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Stakeholders condemn havoc at Anambra fitness programme

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Politicians and stakeholders in Anambra sports have condemned last weekend’s invasion and destruction of facilities set up for a keep fit programme, tagged ‘WalkForLife’ organised by Val Ozigbo Foundation at St. Andrew’s Church, Nnewi.

Thugs believed to have been sponsored by Ozigbo’s political opponents had on the eve of the third edition of programme sponsored by Ozigbo, who is a gubernatorial aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), invaded the already set playground, destroying and/or setting canopies, chairs, tables and other equipment on fire just as close to 3000 participants, including famed freestyle football juggler, Blessed, had arrived in the venue for the event.

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After the mayhem, the organisers restored the faculties to pave way for a two-hour trek-and-run exercise from St. Andrew’s DCC, through Nnewi-Onitsha road, veering off Amakom through Nnewi-Awka road/Nnewi High School to the Nkwo Nnewi Quadrangle.

Speaking at the end of the event, Ozigbo expressed shock that hoodlums could throw caution to the wind to perpetrate the act, stressing that the programme was not a political campaign as the electoral body.

Also speaking at the end of the walk, another gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of PDP, Chris Azubogu, described the attack on ‘Walk For Life’ as barbaric, and urged security agencies to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to book.

Azubogu, the member representing Nnewi North/Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives said he would have been part of the ‘Walk For Life’ but for his ongoing constituency tour.

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In its reaction, the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) government said the vandalism could be an insider arrangement within the PDP.

A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, said: “The thugs who vandalized Ozigbo’s pavilion and warned him and his supporters never to visit Nnewi on a campaign are suspected to be members of his own Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who were acting on the instructions of certain members of the party, who want to contest for the PDP gubernatorial ticket with him.

“This irresponsible behaviour is a clear deviation from the new norm in Anambra State politics. The state has in the last six years built a reputation for a high level of solidarity and social harmony. It has held two major elections since 2017 without one single incident of violence.”

The Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District on the platform of PDP, Iyom Uche Ekwunife and her counterpart representing Anambra South Senatorial District on the platform of Young Progressives Party (YPP), Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, also condemned the acts.

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