Sunday

Entreating a word to politicians of Anambra North extraction

Anambra 2017: Obiano’s seat under threat
Rowland Odegbo
Perhaps there is no better time than now to appeal for understanding among disparate political interests in the state, especially those in Anambra North senatorial zone. This appeal becomes necessary in the light of the current scramble for the 2017 governorship position among politicians from the zone. 

It is doubtless an unnecessary dissipation of energy (which the zone has in short supply) to allow such political struggle. Whatever political differences, if any, can be resolved without endangering the chance of the zone to retain the seat of government. It will be most imprudent for the zone to cause its political advantage to come to naught due largely to unbridled ambition. Posterity will frown at such politics and most likely condemn any who lends himself to it. 
Unfortunately, a good number of aspirants from the zone are                                                                                                                              already in deadly earnest to spike this advantage. I have ample reason to believe they will honour no scruples to carry it out. Hopefully that will not happen otherwise two things may chance. One, the votes of the zone would be divided and all the candidates outvoted by a contestant from a more politically astute zone. Two, the zone would go down in history as incapable of managing political office.
I feel squeamish about this development and think it should not be allowed to fester. I have since thought of a possible solution without much success. Each time I think about it I get discouraged by the resolve of some of the aspirants I have bounced off the idea. I have also thought of ignoring the development in the hope that time will most likely extinguish it. Or even resign to the dictates of the time and wait to bless whoever that comes for royal endorsement. But I get worried about this because such an attitude is alien to my nature and what I represent. As an elder, I know not to sit and watch a goat undergo the pains of parturition in tether. I know, as well as others who are as concerned, that this development is unhealthy for a zone that is relatively weak in the highly competitive politics of Anambra state. It is certainly going to be a dice with death which the zone cannot afford. Why should it decide to act a rebel to its own cause? Why must it split hairs over an opportunity graciously given? Even if the man on the saddle presently is merely one butterfly out of thousands and may not be the most daintily coloured, can’t he be encouraged to continue the good work which he is doing to the glory of the zone?            
It is already taken for granted that the zone should retain the governorship it won barely three years ago for the next term of four years. I admit of no fairer equity than that for the simple reason that it will augur for mutual respect for all the zones. However, the success of this enterprise rests squarely on how well the zone manages its politics in the run up to the election. At any rate, this involves a lot of understanding based on self-denial. But I am afraid, none of the aspirants I have spoken to on the issue showed any interest in reaching an understanding much less denying themselves. 
Not even the orchestrated media attack against the government can cause the zone the kind of damage internal wrangling would. So far there is no worse campaign against any government since the state, especially in the online media. At least every new government is expected to enjoy some period of grace with the media unless the one that willfully provokes hatred through extra-ordinary vice. But this is not the case with the current government which has given good account of itself yet denied honeymoon by the press. Not even a particular government in the state that performed badly and nearly almost provoked mass discontent against itself was subjected to this kind of mindless attack on the internet.  
It bears repeating the question: What sin has the present government in the state committed that warrants denying it a second term opportunity? Has it not given good account of itself by restoring security, attracted worthwhile investors, did infrastructure, agriculture, and kept faith with payments of salaries and emoluments among others? Compared with internal political infighting the trouble caused by media attacks on the government pales in insignificance. It is not to be forgotten how lack of unity greatly denied ndi Igbo a good deal of political mileage since the dawn of this democracy. How the people’s chance at the presidency in 1999 was lost on account of vengeful politics. How subsequent attempts were also wasted by no better effort. And following closely, how the people nearly almost debased the office of the senate presidency by undue scramble. Virtually all the five states of the East had a go at the office with little or nothing to show for it. To this day, that impolitic action has become a sad commentary on the politics of the people.
Ndi Igbo may be respected today as very industrious; regarded perhaps as the most enterprising; feared as capable of independent existence, but they are seldom reckoned with as capable of any political achievement. They failed to bridle their individualism to sooth their competitive political environment. As a consequence they have continued to suffer unmitigated denial of opportunities by her more politically astute neighbours. Doubtless, it will take years of conscious effort and selfless exertions by the people to redress the situation and achieve equitable political footing with others.
The people of Anambra North senatorial zone owe themselves a duty to act differently. They should work closely enough in order to retain the office that was won barely three years ago. It will not speak well of the zone to split its votes. Every politician from the zone must not be governor.
Rowland Odegbo
Aborgu 11 na Nteje




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