Anambra State Gubernatorial Seat: Which Way, Mr. Willie Obiano?

(By Obi Ebuka Onochie)

Many certainly will be wishing to be in Obiano’s shoes as the governor-elect of Anambra State not knowing that even self-sponsored elected politicians find it difficult taking decisions without recourse to certain people in certain quarters not to mention ones handpicked and installed by others. If Obiano still wins at the tribunal and at the Court of Appeal, his decisions in a lot of sundry governance related issues will be severely limited, especially at the beginning as those that paid the piper will certainly desire to dictate the tune.

 POLITICAL terrain in Anambra State has and is still evolving from the stage politicians dance dirty to a round table of technocrats. Mr. Peter Obi, the governor of Anambra State, has succeeded in installing his right hand man as the next governor of Anambra State but something is still hanging in the balance which is the political inexperience of the man.

   Though it has not been proven that politically experienced leaders perform better in office than the inexperienced ones except in management of political crisis, which greatly differs from crisis in corporate organisations from where technocrats mostly come. Nobody needs be told that the outgoing governor is aware that Mr. Willie Obiano needs political covering and nurturing which is tantamount to learning on the job. Where this assistance starts and ends will define a lot of things, including their relationship.

    The election is everything but transparent which is likely to shift the burden of working for the people to working for those behind the election (godfathers). With his victory, Obiano’s shoulders are laden with interests to satisfy, which will ultimately lead to power and supremacy tussle. Even if Obiano chooses to adopt a unity government, all are likely to be included except Ngige who some see as a man full of wrong choices. Some political juggernauts in All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) have, through their persistent politics of calumny, succeeded in convincing most Anambrarians that All Progressives Congress (APC) is anti-Igbo and will never protect their interests. The repatriation of some Igbos from Lagos to Anambra State just few months before the election, lent credence to this assumption in many people’s opinions.

   Out of all the odds against Ngige, the repatriation was the straw that broke the camel’s back and is still raging towards Imo State and may likely consume Governor Rochas’ second term bid. Before the Lagos episode, some Imorites were already fed up with Rochas’ loquaciousness and over promises. Had APC won in Anambra, Rochas would have had a sail through at 2015 election as Anambra still remains the bellwether of Igbo political life. Now that the election is done and dusted except for court cases, it behoves Rochas to go back to the drawing board for his second term bid. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is really an octopus at the moment existing with different heads for different purposes. Almost all the remaining smaller political parties identify with PDP especially at the federal level and their henchmen have infiltrated the mega opposition party bidding their time to strike with chaos and with their horns.

    APGA-controlled Anambra and Labour Party-controlled Ondo states are obviously aligning with PDP which will likely see them supporting PDP presidential candidate by not fielding any in 2015. With this understanding, PDP has allowed them sail to victory in their stronghold states by creating intra party chaos in PDP at the state level in those states and in some hilarious cases, field unmarketable candidates. This new strategy of PDP will also cause disaffection and distrust of party leadership on the path of candidates flying party flags especially at state level. The case of Soludo, Senator Ararume and now Tony Nwoye being abandoned in the cold has really put to question the sincerity of WADATA house to its candidates in states where minor opposition parties that hobnob with PDP are relatively strong.

   Many certainly will be wishing to be in Obiano’s shoes as the governor-elect of Anambra State not knowing that even self-sponsored elected politicians find it difficult taking decisions without recourse to certain people in certain quarters not to mention ones handpicked and installed by others. If Obiano still wins at the tribunal and at the Court of Appeal, his decisions in a lot of sundry governance related issues will be severely limited, especially at the beginning as those that paid the piper will certainly desire to dictate the tune.

   There are three critical problems awaiting Obiano’s attention even before he takes the oath of office. Some of these problems were solved by Obi’s Administration in the early stage of his government but they reappeared as soon as Obi’s government weakened. One of the problems is the menace of insecurity and intimidation. Apart from kidnapping and armed robbery, intimidation by area boys and miscreants of innocent law-abiding citizens in Anambra has reached its crescendo. People are beaten and robbed in broad day light without any reason and the most painful of it is that security agents hardly intervene as they are busy with checkpoint collection. These boys are mostly MASSOB members who are operating without restrictions because they rub the ruling party’s back during election, patronising the local brewery whose larger beer is code named “o’ mpa” with rising sun label as it is on Biafran flag.

   The second one is illegal and unjust collection of money from ordinary citizens by the same miscreants especially in Onitsha and Nnewi. Collection of these monies was not ordered by the state government and the proceeds do not enter into government’s purse, but the government chose to look the other way because of electoral leverage these societal termites give to them. One cannot rationally explain why somebody has to pay to a miserable miscreant before leaving the market just for buying anything that cannot enter ones hand bag. Loss is the second name of that person who refuses to pay as the items he bought will not only be destroyed and scattered but he will also get the beaten of his life with every other passerby walking past as if nothing is happening including security agents excluding military officers.

   The third critical issue is denominational divisions created by this present Administration to win elections. Other issues can go away once the government shows seriousness but any problem entangled in religious sentiments is cancerous and can consume any society. Incoming governor, Obiano should use soothing words matched with convincing actions as his opening gambit to mollify already frayed denominational nerves. These are not postulations from the moon, they are critical facts awaiting a sincere leadership to handle, otherwise Anambra will become a disunited whole where banditry and disunity reign supreme.

• Onochie is a political analyst lives in Port Harcourt.

“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”

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