Anambra showdown: battle line is drawn among the five major contestants

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The battle line is drawn among the five major
contestants in the very keen contest to replace the
outgoing governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi.
These are Chief Willie Obiano of the All
Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Senator Chris
Ngige of the All Progressives Congress, APC,
Comrade Tony Nwoye of the Peoples Democratic
Party, PDP, Mr Ifeanyi Ubah of Labour Party, LP,
and Mr. Godwin Ezeemo of Progressive Peoples
Alliance, PPA.
Obiano and Nwoye are from Anambra North
senatorial zone, the only area that has not produced
the governor since Anambra State was created in
1991, while Ubah and Ezeemo are from Anambra
South.
Ngige is the only candidate from Anambra Central
and the reason politicians from the zone did not
seek the highest political office in the state this time
around is because by the time Governor Peter Obi
completes his tenure next year, Anambra Central
would have occupied the seat for 11 years (eight
years by Obi and three years by Ngige).
So, it is equity consideration on their part, one may
say.
For the South senatorial zone, the four governors
they had produced namely, Dr. Chukwuemeka
Ezeife, Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Dr. Andy Uba and
Mrs. Virgy Etiaba, have jointly occupied the
Government House for about six years.
Therefore, for Saturday’s election, issues that will
be on the front burner include the zone of the
candidates, the political godfathers behind them,
their closeness with the churches, programmes in
their manifestoes and their antecedents, among
other considerations.
Anambra North (Obiano and Nwoye)
The emergence of the two candidates from a zone
noted for delivering bloc votes during elections is a
source of concern to stakeholders from the area.
When Nwoye and Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu from
Anambra South were engaged in a legal battle for
the ticket of the PDP, many people from Anambra
North somehow prayed that the area should not be
made to face the problem of splitting their votes
between him (Nwoye) and Obiano. So, when Nwoye
eventually won at the Supreme Court, the reality
starred them in the face.
Tomorrow, the two, who are in fact from the same
local government (Anambra East, may have to
decide whether to go for one person or vote
according to their political leanings in which case
there will be the inevitable splitting of votes in the
area. It was gathered as of press time that
prominent people from the area are still putting
heads together to resolve the issue before the
election.
But if the two candidates split the votes in the four
local government areas of Anambra East, Anambra
West, Ayamelum and Oyi which is the area
popularly known as Omambala, whoever gets the
upper hand in the other three local government
areas that complete the zone namely, Onitsha
North, Onitsha South and Ogbaru, will carry the day
in the zone.
For the two candidates, their performance in
Anambra Central will be determined by the
personality of Governor Peter Obi, who is totally in
charge of Anaocha and Njikoka, two local
governments that can be described as no go areas
for other politicians, in which case, they have
become Obiano territory.
In Dunukofia, where Prince Arthur Eze, the
billionaire sponsor of Nwoye comes from, other
parties may try, but it is PDP that will likely carry
the day. Awka North and Awka South will likely be
shared among Obiano, Ngige, Nwoye and Ubah in
that order. In Idemili North and Idemili South, Ngige
will get the majority any day, although the influence
of Senator Annie Okonkwo, who abandoned Ngige
after he was initially named his campaign director
general, should not be underrated. Okonkwo has
already pitched tent with Nwoye and another
advantage Nwoye has is the massive support from
the youths, who have already stormed Anambra
State ahead of the election.
In the South senatorial zone, with the position of the
Uba family still unclear and with the loss of the PDP
ticket by Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu, the area will
be for grabs for the candidates, although Nnewi
North and Ekwusigo are very likely to go to Ifeanyi
Ubah, Also, Obiano, Ubah and Nwoye are also going
to make impact in Ihiala local government. Ihiala, it
should be recalled, used to be the traditional PDP
area, but it changed during the second tenure
election of Governor Obi in 2010, when the people
decided to vote for APGA because of what the
governor did in the area. This time, many prominent
people in the area are said to be supporting Obiano.
For Orumba North and Orumba South, what will
determine the candidates’ performance is their
effort to sell their programmes.
Ezeemo is from Aguata local government, but
whether he would be able to stamp his authority
there and in other local government areas in the
zone will be seen on Election Day.
The Running Mates
Another factor that will also influence the election
will be the running mates and their ability to pull out
the votes from their areas.
For instance, Obiano’s running mate is from
Enugwu Ukwu, a densely populated area of Njikoka
local government in Anambra Central, while his wife
is from Ogbunike in Oyi local government. Ngige’s
deputy is from Anambra West local government
area in Anambra North and he is a known grass
root politician.
Also, Nwoye’s deputy is from Orumba and he too is
a known politician in the state and particularly
Nnewi, where he is practices medicine.
Ubah’s deputy is a Prince from Ukpo in Dunukofia,
although his uncle, Prince Arthur Eze is the person
funding PDP in the election
Powers behind the candidates
APGA – Unarguably, Governor Obi is the power
behind the candidate of APGA. His performance in
the state in the past seven and half years in all
parts of the state is the selling point for the APGA
campaign.
Obi has mixed the campaigns with the
commissioning of projects and the flagging off of
new ones, including the equipment of educational
and health institutions. With the statement by
Obiano that he will continue with the projects
started by Obi, there is no doubt in anybody’s mind
that it is the same government and if Obiano can
govern the way Obi is doing if he wins, then the
state is on the part of rapid development because
Obi has laid a solid foundation for taking the state to
the next level.
With government machinery at his disposal, Obiano
is having an easy campaign and with his academic
excellence which has been sold to the electorate, he
is the candidate to beat.
APC – Senator Ngige, on his own, is popular among
Anambra people, having been in government at a
time the state was in dire need for good leadership.
For this election, his backers are the governors of
the APC states who want to use the Anambra
election prove that the party is prepared to take
over the country after the 2015 election.
PDP- Comrade Nwoye’s campaign is being backed
by the oil magnet, Prince Arthur Eze. Eze has said
that it is his desire to ensure that Nwoye becomes
the next governor of Anambra State. The prince has
consistently said that his interest is not what he
would benefit from government because God has
already blessed him, adding that his main concern
is to ensure that a humble person like Nwoye is in
charge of Anambra State.
LP- Ifeanyi Ubah is a very wealth person who said
he does not need to enrich himself any longer
through public office. His reason for seeking to
govern the state, he said, is to help the less
privileged persons and thousands of youths roaming
the streets in search of jobs.
PPA- Ezeemo too has not godfather and he is
enjoying the wealth he acquired abroad. He was
even said to be the person funding the APC before
he fell apart with the leaders of the party over the
ticket of the party for the governorship election in
Anambra State.
Role of church
The church is playing a major role in this election.
Remarkably, the four most popular candidates,
Nwoye, Obiano, Ngige and Ubah belong to the
Catholic Church and they have been wooing the
church for support.
The clergy also appear to be divided over who to
support, but there are indications that the bishops
may direct the priests on who to support among the
four persons vying for the exalted office. As
expected, the candidates have been making mouth
watering donations to the various churches to solicit
their support.

Posted By Kevin Jasper (@KevinJasper3)

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