The governorship candidate of the United Progressives Party, UPP, Chief Osita Chidoka, has flagged off his campaign for the Anambra governorship election which comes up on 18th November this year.
The event which took place at Amorka in Ihiala Local Government Area, also witnessed a surprise support from the first son of Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the late Biafra leader, Chief Debe Ojukwu.
Chidoka who was seemingly elated at the turn out, told his supporters that he opted for Amorka because it was a historic town in Igbo Land, having been home to Uli Airstrip where relief materials had reached Biafra during the civil war.
He said every Igbo man who survived hunger during the civil war owed their lives to Uli Airstrip from where relief materials were brought down to the area. He described the town as Biafra's window to the world and hope for survival.
He said, 'We are gathered here today in the historic city of Amorka to launch a governorship campaign. Many people may be wondering why we chose this ground for this launch. This ground is historic by its significant position as the last standing territory at a great time in the history of a great people and their unconquered resilience in the face of all odds.
'This is the home of the famous Uli Airport - an airport, which at some historic point, was the only link between Biafra land and the rest of the world. It remains a loud testimony and tribute to the Igbo ingenuity, innovation and the resilience for which we are known all over the world.
'Uli airport remains one of our finest hours when in the midst of bombardments and gunfire; of injury, pain and death; we held forth and sustained an airport that was our support and our access to the whole world even in the midst of battle.
'Today, we stand to pay tribute to all those who died in the quest to build a nation out of the regions of Nigeria; we pay tribute to their courage, their valour and audacity of identity and self-expression.
'As we launch our campaign, we lift the “isi agu”(tiger head) symbol of UPP), the very Igbo symbol of our courage, pride and undying consciousness, as well as our composure and resilience as a people even in the face of adversity.
'It is therefore symbolic that the isi agu is also the emblem of our great party, the United Progressive Party (UPP), which today is the political vehicle for our new consciousness and engagement as a people in Nigeria and which also has in its manifesto, the quest and right to self-determination,' he said.
Speaking at the event, the first son of former Biafra leader, Chief Sylvester Ojukwu, said he was in Amorka because the town was a significant town which helped Igbo's to survive the civil war of 1967 -1970.
He said his father left Nigeria towards the end of the war through Uli Airstrip, which was located at Amorka, with the message that he was leaving to bring back peace to Igbo Land, and that he was happy that peace was at last coming back to Igbo Land through the same Amorka, this time in the form of Chidoka and not Ojukwu.
'I left everything I had to do to come here because of the significance of Amorka to Igbo people. My father left Nigeria through Uli Airstrip, here in Amorka, and promised to bring back peace on his return. Amorka gave my father peace and happiness, today you are giving Anambra peace and happiness in the form of Chidoka,' he said.
The national chairman of the party, Chief Chekwas Okorie, who was also at the flagg-off ceremony, tackled the APC National chairman, Chief Odigie Oyegun, over his recent comment that the only way Igbos could run away from marginalisation was to join the APC.
He said, 'Now we know why they are marginalising us. But let me tell you, any Igbo man who was brought up properly would not vote for APC. The only way we can ensure we defeat them is to make sure that no part of Igbo land falls to APC.
'Our party will continue to talk about marginalisation. We will continue to talk about referendum and Biafra. We will not be intimidated. We are the only party that has referendum in our party manifesto,' he said.
The rally was hugely attended from members of the party from all parts of the state, just as Chidoka stated that the campaign would be moved to all towns in the state.