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2021: 20 for governor in Anambra

Published by The Nation on Thu, 12 Dec 2019

Southeast Bureau Chief Nwanosike Onu examines the preparations for the 2021 Anambra State governorship election by the All Progressives Grant Alliance (APGA), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).Anambra State will hold governorship election in November 2021.Governor Willie Obiano will hand over the mantle of leadership on March 17, 2022.Obiano is serving his second term. He was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).He was recommended to the party by former Governor Peter Obi and the former national chairman, Senator Victor Umeh.Since then, the party has gone from one crisis to another.Anambra State is on the march again. Who succeed Obiano'Although, there are over 90 registered political parties, only three are popular in Anambra State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the All Progressive Congress (APC).The state was ruled by the PDP before Obi came and changed the narrative. Since then, APGA has held sway.However, the ruling party cannot afford to sleep on guard. Opposition parties are warming up.Although the election is a bit far, aspirants have started emerging from the three leading parties.The 2021 contest is going to be a battle of billionaires. Some of them are already mobilising.The rich politicians who are showing interests are; Sen. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, Sen. Andy Ubah, Dr Obiora Okonkwo, Dr. Godwin Maduka, Dr. Chido Nwankwo (Wichtech), Dr. Ike Ozigbo, (Transcorp chairman), Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo, former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Senator Uche Ekwunife.Others eyeing the seat are Dr George Moghalu, the Managing Director, Nigeria Inland Waterways Agency NIWA, Chris Azubogu, representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo federal constituency, Chief Johnbosco Onunkwo, Stanley Uzochukwu, Sir Bart Nwibe (oil man), Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu and Mr Godwin Ezeemo.These billionaires are set to shake the state and make the poll competitive and memorable.The politicians are following the footsteps of Obi. They are insisting that the next governor must come from the South.That was exactly what Obi did when Obiano came into the fray. His reason was that the people of North Senatorial Zone have been marginalised.Today, former Governor Chukwuemeka Ezife is leading the people of Old Aguata Union (OAU) in agitation for power shift to the South.Also, Obiano has said that APGA would pick its candidate from the South.Before now, Sir Fabian Ozoigbo had formed what he called the Great Anambra Forum (GAFORUM) to champion the cause. He is not in the game alone. His co-travellers include former commissioners, local government chairmen and other political leaders.Speaking with The Nation, Ozoigbo said, never again would a foreigner rule Anambra StateHe said GAFORUM was not interested in any party, be it APC, PDP or APGA, but a candidate with grassroots orientation.He said what had gone wrong in Anambra has been those coming from abroad to take over the leadership in the state without knowing the problems confronting the electorateOzoigbo added: We are tired of electing diaspora people into the system and when they are elected, they will abandon the electorate and start bringing their friends and relatives from abroad to come and take all the political appointments without considering the grassroots.Ezeife enjoined political parties to take a cue from APGA and zone the ticket to Anambra South.Already, majority of the aspirants in different parties are from the Southern zone.However, both the PDP and the APC are adamant. They are not supporting the arrangement, describing it as APGAs trump card.The APC chairman, Chief Basil Ejidike, said the ruling party would not dictate to his party, adding that parties have the right to choose from any of the senatorial zones, so far the candidate would be acceptable to all.Leading the PDP aspirants is Dr. Obiora Okonkwo.The PDP contender was recently given the highest chieftaincy titles by the traditional rulers in the three senatorial zones.In fact, the monarch of Igbariam Kingdom, who led others in the Central Zone, Igwe Nneli Kelly, where Okonkwo was installed as Ibobo Ndigbo (man of charisma), described him as the best among the best.Factors at play:There are notable factors that are likely to shape the election.The first being the Church dichotomy, which was introduced into the politics of the state by Obi.Since then, it has become a war among the Roman Catholics, the Anglicans and the Pentecostals.The Anglicans and Pentecostal are crying out that they are being marginalised by the Roman Catholics, who they claim had dominated the seat and state appointments.But, those they are accusing are more in number in the state. Their members occupy important positions in the country.Another thing likely to play out during the election is the issue of membership of Christ The King College (CKC).Since the reign of Obi, ex students of CKC have dominated the government, which was also responsible for the emergence of Obiano.Most appointments in the past 13 years had been dominated by the ex-students of the college, and this has not gone down well with others.Again, the the three senatorial zones will play a key role in determining who succeeds Obiano.It is believed that any body from the North or Central is not likely to make any impact, irrespective of his or her party.Anambra South had held the position for about six years, despite having four of their own in the office at different times.From the South, Ezeife ruled for over one year under the military. Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju was governor for four years. Dame Virgy Etiaba ruled for three months while Sen Andy Uba held the position for 17 days.From the Central, Sen Chris Ngige ruled for almost three years while Obi ruled for eight years, making the zone the most dominant in the state.The first time the position had shifted to the North was in 2014, when Obiano took over from Obi and by 20222, he would have ruled for eight years.Based on equity, justice and fair play, the people are clamouring for a governor from the South to take over from Obiano to balance the equationRead Also:Edo 2020: APC, PDP guber aspirants in early movesPDP contenders: Despite the legion of aspirants on the platform of the PDP, there are those considered as major contenders.These are Mr Godwin Ezeemo, Okonkwo, Hon Chris Azubogu and Chief Osita Chidoka.Although they are either looking for the position of deputy or just to make the numbers.Such names include Sen Uche Ekwunife, Vin Oligbo, Val Ozoigbo (Transcorp Chairman) among others.About 80 percent of the aspirants, who wish to run in 2021 are either relying on political party structure or godfatherism to excel.Only few aspirants have built personal structures, while some of them are just floating without followership.For now, some of them have not made their intentions known, but they are making consultations in different parties with their followers.Some of such people are Sen Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, who won the South Senatorial election on the platform of Young Peoples Party (YPP), Dr Tony Nwoye who is a member of APC, Sen Andy Uba and Sen. Uche Ekwunife.These three aspirants have strong political structures. They call them movements in Anambra political arena.The APGA contingent:The aspirants in APGA are many, not because it is the ruling party.They include Soludo, now a member of President Muhammadu Buharis Economic team, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu, Hon Vincent Okpala, Sir Damian Okolo, Stanley Uzochukwu, Dr Godwin Maduka among others.APC aspirants:The aspirants include Moghalu, Sir Bart Nwibe and another oil guru, Chief Johnbosco Onunkwo.However, the duo of Dr Tony Nwoye and Sen Andy Uba are still associating with the APC and PDP, while both have not made any official statement on their ambitions.Another speculation in Anambra is the romance between APGA and APC concerning Soludos interest.While the APGA members believe the ticket belongs to him, others are of the opinion that he may pitch the tent with APC, having been appointed into the Economic Team by the President.However, the coast is not yet clear on the number of persons contesting the tickets in the three leading parties.But, the people of Anambra State know those who will never become governor, irrespective of their wealth and influence .Again, it is not yet time for a woman to govern the state as stated by some of the political big guns.Besides, the people have vowed not to look the way of those they described as political desperadoes.However, it will be suicidal to undermine any of the aspirants in any of the parties that has eyes on Obianos seat.
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