Why Anambra must reposition for mainstream politics
SIR: Quintessentially, Anambra State is one of the states in the southeast geopolitical zone in Nigeria created in 1976 from the former East Central State. It was nicknamed ‘‘Light of the Nation’’ which translates to ‘‘Ife mba’’ on account of exploits it is characterised with from creation. Amongst statesmen it has produced is first ‘‘president of Independent-Nigeria,’’ Owelle Nnamdi Azikiwe, ‘‘the Zik of Africa’’ (1904-1996).
Others are Ikemba Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, Chuba Okadigbo, Chinua Achebe, Dora Akunyili; all of the blessed memory, among other dead and living. From entrepreneurial angle, Anambra boasts of Innoson Automobile Plant, numerous industries, trading, import/export concerns that distinguishe it from others.
By these records, arguably, the state has become the trendsetter, centre-point in the Southeast region which therefore comes with serious implications. In fact, if not the status of Lagos as a megacity, economic-hub of Nigeria with strong federal presence, Anambra should be the leading light in the entire southern region. Suffice to say that Anambra should reposition itself for epicenter politics rather than functioning as lone-ranger it has played lately. Anambra cannot continue to play politics of isolation overlooking nationalism and statesmanship to which it is characterized.
In the national arrangement, Southeast is one of the three major ethnic nationalities sharing same status with Southwest and the North. Unfortunately, Southeast has retrogressed beyond proportion and practically exited the major-three group. To start with, it is only the zone that has not produced a president for the country. This demands a reverse. Due to this imbalance, APGA was formed as a regional party to unite the Igbos like the Southwest.
Incidentally, the blueprint crashed due to greed of some persons leading to its survival in only Anambra with endless crisis. That led to Plan-B (embracing a strong national party– APC). Providentially, two states – Imo and Ebonyi are presently flying the APC flag alongside many bigwigs including Senator Orji Uzor Kalu; former Abia governor and presently Senate chief whip. Strategically, Anambra ought to team up for all necessary lobbies. Amongst APC action-plans in Southeast is to drain rivers for economic growth and then reposition for presidency in 2023.
Again, the number of youths without jobs or skilled but financially depowered to establish good businesses should propel any selfless and sensitive persons to think deep about gigantic challenges facing Southeast region for ages. In fact, even if other Southeast states should remain in the opposition, such will not augur well for the ‘Light of the nation’ vis-à-vis economic impacts. Thus, Anambra should ineludibly be repositioned for mainstream undertakings.
Due to the protracted disconnect, majority of the population in the southeast have not benefitted from most of federal policies as they have not been effectively carried along as expected. Anambra as the cursor owes a burden to expose the weak to available opportunities and in extension stimulate other states in the region for vast exploits.
Ichie Ejezie, a financial expert, wrote this piece from Ihiala, Anambra State.