Should Anambra continue as an orphan?

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are the two dominant political parties in Nigeria. In the Third Republic dispensation, there were also the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Convention (NRC). Also, in the Second Republic democratic dispensation, there were the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP). In both the Second Republic and Third Republic dispensations, Anambra state had always belonged to a national party with governors from other states as colleagues on the same political platform.

However, since 2006, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has been ruling the state. Former Governor Peter Obi, who was the first (APGA) governor, saw the imperative of dumping the party and joining a national party when he eventually decamped to the PDP. When Professor Charles Soludo was made the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, he had all the moral support he needed from his home state Governor Peter Obi. However, immediately Professor Soludo’s tenure as CBN governor expired and was not renewed by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, his immediate ambition was to covet or snatch the governorship seat away from Peter Obi.

Therefore, Soludo became the candidate of the PDP in 2010 against all odds and political permutations through the machinations of the then National Chairman of the PDP Prince Vincent Eze Ogbulafor and the then Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP late Chief Tony Anenih. He literally snatched the ticket of the PDP from Senator Andy Uba and others who were funding the party from inception. 

He displaced them and emerged the candidate of PDP with impunity. Professor Soludo hated and still hates President Goodluck Jonathan till this very moment because he was banking on the federal might of the PDP which was in power at the federal level at the time, to help him rig out then Governor Peter Obi of APGA who was contesting for second term. Late President Yar’Adua was away on health ground and his then deputy, Vice President Jonathan had assumed office as acting President of Nigeria. President Jonathan, who believed in free and fair election, didn’t believe or agree to the PDP’S plan to rig out Governor Peter Obi.

The 2010 gubernatorial election in Anambra state was the first election conducted under Jonathan’s watch as Commander-in-Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces. He gave the  instruction that a free and fair election must be conducted in Anambra state, regardless of whether the candidate of his party (Soludo) would lose or not. 

The election came and gone. Peter Obi won his reelection in one of the freest election in Nigeria’s history. Soludo congratulated Peter Obi, but he was sulking inwardly. He laid the blame of his defeat on the door steps of President Jonathan because he didn’t help him manipulate the election by deploying federal might to rig out Peter Obi from office. Soludo never forgave Jonathan for that defeat. That was why he opposed and worked against Jonathan’s second term election in 2015.

In the forthcoming November 6 election, the same Soludo is heavily relying on state might controlled by Governor Willie Obiano to help him become the governor. Can Governor Obiano make Soludo a governor? What will happen in November 6, will be a clash of federal versus state might?. Governor Obiano will not have it easy as he did in 2017 when he got elected as Anambra governor.

In the 2017 gubernatorial election, the federal government literally assisted Governor Obiano with federal might to edge out the candidate of PDP, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, in order to cage Peter Obi’s ambition for the 2019 presidential election. The same thing is likely to happen to the current candidate of the PDP, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, in November 6 gubernatorial election. The political calculation or permutation between the federal government and Governor Obiano at the time was for the federal government to help him retain his seat to prevent PDP from ruling the state against 2019 presidential election. 

They would help Obiano to retain his seat as governor, he would in turn also help APC to win Anambra state in 2019 presidential election. Obiano had the full support of the APC-led federal government in 2017 governorship election. The federal government fulfilled its side of the bargain or agreement, but did Obiano deliver Anambra state to APC in the 2019 presidential election? 

Now is the time for Anambra state to join a national party so that the governor of the state will have “brothers” with him in the same political party. Anambra state has been a political orphan for a long time. Should the state continue to be an orphan in politics?

Among all the candidates contesting for the November 6 election, Senator Andy Uba is the most experienced of them all in terms of governance. He has a quantum experience, having served as governor even if for a very short time after serving as a presidential aide for eight solid years. He also has the cognate legislative experience, having served as a senator for another eight years. To be a professor of economics is very good, but it’s a mere theory. What Anambra people need now is a practical wealth creator, after all, Alhaji Aliko Dangote is the richest Nigerian even with his limited education, and he has professors as his staff. Senator Andy Uba is the best answer for Anambra people.

Maduako writes via [email protected] (08061562735)