Ahead of the 2019 general elections, a socio-political group in Enugu State, the Gburugburu Continuity Network (GCN) has called on politicians in the state to avoid engaging in campaigns of calumny and character assassination in a bid to score cheap political points.
GCN is one of the groups formed to drum support for the re-election of the Enugu State governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
It made the statement in a press release signed by its Central Coordinators, Hon. Chineme Onyeke and Hon. Chinedu Eze.
The statement was in response to what they called “sponsored media attacks” against the lawmaker representing Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South in the House of Representatives, Hon. Pat. Asadu.
Certain groups reportedly speaking for Ovogovo people in Nsukka West of Nsukka LGA and clamouring for power shift to Ovogovo specifically asked the lawmaker to forget returning to the Green Chamber.
But the Ugwuanyi support group said “politicians in Nsukka and Enugu at large should campaign on their own programmes, visions and missions rather than attempting to deprive any Nigerian of his democratic right.
“We decried a situation where known and unknown faces hide under all sorts of names and pseudo names to attack those they perceive as rivals through hate write ups and smear campaign that has culminated in media attacks on Asadu who many feel is the frontrunner in the race for the House of Representatives in the Constituency.
“We are cautioning politicians and their sponsored groups to stop making statements and taking actions capable of jeopardising the prevailing peace in the State which the governor has worked assiduously with his team, including Dr. Asadu to enthrone.”
It said while it was not against politicians showing interest in political positions, but that such persons should not be hiding under faceless groups to denigrate other political leaders.
They called on politicians in the state “to focus on issue-based campaign as we get nearer to the 2019 general elections.
“We are saying this because we cannot sit back and watch masked politicians whose stock in trade is nothing else but to assassinate other people’s character instead of showcasing what they have to offer to the masses.
“We must put it on record that the Rt. Hon. Pat Asadu does not deserve the kind of mudslinging he is getting from these faceless individuals, except for the well known fact that some of these people dread contesting against him because of his soaring pedigree and acceptance across the 36 wards in the Constituency.
“While we are not holding briefs for him, we must also point out that it is a total fallacy and deliberate falsehood for anyone to describe the lawmaker as a bench-warmer.
“We challenge those saying this to mention any of his predecessors that sponsored bills and motions more than he did. We equally challenge them to mention any of such persons that attracted constituency projects more than he has done.
“It is on record that Asadu’s performances within the period he has served the people of Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South at the House of Reps cannot be compared with those who held the position in the past in his constituency and his achievements are out there for people to see.”
They further stated that “it is unthinkable for some persons to just come up and start telling bare-faced lies simply because they are interested in a position being occupied by someone else.