High stakes as obstacles stand against Soludo, others
The scandal surrounding the removal in 2003 by Chris Ngige, then governor of Anambra State, resurfaced on Monday at political debate for three of the candidates for governor in Southeastern state.
Charles Soludo, candidate for governor of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), said during the debate that Andy Uba “was in the engine room stoking all the fires” for Mr. Ngige, an accusation that Mr. Uba strongly denied.
“I was not even in the country when it happened,” Uba said in response to Soludo’s remark.
M. Uba, candidate of Congress of All Progressives (APC) in the elections, appears to be the biggest threat to Mr Soludo’s chances of winning the November 6 elections, among the 16 other candidates, including Valentine Ozigbo of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr Soludo knows the threat is real and apparently targeted Mr Uba during the debate in order to downplay the APC candidate and get some of the 2.5 million registered voters not to vote for him .
He also accused Mr. Uba of forging his high school exam certificate and not talking about the pro-Biafra group, IPOB, and his agitation while the CPA candidate was a senator for eight years.
During the debate, Mr. Soludo undoubtedly floored Mr. Uba who seemed rather uninspiring. He also undoubtedly defeated the other candidate, Valentine Ozigbo of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
But the performance of the candidates in the debates hardly influences the results of the elections in Nigeria.
Already, Mr. Uba has dealt heavy political blows to Mr. Soludo’s APGA by “luring” the deputy governor, a senator, six members of the House of Representatives and eight members of the House of Assembly in the ‘APC, a few days before the elections.
More people are likely to throw away the APGA even on election day, PREMIUM TIMES has learned.
Thursday, two days before the elections, Assistant Governor Obiano, Tommy Okoli, announcement his defection from the APGA to the PDP.
Newspaper reported that some additional assistants, around five of them, also dropped the APGA on Thursday.
And this is where one of the obstacles against Mr Soludo lies – How do you win an election when several of your leaders are flocking to other parties with their supporters?
The defection of several politicians from the APGA has been attributed to the poor performance of Governor Willie Obiano, particularly with dilapidated roads and lack of basic infrastructure in Anambra, and the desire of many to see the state s’ move away from the control of a “regional party” so that it can “attract support” from the center (the federal government).
Chike Okoye, a lawyer from Anambra, told PREMIUM TIMES that Saturday’s election would have been a good veil for Mr Soludo, a famous economist and former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, if Governor Obiano had performed well.
“Obiano didn’t play (well), the roads are in bad shape and a lot of people are complaining. It will therefore be difficult for him to sell the APGA candidate, ”said Mr. Okoye.
“Nobody wants a regional party. What has Anambra gained at the federal level by doing regional politics? The APGA is a regional party, it did not go beyond Anambra State, ”he added.
Chris Chikwelu, from Anambra State, had been a founding member of APGA before moving to PDP and then APC. He said he was enthusiastic about the idea of Anambra and all of the South East being part of a “truly national” party.
“As an Igbo nation, there is no way to benefit from the project called Nigeria if we are not at the table where issues regarding income allocation, resource allocation and certain appointments would be discussed. . This is why our people, this time, having been in an opposition party for almost 16 years, decided to join a national political party, ”he said.
Anambra has a history of low voter turnout. If the situation deteriorates on election day due to the militarization of the state due to the threat of violence, some believe this could put Mr Soludo and the APGA at a disadvantage.
Can PDP candidate Ozigbo create any surprises?
Yes, he can, says the lawyer, Mr. Okoye.
“PDP has a very strong following in this state, considering the factor Peter Obi, Obiano’s predecessor.
“Peter Obi has a lot of followers and people listen to him, and given his credentials and background in Anambra state, people will vote strongly for any candidate he puts forward. And that candidate is Val Ozigbo, ”he said.
Besides the Peter Obi factor, Mr Ozigbo is likely to win the support of people “tired” of Governor Obiano and the APGA and who also see the APC as a party that “oppresses” the South East.
“Our people considered the APC to be a Fulani party; it was the dummy sold to people to confuse them, ”said Anambra Deputy Governor Nkem Okeke, who recently defected from APGA to APC.
“If we hate APC because of Buhari, one day he has to quit the party, if we negotiate well politically and an Igbo man becomes president, then will we call him the Igbo party?” Mr Okeke said.
Mr. Ozigbo, former CEO of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), is smart, connects well with young people, and has good communication skills and the ability to quickly turn APC and APGA shortcomings to his advantage, what he did. beautifully well for debate.
Taking advantage of the confrontation between Mr Soludo and Mr Uba during the debate, Mr Ozigbo said: “I am happy that the people of Anambra see this. They were the PDPs of the past, both of them. It is the dysfunctional past that we are moving away from. We have a better PDP today.
Mr Ozigbo’s message to the electorate is that Anambra is broken and needs fixing, but APGA and APC cannot be trusted to fix it because both political parties were part of the problem .
“For me it is heartbreaking to think of my dear condition the way it is characterized. We just observed a minute’s silence for those who died, but what are we doing to stop (the murder)? How do we take our responsibilities? Who is orchestrating this? At the state level we have the APGA, at the national level we have the APC. How much did they do enough to curb this? Mr. Ozigbo said during the debate, in response to Mr. Uba’s call for a minute’s silence for those killed in Anambra during the unrest in Biafra.
“It is not enough to observe a minute of silence, we must do more.
“I believe what Anambra State needs today is a dynamic young CEO who has both global, national and sub-regional experience to be able to fix what is wrong. with Anambra we need trendy, modern (and) stylish people. .
READ ALSO : # AnambraDecides2021: Out of fear, residents desert the roads and shops despite the lifting of the sit-at-home order by the IPOB
“I am a child of grace who has done exceptionally well from school to corporate life,” said the PDP candidate.
The influence of IPOB, other questions
IPOB announcement that he has quashed his siege order and the elections can take place has been a great relief to Nigerians, but some fear that many voters are still reluctant to stand for election.
On Friday, on the eve of the elections, main roads in Awka and other parts of the state were deserted, indicating that there could be low voter turnout despite the IPOB announcement.
Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali Baba spoke on Thursday of the security threat in the state, and noted that there is “a high likelihood of infiltration of criminal individuals into the state. ‘Anambra, before, during and after the elections ”.
Police deployed 34,000 officers for the election. This is in addition to the many soldiers deployed in the state because of the IPOB.
Besides security concerns, it is likely that some influential members of the IPOB will want to influence who will become the next governor of Anambra, whether openly or covertly.
In all of this, the election would determine the fate of the APGA as a political party and also whether the people of Anambra would join the two dominant parties in Nigeria – APC and PDP.
Support PREMIUM TIMES integrity and credibility journalism
Good journalism is expensive. Yet only good journalism can guarantee the possibility of a good society, responsible democracy and transparent government.
For free and ongoing access to the best investigative journalism in the country, we ask that you consider modestly supporting this noble enterprise.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you help maintain relevant journalism and keep it free and accessible to everyone.
Make a donation
TEXT ANNOUNCEMENT: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401 …