Even though 37 political parties presented candidates in November 18, Anambra State governorship election, according to Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC; on ground in the State, on count down to the election, would be a straight contest between incumbent Governor Willy Obiano [APGA], Oseloka Obaze [PDP] and Tony Nwoye [APC]. Other political parties would just struggle for recognition.
INEC, Resident Electoral Commission in Anambra, Dr. Nwachukwu Orji, on Monday, November 6, during Election Management System Implementer Workshop for INEC officers in Awak, disclosed that the umpire body would deploy 23,000 adhoc staff to take charge of the election exercise.
If he will return as governor of the State, Willy Obiano would need to put all in his arsenal to convince the republican Anambra electorates while he should earn a second term. He would not just be make promises of how he intends to perform better the next four years, but provide concrete evidence of his performance the past four years. This seems challenging to the governor.
Every claim to performance Obiano has made during his campaign for re-election has been punctured by opposition as mere travesty. From his claims that the state government was already exporting vegetables [ugwu] and [yam], and local rice production, development of [infrastructure]; to improved [security] in Anambra State, have be frayed by opposition.
Opposition candidates have added that Obiano’s government plunged Anambra State into indebtedness, against billions of naira his predecessor Peter Obi’s government left behind for him. The odds of returning for a second term weigh heavily against Obiano if he would be unable to give clear proof of performance during his first four years as governor of Anambra State.
Oseloka Obaze has been an insider in governance of Anambra State. He was Secretary to Government of Anambra State in Peter Obi’s administration. He was a key factor that drove the strategic vision and implementation of Peter Obi’s administration’s success agenda.
Obaze also became Secretary to Government of Anambra State at the beginning of Obiano’s administration. According campaign statements from Oseloka’s team, he was to have aided Obiano to successfully drive Anambra development agenda started by Peter Obi. He stepped out of Obiano’s government when it seemed the government was derailing.
Obaze’s campaign team and political allies have described his coming against Obiano to contest Anambra 2017 governorship election as a “rescue mission”. That apart from [security] that seems relatively stable in the State, Obiano seemed to be on the back seat and driving Anambra State backward.
Tony Nwoye and his campaign team may be facing brick wall in selling his party, APC “Change” mantra to Anambra electorates. The claim of “marginalization” and “unfair treatment” of Igbos by President Buhari’s APC led government may be a big hurdle for Nwoye’s campaign team to debunk.
In Nigeria’s south eastern region, the Igbos have bewailed the lopsided federal appointments, deficit infrastructural development, and most recently, the federal government military launched “operation python dance” with the attendant casualties and proscription of IPOB as a terror group.
A recent statement by media arm of Obiano’s campaign team, led by Evang Chinedu Obigwu, National Coordinator of All Progress Grand Alliance, APGA, Media Warriors Forum, said: “Tony Nwoye, APC governorship candidate and other APC leaders should bury their heads in shame over Igbos’ marginalization in Nigeria that is responsible for Biafra actualization agitation”.
Another statement, Wednesday, by the National Coordinator APGA Media Warriors Forum, Evang Chinedu Obigwe said APC’s slogan ‘Change’ and modus-operandi with which the party runs the affairs of the country, signified taboo in Anambra state. “In Anambra the word change is a taboo because you cannot change a winning team”.
To actualized Tony Nwoye’s governorship ambition, APC named Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Productivity as State Chairman of over 50 members campaign team for the election. Chief George Muoghalu was also named as Vice Chairman.
From all indications, the battle line is drawn between three candidates — Willy Obiano [APGA]; Oseloka Obase [PDP]; and Tony Nwoye [APC].