By Mbanefo Chibuike
November 18th, 2017 is a day ‘Anambrarians’ are earnestly waiting for despite the call of the Indigenous People Of Biafra for a boycott of election.
This is because it is the most unsure of elections with parties fielding people’s favourites for the upcoming gubernatorial election. Having over 18 parties confirming aspirants, the race is perceived to be between five candidates; the APGA aspirant who doubles as the incumbent governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano; the People’s Democratic Party aspirant in Mr Oseloka Obaze; the PPA power house in Godwin Ezeemo; the APC’s Dr. Tony Nwoye; and the UPP intellect Chief Osita Chidoka. Other aspirants can well be written off as politics is a game of numbers and grassroots and not mere magic or miracle. Let us break the five horses and their chances;
APGA – Willie Obiano
The incumbent governor of Anambra state Chief Willie Maduabuchi Obiano did not find it easy in picking the ticket as fractions from the Agbaso group had gone against him. The division which resulted in two party chairmen in the persons of Chief Victor Oye and Chief Martin Agbaso almost tore the supposed Igbo party into two. However the court settlements resulting in Chief Victor Umeh heading the state chapter has restored much peace to the hopes of the party in retaining the seat for 12 years running now.
“…As the incumbent governor, he has an advantage over other candidates, coupled with the fact that he has some achievements of his administration on his side to show to the people during the campaigns. Some of his landmark achievements include security, which has unarguably made Anambra one of the safest states in the country. He has also attracted investments to the state, especially in the agricultural sector, such that Anambra has become an exporter of vegetables.
He also completed one of the longest bridges in the southern part of the country to link the oil rich Aguleri Otu in Anambra East Local Government where the Orient Petroleum has its refinery. Obiano’s administration also prides itself as one of the few states in the country paying workers and pensioners regularly with the result that there had not been any industrial action against his government since 2014 when he mounted the saddle. Although there are formidable opponents challenging him, there is the belief that he might overcome the odds to emerge the governor of the state later this year…”
Areas like poor Infrastructural development, bad roads eclipsing the state that once had the best road network, LGA Chairmen elections, are still seen as big faults to the governor and may mar his ambitions. In a scale of 100, Willie Obiano may obtain 30% of the votes.
PDP – Mr. Oseloka Obaze
“The victory of Senator Ahmed Makarfi as the National Caretaker Committee Chairman of PDP appeared to have brought sanity into Anambra State PDP, as the branch noted for factionalism was able to conduct its governorship primary in a peaceful manner. In the past, several aspirants would have conducted their primaries at different venues and declared themselves winners and then wait for the courts to pronounce which faction was authentic….”
Oseloka Obaze who served as the secretary to the state government under the chairmanship of Mr Peter Obi seem to be the only candidate in good terms with the stakeholders of People’s Democratic Party and Anambra at large (former Governor Obi, Chris Uba, Nicholas Ukachukwu, Professor A., B.C. Nwosu etc). His choice for a female deputy in Chidi Alexandria Onyemelukwe, a well learned lady with over nine degrees seem to endear him to the women course. Again he hails from Ogbaru LGA with a very large number, and knowing the state so well he is one of the candidates to beat. If Oseloka Obaze gets his acts and the campaign train right, we may not be surprised if he unsits Willie Obiano. Our poll says he is likely to nick 33% of cast votes come November 18.
APC – Dr. Tony Nwoye
“….The candidate of APC, Dr. Tony Nwoye, has been named the giant killer by his admirers. Mr. Nwoye, a medical doctor, contested for the same position in 2015 during which he came second. He defeated Nicholas Ukachukwu to emerge the candidate in 2015. He was the state chairman of the PDP at one time and was later to become a member of House of Representatives from where he participated in the governorship primary and picked the party’s ticket.
Known as a great mobilizer, Nwoye’s defeat of the like of Senator Andy Uba and the national auditor of APC, Chief George Moghalu, who had been a consistent member of APC from the days of APP, was an indication of what he is likely to do during the November election….”
Nwoye may not represent the average Anambrarian interest, but he sure is making his way amongst the youths. He has been a name in the lips of his people as it is seen that he has been of great help to them. Many may say he has the advantage of being in the ruling presidential party and having support from the national body, he stands a chance of becoming the youngest governor in Nigeria. Dr Tony Nwoye is likely to clinch 15% of the total votes.
PPA – Godwin Ezeemo
“….Mr. Godwin Ezeemo was the first to pick the ticket of his party and therefore, was the first governorship candidate to emerge. Ezeemo contested for the governorship in 2015 and did not make it, but over the period, he had garnered enough experience that is expected to come handy during this year’s election.
While many politicians were jumping from one party to the other, Ezeemo continued to nurture PPA with the result that the party has become a household name in the whole of Anambra State. To show the seriousness of his desire to serve the people of Anambra State, Ezeemo has brought home all his investment to the state to enable him to concentrate on the race…..”
The Accord Party gubernatorial candidate Mr Stanley Nkwoka has switched places to become his deputy governor aspirant; he is expected to deliver the votes of the Idemmili North and South to the party (Anambra Central). Being the only major candidate from Anambra south, it is really difficult to shut the doors on him. Godwin Ezeemo is in place to shock the other aspirants, our opinion poll gives him 12% of the votes.
UPP – Osita Chidoka
“…..The former Minister of Aviation and Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, who is from Anambra Central has the personality of a governor. Though pro-Biafra groups adopted UPP initially as the party to support during the election, events that took place during its primary, which led to the death of one of the delegates, made the groups withdraw their support. Besides, the fact that he is from Anambra Central, which had produced the governor of the state for eleven consecutive years, made Chidoka an outsider in the race…….” (Sahara Reporters)
Osita Chidoka appears to be the social media favourite after his wonderful interview with Channels Television. He is seen as the best fit considering the offices he has held. His greatest challenge may be that he chose the ‘wrong’ party and many people are wondering why Chidoka decided to vie for the governorship at this time when the two other senatorial zones had occupied the position of governor for only four years each. Our poll places Chidoka 10%.
More can be done by these aspirants as the election is till over a month ahead. Other candidates like ACD’s Mrs Oby Okafor, PPN’s Mr Henry Ikechukwu, AGAP’s Nwezi Felix Amechi, and Ohanugo Ikem Celil of the BNPP do not stand a chance of getting to the position this year. Perhaps some other time which will likely be over four years from today. I hope my opinion poll did justice to the happenings in Anambra, and I hope you vote wisely.