The heat is on in Anambra State as all political parties have flagged off rigorous campaigns against the forth coming gubernatorial elections in the state which holds on November 18th, 2017. It is no doubt that many political parties are gearing up to wrestle power from the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). The state has been buzzing with political activities in the last couple of weeks as the election date draws nearer.
The ruling party in the state All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is faced with a stiff competition from 2 other major political parties, All Progressive Congress (APC) with top politician Tony Nwoye as its flag bearer and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) guber candidate Oseloka Obaze. His Excellency Governor Willie Obiano , the incumbent governor of Anambra State and the flag bearer for his party APGA is contesting for a re-election to serve a second term come November 2017 but from happenings on the political scene, it seems like a herculean task especially because he hasn’t amassed a great support from his close aides and even the electorate whose interest have been torn into many factions with the high rate of incentives thrown by other candidates vying for the seat.
Although the governor is said to be riding on the power of incumbemcy,and to a reasonable extent was able to deliver during his first term, there are some who believe his performance was beyond average and are bent on ousting him from office. It is alleged that many roads leading to most of the communities in the state didn’t benefit from the road construction projects commissioned for state especially the state capital, hence the communities are having a cold feet over his re-election. The governor and his wife however shut down the city few days ago when they flagged off their campaign with several branded buses and people did come out en masse to show their solidarity. However, another candidate who is leveraging on the governors’ flaws to escalate his prominence in the state is the People’s Democratic Candidate Oseloka Obaze. Oseloka Obaze, an aspirant in the forthcoming November 18, 2017 Anambra governorship election, was a senior United Nations official before serving as Secretary to the Anambra State Government in the Peter Obi and Willie Obiano administrations. Asides his philanthropic nature that has endeared him to many electorates, one of his strengths is the support he has received from former Anambra Gov Peter Obi who is among the figure heads of his campaign.
The governor who has been rigorously campaigning for Oseloka stormed some of the big markets in Anambra State sharing gifts and money to traders to campaign for his candidate. Peter Obi’s influence is said to be a strong blow to contend with by the other parties because he remains one of the most respected ex governors in the state who amassed the followership of many during his reign as he was endorsed by the churches in the state. “I am fully in PDP, and I am determined to campaign vigorously to sell our candidate. This campaign will not be done anyhow, it will be aggressive but without mudslinging. We will all be in the campaign together and we will run it like PDP has never done before. “We know where we left Anambra State and because Obaze was part of the success story and was instrumental to attracting most of the international donor agencies by using his contacts as a diplomat, he will be in a better place to continue from where we stopped. “I am optimistic that if he becomes the next Governor of the state, Anambra will be better than what it is today. During the campaigns, we will place everything on the table for all to see and this will enable them to make their choice. “he says during one of his campaigns. Also speaking at a rally organised by the women’s wing of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at the state’s party secretariat, Obi, who accompanied the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, said his reasons for fighting his successor were informed by the vow he made to the people of the state in 2013.”In 2013, I took Obiano around Anambra State: to the markets, to every part of the state and the people kept asking me if I was sure of him as they did not know him, but that they would vote him because of me.”I told them I would be the one to lead a campaign against Obiano if he did not perform well in his first term. Today, can anyone show me what the governor has done within his first term? He has nothing to show for it,” he said. The PDP candidate Oseloka Obaze was Secretary to the State Government of Anambra from 2012 to 2015. He served under Governor Peter Obi and was re-appointed by incumbent Willie Obiano. Obiano, who was openly backed by Obi, won the governorship election on the platform of APGA in 2013.Obaze, the MD/CEO Selonnes Consult, also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012.
He was a member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991. Obaze had resigned his position as SSG on August 12, 2013, to seek the ticket of APGA for the gubernatorial election held November 6 of that year which failed but he was re-appointed by the then Governor Peter Obi as SSG.Obaze is said to be a confidant of Obi, who fought hard not only to give Obiano the APGA ticket, but also mobilized for his victory 4 years ago.Another strong contender is APC candidate Tony Okechuku Nwoye who has the backings of the president and all the APC governors in the country. It is largely believed that APC wants to take over the state by all means and they are putting in place to ensure their victory. Asides the rigorous campaigns for the APC candidate, it is noteworthy that most of the prominent political figures in the state are all APC members, the likes of Chris Ngige who has is also campaigning for Tony, The Ubah family among several others. To stamp their presence, sources reveal that the President Buhari and all APC governors will be storming the state on 14th of November for a rally to support the APC candidate.
However, the people of Anambra are wary of APC and the effect it will have on the state as they are abreast that APGA is known to be an Igbo party and sentimentally, the electorates want to identify with their won hence it may be difficult for APC to take from APGA in the state. Tony Nwoye is a Nigerian politician, a medical doctor, member of the Federal House of Representatives representing the people of Anambra East/West constituency of Anambra state. A former governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2013 election in Anambra state but currently a member of the All Progressives Congress, he is one of the candidates vying for Gov Willie’s job under APC. He is the founder and non-Executive Director of Vintage Consolidated Ltd.A comprehensive list of all the guber candidates and their running mates are as follows The candidates are Willie Obiano, the incumbent governor, with his Deputy Nkemakonam Okeke, contesting under the flag of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).Oseloka Obaze of the PDP has Chidi Onyemelukwe, a woman, as his running mate. Tony Nwoye of the APC has Dozie Arinze, a woman, as his running mate.
Others on the list are Nwezi Amechi and his running mate Okeke Njideka, a woman, for All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP).Oby Okafor and her running mate Onyekwuluje Uzoma as candidate for Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) also made the list. A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, is also carrying the flag of United Progressive Party (UPP), with Okeke Ogbonnaya as his running mate.The rest of the political parties with candidates on the list include Alliance Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), African Democratic Congress (ADC), Action Alliance (AA) and Action Democratic Party (ADP).Others are APDA, African People’s Party (APP), Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP), Democratic Alternative (DA), Democratic Peoples Congress (DPC), Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and Kowa Party. The Labour Party (LP), as well as Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMM), Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP), National Democratic Liberty Party (NDLP) and United Democratic Party (UDP) also have candidates.Candidates of National Conscience Party (NCP), new Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Nigeria Peoples Congress (NPC), National Unity Party (NUP) and People for Democratic Change (PDC) were also successful.
Also listed as parties with candidates are the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and United Progressive Party (UPP).Young Democratic Party (YDP) and Young Progressive Party (YPP).The election has been revealed will have 44 observer groups, comprising 38 domestic and six international groups, to observe the election. The international observer groups are the British High Commission, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), American Embassy Abuja, European Union, High Commission of Canada, and African Union Economic Social and Cultural Council. The domestic groups include African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, Centre for Credible Leadership, Citizens Awareness, and the Initiative for Promotion of Civic Obligation Sustainable. Among the other candidates contesting are Osita Chidoka, United Progressive Party.
– VIVIAN ONUORAH