THE All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP) governorship candidate in Enugu State, Chief Fidel Ayogu has been endorsed by the Catholic Church for the April 19 polls. This was the result of a panel set up by the church to assess the candidates of the various political parties. The church, made of the Enugu and Nsukka dioceses, had invited the candidates to a screening in which it specified the criteria to include acceptability by the people, past record of performance, integrity among others.
Report says, the candidates who attended the screening were also asked to "to show that they would be committed to the decision of the church and they did so." The panel, headed by a bishop evaluated the responses of those so interviewed in addition to its investigations and rated them accordingly. Ayogu was ranked number one. "The church is not just getting involved in the politics of Enugu State," says our source. "But we cannot afford to show no interest in who governs the state because among our flock, you have civil servants, teachers, farmers, students, peasants and other professionals.
"What the church did was to call all of them to ask them basic questions. Based on their responses and following investigations the panel also conducted, the candidates were rated. Ayogu was rated number one. That's it. The next step will be for the politicians to meet and see how they work together."
Meanwhile, the Nsukka cultural zone held a grand reception for the ANPP gubernatorial flag bearer, last Friday, in which a mammoth crowd turned out. At the ceremony in which the party's presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari sent Alhaji Umaru Dangote to represent him, Chief Ayogu pledged to restore the state to its enviable status. "I thank my people for showing this kind of solidarity. I also implore them to come out en masse on April 19 to put their fingers to where their hearts are in order to heal a sick state.
"Our new Wawa agenda will be to liberate Enugu State from the crutches of poverty and insecurity. When we form the next government, by the grace of God, the whole of Enugu State will see a huge difference between light and darkness. I represent the former."
Added Ayogu: "My government will not retrench workers; we shall rather empower them more. This state had always been home to all Igbo men no matter their states of origin. It ceased to be so in the last four years because of insecurity and sundry hostilities. We will bring peace back to everybody.
"And because it is largely a civil service state, we will have no other choice than to pay workers' salaries as at when due, give bursaries, encourage investments and promote agriculture."
Chief C.O.C. Egungbe who led a delegation from Awgu praised Nsukka people "for showing that you're ready for the battle ahead. With what I've seen here, I have no doubt that they have what it takes to realise their dream and I wish them well."