The battle for Anambra state governorship has kicked off as elections hold in 2017
With the successive victories of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo and Ondo states governorship elections recently, all eyes are beamed at the party in Anambra State to see how the ruling party would fare in the guber election next year. Political watchers want to see whether the people of Anambra would succumb to the pressure from the bandwagon effect in APC and elect a governor on the platform of the party.
ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU captures his feelings about APC for 2017 Anambra governorship election.
The feat of winning Anambra next year according to analysts is not impossible for APC because Ndi Anambra may consider the party on the ground of the popular proverb that “the goat likes to follow the man with palm frond”.
Following the way things going under the present administration of Buhari notable politicians in the state seem to be reading the hand writing on the wall by saying that it is high time for Anambra to identify with the party at the center.
Dr Chike Obidigbo one of the politicians aspiring for the governorship under APC is of the opinion that Anambra has to be at the center to be able to gain the desired strength to address the challenges facing the state in particular and the southeast zone in general.
Obidigbo is of the opinion that Anambra governor under APC would be in a stronger position to address the issues of troubled economy of Anambra state, lack of federal presence in the southeast, lack of jobs for the youth of the southeast extraction and low number of appointment of the people of the southeast into federal set ups.
The question on the lips of the people now is who shall APC choose to wrestle power from Obiano at the poll next year? Who among the aspirants has enough popularity to beat the incumbent goveernor and the candidates of the PDP, Ezeemo of the PPA and others especially Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah should he contest? Should Ifeanyi Ubah flies APC ticket then another big bang?
No doubt, the announcement of the leader of the APC in the state and current minister of labour and productivity, Dr Chris Ngige that he is not interested in the 2017 governorship race has made the political atmosphere of APC to be clearer ahead of the election.
Ngige in an interaction with newsmen at Awka told the good people of the state to count him out of the governorship contest as his current job is enough to occupy him. The minister declared the desire of his party to produce the next governor of the Light of the Nation State and listed the names of those who are interested in the race for the APC ticket for now.
According to Ngige, they are: George Muoghalu, Bart Nwibe, Chike Obidigbo, Tony Nwoye and Obinna Uzor. Out of these names the party has to choose a candidate whose popularity cuts across all divides in other to win the election.
Certainly there are some important factors that would play out in determining who wins the ticket among which includes the choice of Ngige, their antecedents, their popularity in the state, their vision for the state and lastly zoning formula.
Ahead of the election the people of the state appear to be serious on the issue of zoning formula with notable political leaders throwing their weight behind it. In an interview with The Authority the president of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Anambra state Elder Dr Chris Eluemuno told those from Anambra Central and Anambra South senatorial zones eyeing the government house in Awka in 2017 to forget it because North must complete the second term of eight years.
Eluemuno stated that it is unfair for the people of the central and south to contest the governorship election next year because both zones have taken their fair shares of the office before the north and therefore they should allow the north to complete the second term of eight years.
The Ohaneze boss said that the stage is set for zoning and rotation of power to take full shape in the politics of Anambra state and any effort to truncate it has to be resisted. The position of the Ohaneze leader notwithstanding, any of the aspirants can clinch the APC ticket:
Muoghalu the current national auditor of APC is an outstanding founding member of the opposition party which metamorphosed into the APC to win the presidential election in 2015. He was once the national secretary of the defunct All People party (APP) which later became All Nigeria People Party (ANPP).
Muoghalu contested the governorship seat of Anambra in 2003 under ANPP when late Chuba Okadigbo was the presidential running mate to the present Nigeria leader Muhammadu Buhari in 2003 presidential election. That was the time Muoghalu came into full limelight in politics of Anambra. In that governorship election of 2003 in Anambra Dr Chris Ngige of the PDP then was declared winner of the before the Court of Appeal sacked him in favor Peter Obi of APGA.Not the noisy making type, analysts say Muoghalu is the most consistent politician who never cross carpeted to other party like some other politicians do. A native of Nnewi from the southern senatorial zone, his long standing membership of the party may be the joker that could drive the pendulum to swing in his favor.
Whether he has enough popularity capable to march Obiano and other contestants depends on what his party would be able to do ahead of the election.
Nwibe is an engineering scientist of reputable feats from Igboukwu in Aguata local government also of the southern zone and going by his antecedents as a scientist who sits atop top ranking international engineering companies as chairman/chief executive officer, he is not going to be a bad choice for APC.
His achievements are indications that he can lead the light of the nation state if given the opportunity to do so.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil/Structural Engineering from University of Nigeria Nsukka. He also underwent series of intensive training in HSE, Directional Drilling, Bit Design and Application and Well Control as well as in Leadership, Business and Personnel Management. He ran for the senate and cried foul play against him.
Perhaps the only one who is yet to run for governor among them, he is a Corporate Member of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Member of SPE and also a Member, International Association of Directional Drilling.
A former university don, Obidigbo was endorsed by the stakeholders of Anambra North led by the Obi of Onitsha Igwe Alfred Achebe to succeed Peter Obi when it was clear that APGA has zoned the governorship seat to North in 2013 but he lost to last minutes political power play that rocked APGA giving way for Willie Obiano to emerge as the governor of the state.
Obidigbo who hails from Umunya in Oyi local government of the north zone holds the ace in popularity as a popular industrialist in the state. He is very popular among the traditional rulers, religious leaders, town union leaders, the traders and market women who patronize his products in the markets and streets all over the state and also the youths who are his major employees.Also a renowned philanthropist and proprietor of Osisioma Foundation his entrance into APC with over 50, 000 members of Osisioma Foundation and over 20. 000 members of a youth body called Omambala Indigenous Youth Foundation raised the popularity of the party in the state to the next level. Analysts say the Umunya born industrialist is unarguably the ideal choice for the APC considering his popularity and vision for the economic development of the state.
Nwoye former national president of Nigeria students is currently the member representing Anambra east and west federal constituency in the federal house of representative is as popular as any other popular politicians in Anambara state.People call him the Maradona of Anambra politics who knows how to dribble his opponents to get goals. He zoomed into the main stream of Anambra politics in 2007 by emerging the state chairman of the Almighty PDP under former president Obasanjo.
He delivered the state to the party just as Andy Ubah the candidate of the PDP was declared winner of the election and sworn in as governor before the court decided against that tenure sacking Uba from office after 17 days.
Nwoye from Nsugbe in Anambra east Local government area also of the north zone also made waves when he trounced other PDP aspirants like Obinna Uzor, Dr Alex Obiogbolu, Akachukwu Nwankpo to emerged the flag bearer of the party in 2013 governorship election in the state. He contested against Obiano who eventually won the election.
But not given up to defeat in the political field he went back to contest the federal house of reps under PDP in 2015 and eventually won through the court. Going by his political antecedents having chaired PDP and came close to winning the governorship seat under the same PDP Nwoye has all it takes to drive APC at the poll and nobody should complain if he emerges the candidate of the party.
Uzor was the candidate of National Democratic Party NDP in 2003 during which he made himself popular in the politics of the state. In 2013 he also contested for the seat under PDP but lost out in the primaries to Tony Nwoye.
Known to be a money bag, he is a staunch catholic who promotes the Church very well. A native of Ihiala in the southern zone, he singlehandedly built a gigantic church auditorium at his country home in ihiala as part of his contribution to the church. He is not only a businessman but a lawyer by training.
During the last election he enjoyed massive support from catholic youth and students but their support weren’t just enough to earn him the PDP ticket.
A new entrance into the APC observer say he is capable to pull the financial muzzle to wrestle the ticket from other if it comes to spending and with the support of the Catholic Church he may end up taking the APC to the promised land.
The question now is , are there some others who would change the equation as Obiano did for APGA then or this is the final list for APC in Anambra state? And if this is, who emerges candidate of the party in this hot contest?
Sultan’s visit to Enugu State today is a great home coming, says Chief Joe Ifedobi
A prominent Anambra state man, Chief Joe Ifedobi (Okosisi Akpo) has described the coming of the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar IV to Enugu State today and Nsukka in particular, as “a home-coming which will further boost and energize the relationship between the Sokoto Sultanate and the Igbo people”.
Speaking exclusively with The AUTHORITY, Chief Ifedobi said that the three-day working visit of the Sultan, which holds today Monday, December 19 till Wednesday, December 21, 2016, will also chart a course of renewed relationship between the north and the Igbo.
According to him, the Sultan will, during the visit, address the raging issues of Fulani Herdsmen, as well as teething problems facing the Igbo in the northern Nigeria.He Said: “I want to explain to Nigerians that the Sultan is coming to his home. He was deployed to Nsukka in Enugu State immediately after his graduation from the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna.
“He lived among the Igbo people and spent greater part of his life relating with the Igbo. He understands the heartbeat of the Igbo people; this is why throughout the reign of his elder brother as Sultan of Sokoto, and even during his reign, no Igbo man was killed, molested or have his property destroyed in Sokoto State.
“Saad is a Sultan of peace, so, his visit will further give impetus to the much desired peace in the Nigeria nation”, he said, urging that the Sultan should make his many years of good relationship with the Igbo to bear good fruits.