Anambra 2017 and the opposition’s temper
As November 18 date for the gubernatorial poll in Anambra State approaches, the tempo of political activities rises with every passing day. Every opposition party professing any kind of presence in Awka talks tough on wresting power from the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. Expectedly, however, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has assumed the epicentre of opposition in the state, having upstaged the People’s Democratic Party’s supremacy in the national political space.
Not one to gloss over the fixations of his party’s gains of the moment, Dr. Chris Ngige has jumped into the fray to characterise the opposition. Ngige easily passes for the face of APC in the South East. This and the implicit ceding of spokesperson by majority of the opposition groups to him embolden Ngige to seek brazen radicalization, if not militarization, of opposition politics in the state; caring less about the imminent sour aftertaste.
Though they find a common adversary in Governor Willie Obiano’s impressive development strides, and the subterfuge pervading the class of opposition candidates vitiate their aspirations. The popular impression that the urge of these aspirants might just be to outstretch their political visibility, other than gain control of the statehouse, firms up by the day. With a bearing that smacks of disregard for the scathing attacks on his person and office, Obiano flaunts the achievements of his administration in the past three years as fair and competitive bargains for reelection.
He seems comfortable with the jubilant pulse of the citizens of the state whose freedom and safety he has profitably laboured to buy back from diverse crimes endemic in the state. Obiano presents the substantial vibrancy of the state’s economy in the face of national economic repression. He is a proud governor of a state that has maintained elite performance in education, agriculture, health and other indices of good governance. Under him Anambra suddenly became a major player in agriculture, with brands like Anambra Rice, Ugu Anambra and Onubu Anambra (vegetables) hitting national and international limelight.
Anambra workers celebrate Obiano as the most labour friendly governor countrywide because of his unsolicited welfare packages for them; his steadfastness in prompt payment of salaries; the 15 per cent salary increase across board; his transportation scheme for them, etc; just as low income earners in parks, markets and streets, as well as commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists enjoy the governor’s humane economic stimulus in terms of reduced taxation. At the grassroots, the result of the Governor’s ‘N20 million Community Choose Your Project Development Initiative’ spread across all the 182 communities in the state speaks volumes of Obiano’s Man of the People’s persuasion. These acts ameliorate the pains of national recession, encourage sustainable economic growth and ensure systemic stability.
The lures of political power and the privileges of political influence now conspire to rob Anambra State the peace APGA government has painstakingly groomed in the past eleven years. The prime conspirators in this appear primarily fixated on plotting Obiano’s failure by sponsoring negative choruses on his administration. Given their determination, it will not be surprising if they stimulate criminal disorder in the course of time, just to undermine Obiano’s most potent bargaining power: Security and safety of lives and property. It is observable that in politics when the subject of interest persistently tends more to awry defense of ego and personal interests than governance and society, service and lordship begin to slyly compete for favoured space in people’s consciousness. This confusion and its resultant hurt spare no one in the long run.
It will be a security oversight disregarding the seemingly war chants from vociferous South East political chieftains thronging into Anambra with defiant avowals to overrun APGA howsoever. The Anambra electorate is getting restive and battle conscious. Signs of resistance are emerging as majority of Anambra citizens condemn the effrontery in the influx of failed political opportunists from other Eastern parts latching on to APC to disrupt the state’s surefooted lead in development east of the Niger. As a homegrown party that has entrenched itself in Anambra, APGA underscores the Igbo spirit of resilience and survival. Ndi-Anambra are, therefore, known to be passionate in their defense of APGA government for giving stout expressions to their passions for industry and safety. It is a common belief that Obiano holds the template for greater Anambra, having made Anambra the safest and most investment friendly state in Nigeria within a short span of three years. The risk of recycling politicians with either questionable antecedents or vague vision in corporate administration is total and does not sound bankable to Anambra people.
Given the overwhelming support APGA and enjoys from the citizens and residents of Anambra State, and the anxiety over probable underhand influences from Aso Rock in the coming election, November 18, 2017 boldly challenges the integrity of Independent National Election Commission, INEC, as a disinterested umpire. It challenges the Presidency as a dispassionate arbiter. Also on trial will be the groups of national and international election monitors whose informed views are expected to add value to the process. Without doubts the international community will be on hand to judge our democracy.
Anarado wrote from Adazi-Nnukwu.
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