Home Politics APGA and the surviving tales of Anambra politics: Which way forward?

APGA and the surviving tales of Anambra politics: Which way forward?

by Uchenna Ezeadigwe Awka
10 minutes read

As the days roll by, we draw near to the D-day “ANAMBRA 2021 and it is no longer news that aspirants from different existing political parties in the state are warming up for this great battle.

Anambra is Nigeria’s safest state and the most peaceful. It is the only state which has not experienced any armed bank robbery attack in over six years, despite having some of the biggest markets in Africa and cities where people trade in high volumes with raw cash. Community policing is at the heart of Anambra’s inspiring security story.

Presently, Obiano’s suspension of the 12 erring traditional rulers should be seen as the first in a series of steps to restore the dignity of the institution. The current administration under APGA at every moment seeks to show why Anambra State will remain the Light of the Nation.

After intense politicking ahead of the November flag off of governorship election in Anambra State, some political parties are gradually organising aspirants, a development that the masses hope to bring succour in the hands of the incumbent administration APGA. Amid the grave global economic crisis arising out of the coronavirus, which has made many state governments unable to pay government employees and retirees for months, Governor Willie Obiano administration has continued to present smiles on its citizenry.

This was as a result of the party’s remarkable growth during the 2019 elections as it won 7 seats in the House of representatives compared to the 2015 elections where only two seats were won including winning of two third of the house and the governorship position.

APGA no doubt, is not an easy party to beat as far as the governorship election in Anambra State is concerned. Apart from the power of incumbency, the state’s security machinery and other relevant bodies seem to be working tirelessly to better development. That notwithstanding, Obiano appears not to be deterred, as he has doggedly and aggressively embarked on last minute programmes to ensure victory.

His giant strides in security, agriculture, education and health, as well as creating an enabling environment for trade and industry to thrive, are all to his credit, analysts said.

His prompt and steady payment of salaries and pensions has attracted support for the “Alert Governor” as he is fondly called and this no doubt would boost his party’ position.

Pundits are of the view that the electorate in Anambra North may prefer to support APGA for continuity but he is already saddled with numerous qualified chances from People’s Democratic Party.

Similarly, Anambra South and Central senatorial zones equally voted for Obiano to ensure that the next seat returns to their zones.

Many residents of the state have vowed that it would be better to entrust their destiny in the hands of a tried and tested hand (APGA) than in some other relatively unknown opponents with little or no experience in governance OR the PDP who has denied them of their basic right but stood on the altar of ‘share the money’.

By November 2021, the state would be going for another governorship poll to elect a successor to incumbent Governor Willie Obiano, who hails from Anambra North Senatorial District of the state. However, some politicians from Anambra South Senatorial District are agitating for power shift to their zone in a bid to sidetrack governorship aspirants from the more cohesive Anambra Central Senatorial District.

Although Governor Obiano does not have similar political clout as Obi, he has been for the clamour of power shift to Anambra South, ostensibly to ensure that the APGA gubernatorial standard-bearer could emerge from there. APGA stakeholders in the state claim that Obiano has resolved on making the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, his successor.

But opponents of zoning have faulted the governor’s scheme, arguing that the inability of proponents of zoning to mobilize the entire people of Anambra South to put forward a consensus candidate, like Obi did in 2013, weakens the zoning argument.

Yet others maintain that since political jobbers hijacked the process and imposed Obiano, instead of Dr. Chike Obidigbo, who was the consensus choice of Anambra North in 2013, nobody should be talking about zoning.

A cursory look at the electoral dynamics in the state shows that in his desperation to play godfather and implant a successor, Governor Obiano seems to be apprehensive that opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with its strength and spread, could jeopardise his succession plan. Consequently, the machinations for zoning the 2021 governorship in the state seem to be precipitated by two main factors, namely, APGA’s apprehensions and jostling within PDP.

Yet, the crisis in APGA is as a result of the emergence of two factions which appear to be the major headache of the incumbent governor. How then do we agree with the notion of continuity? This is amidst the lingering crisis rocking the ruling party following the suspension of 12 monarchs and the protest to call for local governments elections in the state.

Son of late Odumegu Ojukwu, Emeka Ojukwu during one of his interview sessions to mark his father’s birthday succinctly stated that, in terms of who would save Anambra, it is currently in safe hands as Gov. Willie Obiano was building on the good foundation laid by previous administrations, and the next administration will build on the good works of Obiano.

When asked about his opinion on All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) looking very troubled and appears not likely to return as governorship election is around the corner in Anambra, He noted that APGA is not in any more trouble than any of the other major political parties and will produce the next governor of the state.

“Our people are very much aware of the input APGA-led administrations have made and are making in the state. Anambra State is today witnessing previously unheard of confidence vis-a-vis security, due to the APGA security initiatives of Governor Willie Obiano. Who would want to miss sustenance of that superlative initiative?

However, dilapidating state of APGA in February 2013 gave birth to a faction of the party which merged with the Action Congress of Nigeria, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, and the Congress for Progressive Change to form the All Progressives Congress (APC).

APC fielding promising politicians like Dr Tony Nwoye, Mr Andy Uba, Chief George Moghalu, Engineer Bart Nwibe, Chukwuma Paul, Barrister Nonso Madu, Patrick Nwike, Obidigbo Chike, Dr. Obinna Uzoh, Okonwko D., Onunkwo Johnbosco and Uchegbu Adoabi during the last election are clear evidence that the party is prepared to face the challenges.

Going by APC antecedents, their position in Nigeria having Buhari win the election under APC shows no doubt, would be a great booster to victory at the poll. APC stalwarts are of the opinion that APC political history is enough to unsettle any of his co-contestants in view of his track record and successes in politics. The party’s mastery of delegate and rural politics is second to none. These have always been his trump card.
Another strong factor that can hardly be swept under the carpet is his connectivity with Prince Arthur Eze, who is widely believed to have sacrificed alot and expects more in the state. The oil mogul is one of the godfathers that have shaped politics in the state and this time around with his current rift with the governor who is an APGA candidate, the battle becomes more fierce.

APC as a platform to contest the election may pose a big challenge because an average Anambrian is yet to come to terms with the party. Ability to convince the electorate who perceive APC as a northern party is a major battle he would contend with. Currently high increase in price of commodities including fuel, inflation rate, academic strikes, and so on also seems to cripple the state of affairs within the party. Godfatherism as a political culture has grossly receded and efficacy of money distribution and bribery of the electorate is increasingly failing as an electioneering strategy.

The unofficial but generally accepted state zoning policy which expects power to revert to Anambra South after 8 years of Anambra North holding power is one big thing that will kick in the peoples’ party.

The intent of the Abuja visit, drumming support with Prado Jeeps through local leaders showing a resolve for grassroot inclusion in government is another opportunity to get back in the fray, working with its appointed stalwart and top APC financier, and looking to exploit the gap created by the APGA rift.

More so, the emergence of a young generation of political players (Mid 40s and below) seeking to assert themselves politically in the state and the calibre of leadership of the party in the state is indeed intimidating. Personalities like Prof. ABC Nwosu, Mrs. Josphine Anninie and Linus Ukachukwu, Princess Stella Odua Senator Uche Ekwunife, Dr Maduka Godwin would be an added advantage for PDP in Anambra state. The battle I guess will be more deadly than expected.

Also, the shadowy presence of Peter Obi as former vice presidential candidate will also be an added advantage of the PDP candidate. Obi’s antecedents as a perfect and calculative schemer, who understudies the political terrain, cannot be under-estimated.

Mr Ifeanyi Ozumba, one of the PDP stalwart on his own state of mind, admonished that it is not surprising that Anambra has always been a PDP state until after the unfortunate tenure of H.E Chinwoke Mbadinuju, which saw the state to a standstill.

He attributed the change as what led to the Loss of support from the citizens, for the sake of one man’s inability to be in charge amidst trying times.

Presently the state is facing another type of standstill in the hands of the present APGA led government. This is evident in almost all sectors of governance presently in the state, from the executives to the legislators, all have underperformed. With the pace of development and amount of savings (75 billion) handed over to them by the previous government it is right to expect more from the present APGA government.

Though my good friend, Mr. Machie Emmanuel Ogomegbunam political team leader of one of the PDP aspirants has succinctly stated that “Now PDP Anambra is restructured, repackaged and subsequently re-evaluated under the present Chairmanship of Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu (Obuka Awka). No wonder they swept 2 out of 3 senatorial seats of the State (with APGA having none) most of the House of Representatives members and if not for the unholy meddling by the Executive/Governor in the House of Assembly election, it would have been the same score line as the others. This expresses the resolution and choice of the People to support the People’s Democratic Party.

It is also no more news that PDP presently has the highest number of not just anyhow Governorship aspirant, but a league of numerous worthy, tested/trusted, capable and Capacity poised Aspirants for the coming 2021 elections.

Does this go further to prove that PDP is definitely the Goose that would lay the golden egg come 2021? Well, I suggest we pull a chair, grab some popcorn and watch as the keg of gun powder blows in no distant time.

In conclusion, there is need for the people of Anambra to collectively stand in awe over political conduct, and reiterate that the era of retrogressive politicking characterized by thuggery, banditry and needless bloodletting is actually over.

By their respect for a zoning formula if any, would protects all zones of the state and guarantees an inclusive political culture.

Indeed a proud moment for Ndi Anambra regardless of which sides they fight on in this 2021 governorship election.


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