The recent decision of the people of Anambra North senatorial district to stop other governorship aspirants from the zone and jointly support the incumbent, Chief Willie Obiano in the forthcoming gubernatorial election is like a death penalty on some personal ambitions.
It would have been a lesser hurdle for these aspirants if the decision was taken by a few persons or one of the numerous mushroom groups from the Anambra North senatorial district. But coming from Anambra North People's Assembly, ANPA led by Chief Emmanuel Achike from Ogbaru, the people have spoken and nothing can be done about it.
More so, the resolution to adopt Governor Willie Obiano as the sole candidate from the zone was arrived at after series of consultations, meeting with the different aspirants and careful assessment by a committee headed by former Minister of Health, Dr Tim Menakaya as earlier set up by ANPA, the apex sociopolitical group of the people of Anambra East, Anambra West, Ayamelum, Ogbaru, Onitsha North, Onitsha South and Oyi local government areas that make up Anambra North senatorial district.
On Sunday, February 26, 2017, in the presence of men of timber and caliber, the motion to adopt Obiano was moved by a renowned political juggernaut from Onitsha, Chief Mike Areh (Ede Gbogbo Gaga) and seconded by the honourable member representing Anambra East in the State House of Assembly, Pharm Obinna Emenaka before an overwhelming support from the general house which had all the seven local government areas within Anambra North zone fully represented.
Unlike the usual political endorsements, ANPA based their decision on the fact that Obiano has achieved beyond expectations in just 3 years and as such deserves to serve out the remaining four years meant for the senatorial district. Thus, ANPA resolved that, "It was generally admitted that since the Anambra North geopolitical zone has done well through the serving governor Chief Dr Willie Obiano. In order for a viable negotiations to take place between the zone and other zones. It will be beneficial that the zone adopts and supports one candidate In the person of Chief Willie Obiano."
Interestingly, virtually all other aspirants from the zone contested the same office in 2013 and were at one stage or the other defeated by Obiano. Talking of Oseloka Henry Obaze (OHO), he has long launched his campaign promising restoration. One wonders what OHO really wishes to restore because he served in the present government as Secretary to the State Government or does he want to restore the forgone days of anarchy in the State?
Then there's Chike Obidigbo, who probably is still nursing grudges against Obiano and his party, APGA for loosing out in the build up to the 2013 elections. Recently, Dr Obidigbo accused Obiano of not having a manifesto but was quickly replied by the governor's team and to a greater extend berated for not being aware of the Blue Prints of the incumbent governor that he sort to replace.
Aside these two, there are other aspirants who spend more time gambling to be favoured by supposed godfathers than they spend campaigning for support from the people. First is Tony Nwoye, a young aspirant of All Progressives Grand Alliance who lost to Obiano in the last guber election as PDP candidate. His only strength is the much talked about support of the Ukpo born oil magnate, Prince Arthur Eze.
Also in this category is Raph Okeke from Anambra West. His recent declaration to contest the gubernatorial election is somewhat suspicious. While some say he is favoured by the absence of President Buhari through Tinubu connection, others insinuate that Dr Chris Ngige is angling to have him as a godson. Hon Okeke was the running mate to Dr Chris Ngige in 2013 and in 2015, he contested for Senate under same party, APC.
Politics being a game not so lucid to the public there could be other aspirants waiting to declare or probably consulting behind the scene until the dream terminating decision of ANPA. A decision taken in the presence of all the who is who from Anambra North senatorial district vis a viz; members of the National and State Assemblies, leaders of religious and traditional institutions, major political stakeholders and captains of industries.
So the question remains, what is the fate of these known and unknown aspirants from Anambra North zone? Will they respect the wishes of the people of their senatorial district and allow the governor to complete a second term or will they disobey same people that will vote them into office and dare to contest against Obiano?
The decision is theirs but the power remains with the people. Being that politicians from other zones will also align with the idea of Obiano completing the 2nd four years of Anambra North instead of supporting a new person from the region who will naturally seek another term; the best decision for Obaze, Obidigbo, Nwoye, Okeke and a host of others is to sheath their swords, swallow their vividly selfish ambitions and support their brother, who is clearly willingly working for ndi Anambra.
Ekene Nwanya writes from Nnewi