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Obiano conscripts Soludo against Obi for second term ambition

By Leo Sobechi
17 March 2017   |   2:40 am
Having come to terms with the reality that the number of conspirators against his second term ambition in office is swelling by the day, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has set a machinery in motion to break the ranks of his detractors.

Willie Obiano

Having come to terms with the reality that the number of conspirators against his second term ambition in office is swelling by the day, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has set a machinery in motion to break the ranks of his detractors.

This no doubt, indicates that the November 18 governorship election would be more intriguing given the mounting threats against the incumbent governor.

Although, Obiano appears unperturbed, he has also decided to call the bluff of his benefactor and predecessor, Mr. Peter Obi.

Apart from Obi, the governor is battling the Anambra South senatorial zone, where he has gone to conscript the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, as arrowhead of his campaign.

Yesterday, Thursday March 17, 2017 marks his three years in office. The event is being used to underpin his quest for another term. Many groups, including the Movement for National Integration (MNI) led by Chief Ben Ezeife, have been campaigning against the governor’s second term. They accused him of alienating knowledgeable persons to deliver good governance in the state.

Senior Special Assistant to Governor Obiano on Media, Strategic Communication and Legislative Matters, Oliver Okpala, said allegations against his boss are frivolous, stressing that claims of exclusion and non performance are idle talks.

But one of the governor’s special assistants confided in The Guardian that he has decided to break the ranks of his perceived opponents.

He said the idea of winning Soludo is ostensibly to break the voting bloc of Anambra South, where it is believed that Senator Andy Uba, Barth Nwibe or Obinna Uzor, may emerge as the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC).

He pointed out that the idea of selecting the former Soludo as the keynote speaker during the ceremony was to puncture Obi’s governance style and acclaimed fiscal wizardry.

Obi and erstwhile national chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, ganged up against Soludo’s governorship in 2013 to pave the way for Obiano’s emergence. But no sooner had Obiano and Obi fell apart than Obiano started searching for political standard bearers to anchor his second term chase.

Initially, the incumbent wanted to anchor his political plots on Ifeanyi Ubah, believing that the exploits of the oil magnate with the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) could help galvanise support for him, but changed his mind.

While Obiano continued to search for a credible name to direct his campaigns for second term, Obi persistently loomed large with positive public image; expanded by his delivery at the Platform in Lagos.

As Nigerians, especially Anambra people reflect glowingly on Obi’s years in office, the impression began to circulate of the incumbent as a wastrel, hedonist and incompetent administrator.

Soludo’s recent visit to the incarcerated Nnamdi Kanu, was said to have recommended him highly to the governor. The former CBN chief is said to have enlisted members of Movement for Biafra in Nigeria (MOBIN) another self determination group to break the opposition of MNI and the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) to Obiano’s come back.

Besides, sources claimed that Obi have shortlisted three aspirants on different platforms to battle Obiano, including Obinna Uzoh of APC, Dr. Alex Obiogbolu of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Dr. Oseloka Obaze of Hope Democratic Party (HDP). Obaze was Secretary to the State Government (SSG) under Obi, and for fifteen months under Obiano.

However, perhaps as a direct affront to Obiano’s decision to settle for Soludo, the people of Old Aguata Union (OAU) have decided to chart their own political direction, believing that Soludo has been procured as a spoiler to deny the South a possible shot at the governorship.

Last Saturday, representatives of the 45 communities making up the Old Aguata Union met at Neros Stadium, Nanka, Orumba North local government council and endorsed Chief Godwin Ezeemo of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) as their choice for the November 18 governorship.  The Traditional ruler of Ikenga, Igwe A. N. Ezeobi Onwueme, was on hand to deliver prayers for the success of the people’s desire.

The programme, which was the highpoint of an interdenominational service by Odinma OAU Forum, during which the people led by their traditional rulers, clergy and Presidents General among others, prayed to God to grant them their heart’s desire “of producing the governor of Anambra State in 2017.”

The organizers noted that the action became necessary, “because they have been king-makers in Anambra politics without being able to make one of their own king.” OAU resolved: “this time, we will unite behind one of our own sons to win the governorship election in Anambra State.”

Chairman and secretary of the organizing committee, Prince Joe Emenike and Mr. Dan-Chibo Umeh, signed the address read by the chairman. Emenike lamented that based on its abundant human and material resources, OAU provided “the major power brokers in the state, but they never saw any need to use the opportunity to advance the developmental fortunes of OAU or project their own brothers and sisters to the highest level of power in the state.”

“We are plunged into slavery from which we are yet to regain freedom, otherwise why are we in the habit of holding the ladder for other zones to climb to power, only to turn round and grumble that we are kicked out and side-lined?”