the dividends of democracy in their council areas.
Chime, who lamented the inability of many states to conduct council elections, said the state had complied with the constitutional provisions.
“Right from inception, it was a policy of this administration to take the issue of local government administration seriously. We decided quite early to keep to the tenets of the constitution of this country.
“So many states in this country decided to run the local governments as if they were departments of the state government. We still have states in this country that appoint caretaker chairmen.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think anybody has been able to challenge any of these state governments. It is wrong. It should be challenged. I urge serious minded democrats to challenge it.
“That is the only way you can ensure that we have democracy at the grassroots level. You must seek legal redress; it is not a favour. People are entitled to preside over their affairs,” the governor said.
On the low participation of women in the council polls, Chime said the election was the decision of the people.
“I urge the women not to be discouraged but do not think you will become a chairman because you are a woman. It is the people’s choice. In Enugu State, we treat everyone equally. When it comes to appointive positions, we can consider more women”.
In an address, the Chairman of the party in the state, Chief Vita Abba, expressed optimism that its candidates would sweep the polls at the elections.
He called on the candidates to run an all-inclusive government if voted into power on Nov. 2.
“Enugu State is PDP and no other party can survive here. I am certain that the 17 council chairmen will take the state to the next level.
“I urge the chairmen to run an open government; carry everyone along because; I am sure you have won already,’’ the chairman said.
Speaking on behalf of federal legislators from the state, Rep. Stella Ngwu (PDP-Uzo-Uwani/Igbo Etiti) assured the candidates of their support at the elections.
Responding on behalf of the 17 chairmanship candidates, the candidate for Nkanu West local government, Mr Afam Okereke, assured the people of their commitment to bring developments to the grassroots.
“On behalf of my colleagues and I, the 17 PDP flag-bearers , we are so overwhelmed by your trust, your confidence and belief in us and we stand here boldly to assure you that we will never let Enugu State down”, Okereke said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the party has 17 male chairmanship flag bearers and seven women deputies. (NAN)