Echoes from Anambra governorship election

The Anambra governorship election has come and gone and the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) emerged winner for a second term in office, after defeating two other major contenders in the race; Mr. Oseloka Obaze of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Dr. Tony Nwoye of the All Progressives Congress (APC) among other parties.

Though the election is technically over, the dust is yet to settle following the outcome of the poll, especially considering the margin of the votes between Obiano and other candidates which can best be described as a political tsunami ever to have happened in the history of Anambra politics.

The tsunami consumed even the perceived strong political warriors like Peter Obi and Tony Nwoye. While Obi’s bloc was seen as the tallest mast that required jet fighters, Nwoye was revered as the son of the godfather general. But, to the applause and amazement of political watchers, the godfather general chose to let his son face the battle alone without any armour to support him. Perhaps in the spirit of a free and fair election and change, the federal might for the first time chose not to meddle in Anambra election, hence, Nwoye was left to the mercy of the youths who he mostly counted on.

But because of the hardship experienced in the country, even the strongest would fall when presented loads of cash, hence, their support cannot be trusted when money comes to play. Most of the hotels in Awka were one week to the election completely run over by youths, mostly of the male specie meeting and strategegising on the way to win for their own.

Their braggadocios stance as the team wielding the federal support was however trounced by the man who they alleged a ‘thief’. For the soft spoken former governor Peter Obi, fondly called ‘Okwute, the 2017 election will remain indelible in his heart as the year his political might and relevance was defaced. Despite the ‘okwutee echoes’ and following in all the campaigns he attended with PDP candidate all over the 21 local government areas of the state, one wonders where all those praise singers went to on the day of the election. Perhaps, it is a case of lip service where people adorned PDP regalia on the outside but APGA inside.

Obi held sway as Anambra State governor for eight years and handed over to Obiano but returned three years after leaving office to oust him. The crux of the matter is why was he bent on removing a person he enthusiastically work handed over to after his eight years of leadership. According to a political analyst, Obi misfired when he had the opportunity to return the state to a total PDP state. He said that at the time he was hobnobbing from Awka to Abuja while romancing the PDP through former President Goodluck Jonathan, he would have worked with the members of the state house of assembly to dump APGA and move over to PDP.

“That way, PDP will have a strong hold again in the state and people will run to it because of his presence there as the state governor”. Though, no magic would have been done with such strategy because Obiano would have still emerged the party’s candidate as the incumbent governor.

The question is, has Obiano retired Obi politically with the intimidating victory he had at the polls, even winning convincingly in Obi’s own local government area. A member of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Chris Uba, in a show of anger after the results were announced, condemned what he called the perennial loss of elections in Anambra State by the PDP. Uba had blamed Obi for the loss in the polls and called on the party to avoid impunity and have an introspection over its ordeal. He said: “The candidate of the PDP in the election, Obaze was not known to the founding members of the party in the state.

Obi brought him and foisted him on everybody. It’s because of this impunity that Obiano won this election. My heart is bleeding that we lost this election again. Anambra State is a PDP state, yet each time we will lose to strangers. “How is it that each time, a party somebody is nurturing will be hijacked by strangers some months to the election?

Obi has not won any election without my input. Why did he bring a foreigner to represent us in this election? He caused us that problem earlier and Goodluck Jonathan lost election. PDP should stop this impunity. Some of those governors that came here to campaign for the PDP here could not have been governors without my input. Why didn’t they ask after me when they came here to campaign? “Obi must apologise to the PDP members in Anambra State for leading them into an inglorious outing at the poll. Obi doesn’t have the capacity to make Obaze or anybody a governor without my input. Obi has killed this party.

This is an election we would have won with a wide margin. Obi carried what he could not control. “My heart is bleeding. We lost this election by coming distant third. In such a large party, you don’t use it to settle scores. Obi came into the PDP to settle scores with Obiano, his former ally. That was our bane in this election.

The contestants may appear not to be interested in challenging the result as published by the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, but they still believe that the election was full of manipulations. For instance, Obaze wondered the sort of magic Obiano possessed to warrant defeating all the candidates even in their own local government areas. According to him, the margin of the victory was unheard of and unimaginable. The PDP flag bearer may not be alone in questioning the magic wand that pulled the carpet off their feet while they were still standing, the candidate of the United Peoples Party, UPP, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo has also lamented the result of the election saying that he was a very popular candidate, weighty enough to win the election but, according to him, vote-buying edged him out. Another slant to his lamentation was the late arrival of both INEC officials and materials to his area.

Though most of the INEC accredited domestic election observers like YIAGA, CLEEN, etc have pointed to vote buying, even in the presence of security agencies as one of the major flaws experienced during the election, this time around, there will not be any election tribunal or lawyers to be employed for outrageous sum. Though vote-buying was deployed in a buying and selling kind of way, there is an underlying factor to Obiano’s victory. Apart from holding sway as the incumbent, there is also the issue of the so many enemies of Obi who had been nursing one grief or the other and waiting to carry out their vandetta.

These crop of influential individuals joined flanks with Obiano to quell Obi’s mission. But in so doing, Obaze bore the brunt. Another factor is the god father syndrome which has left a huge sore in the hearts and minds of Anambra people. The state have had its bitter share of god fatherism decay in the past hence, they are no longer open to tolerate, accept or support any party with a god father tag. Suffice it to say that perhaps, Obaze whose pedigree is so intimidating would have done much better without an Obi leading him like toddler during the campaigns. There is also the church angle, in the politics of Anambra State, the catholic church plays a huge role in determining who would mount the saddle.

Starting from former governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju, the governors have always been of Catholic decent. They have both the number and followership. For example, it was gathered that shortly before the election, the governor had a closed door meeting in Amawbia with the members of the knight of the Catholic church and there they agreed that the best bet was to support Obiano to complete his second tenure and then hand over to the south.

In claiming victory Obiano said:”The victory has shown the will of Ndi Anambra and the trust they repose in us and our platform, APGA. I must also thank God who made the hundred percent victory possible. “I call on my friends that contested with me to join me in rebuilding Anambra State, It is our state. For the confidence reposed in me by Ndi Anambra, I will work harder in my second tenure to turn the state to a Dubai in Africa.”

Source: New Telegraph

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