Saturday 21st January, 2017
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Anambra 2017 and the tragedy of a people

Anambra 2017 and the tragedy of a people

For the first time in a dec­ade I laughed at Senator Nwabueze Chris Ngige’s remarks about Anambra state Governorship elections. He spoke from disadvantaged position penultimate week. I summed it that Governor Willie Obiano had succeed­ed in wiping Ngige in. He had said so. He said Ngige is not serious for 2017 as he has expired in Anambra Politics but nobody yielded.
Ngige praise singers went wild and said all kinds of things about Obaino but I had known Ngige has expired politically as regards to Gov­ernorship election in Anam­bra state. Former Governor Peter Obi retired Ngige on that. His greatest chance was the election that brought Obi­ano in. He almost had his way as usual but Obi and team proved better in the game.
Onwa as Ngige is fondly called is popular and still is but not to re-contest Gover­norship election in the state. If he does, he would fail woe­fully even with the backyard power of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Ngige went into boosting that APC will sweep Obiano out in 2017.
As a Minister for Labour and Employment, Ngige would soon give us his re­port card to know if it will ever match Senator Uche Ekwunife’s tenure as a Mem­ber of the National Assem­bly. As a Senator, his pledge to continue his N20,000 an­nual scholarship to Second­ary school students was just once and never again but good a thing many students were exposed to banking system courtesy of his offer.
Assuming Ngige did not tactically frustrate Uche Ek­wunife in APC for Sharon Ikeazor , APC would have been by now a party to beat because Ekwunife is gifted in grass root political mobiliza­tion only beaten by Mr Greg­ory Peter Obi’s wife Margaret but her husband did not want to utilize her prowess politi­cally. She too being an under­standing wife, bowed. Chief Mrs Ebere Obiano is com­ing up but representation for her is becoming outrageous. For me she has to be there to win these people in toto.
Ngige with his PhD in An­ambra politics as he claimed in the interview, had two waterloos in former Gov­ernor Peter Obi and Sena­tor Uche Ekwunife. Though Obiano made some unpar­donable mistakes by allow­ing Ekwunife and Obi to melt away from the ruling All progressives Grand Alli­ance (APGA), in politics the permanent thing is interest. Yes! Sir Victor Umeh’s factor, but his factor would be ever potent with Obi and Ekwun­ife among others on his part.
It sounds strange that for­mer Governor Peter Obi would be a guest to an Insti­tution like Unizik and most of the commissioners invited bluntly refused to come sim­ply because Obi would be at­tending and His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano would sack them should they attend? Tufiakwa! What a strange way of playing politics?
Obiano please beware of Ngige because Ngige once gave gentleman Publisher and Philanthropist cum Indus­trialist, Mr Godwin Ezeemo such Greek gift of collapsing his structure into Action Con­gress and with hope Ngige will support him actualize his dream of governing Anambra state which Ezeemo did. He still licks the wound of that unholy alliance. Ezeemo did all the campaign and Gover­nor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state and co travelers came and upturned the wishes of the AC people by hoisting Ngige on them. The people lined up for Ezeemo but Ngige had the flag. The rest is history.
Today, Obiano is being in­vited by the same Senator Ngige to join APC, I advise Obiano to remain in APGA, contest and win or fail gal­lantly than heed to Ngige’s suggestion or appeal and re­main ruined forever political­ly. Ngige does not forget easily and he has not forgotten that you-Obiano, Ekwunife and Peter Obi among others de­nied him the opportunity of continuing to govern Anam­bra. Ngige remained the most loved politician in the state by God, don’t take it away from him, yet he remained ‘cun­ning, and egregious’. If you dare succumb to the invite, register your disappoint­ment because you will never get the ticket for a second term no matter the amount you will stake. Try and see!
My ‘friend and adversary’ simply for my style of oper­ating, no friend, no foe phi­losophy in journalism, James Ezeh was apt when he de­scribed Ngige as day dream­ing. But he missed the mark when he talked about party structure and party loyalty. He even went ahead to boost that APGA is landlord and APC is not even a tenant but does not exist. He said: ‘’……..Ngige’s effort is comparable to someone who wants to plant flowers in the Sahara desert. It’s an exercise in futility’’.
I disagreed with him on this. Ngige despite my description of him having being in close compact with his ‘faux pas’ could only be waved away when Ekwunife and Obi are involved, even Chief Victor Umeh cannot speak of Ngige so lucidly like that. Ngige re­mains an Iroko but there are people who know what he knows even better but not Obiano and not these wild geese chasers interested in their fill. If people with his mindset and smarter and as well ready to mobilize the citi­zens to stop APC as done in Rivers are not on the party of APGA, the 2017 Governor­ship may be a walk over. Very well, Anambra election is not about party but individuals.
Ngige’s speech cannot just be wished away. When he was not in ruling party, he had his ways with magic voters from outside Anambra so to speak and swelled polling voting re­cords. He had powerful guests lodging everywhere in An­ambra that Obi then locked some of his guests in a hotel room till after election, think El-Rufai think Anambra election? Now that he has all the armies, police, and other security agencies with the Federal might, Ngige would show other political gladia­tors why he is called Ngige.
Anambra scenario may be different but cautionary look at Edo state Governorship election where PDP before the INEC’s show had all the results from polling units an­nouncing its candidate’s win­ner, only to lick their wounds when INEC played out its mission, as alleged. It hap­pened in other climes but that of Rivers state re-run was the eye opener. Can Anambra APGA withstand its ground like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did in Rivers state re-run? Can a candi­date loved by all emerge and collaboration between par­ties strengthened to ensure day light robbery of votes is ruled out of the contest for the right candidate based on people’s choice to emerge?
Even for the All Progres­sives Congress (APC) Gover­nor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to openly boost to his people while speaking with Journalists in Imo State at his Spibat residence in Owerri, the Imo State capital at same time Ngige spoke, speaks volume of their clandestine moves to take over Anambra.
Many of the APC party men are towing such line in­cluding the National Auditor of the Party, Chief George Muoghalu, though he was not as boastful as Ngige and Okorocha. He was appealing to the conscience of Ndigbo and Anambra in particular.
Okorocha had said: “APC will win Anambra Governor­ship election in 2017, the state needs APC to grow and by the grace of God we shall win it. We won in Edo and Ondo States, we will win Anambra also”.
APC, I dare say will be schemed into getting a candi­date from Anambra South or Anambra Central and risk the momentum. But should they pick a candidate from Anam­bra North even without their higgledy-piggledy of emerg­ing victorious as we witnessed in Edo, Ondo and Rivers states, it would be a good chal­lenge. It is fair enough to take it back to Anambra North even if Obiano isn’t an option. But should he be given a chance in APC real time, though bet­ter bargain for him but APGA must have been dead and bur­ied. What role will PDP play in the forthcoming election? Victory or Spoiler’s game? Time will tell but for now, PDP in Anambra is just in the saying, and not in the action.
I may not be a fan of Obi­ano for now, but we worked hard to elect him Governor of Anambra state and he still re­mains my Governor until next campaigning season starts. Once we enter campaign, we must have justified our support to elect him, having stayed by the side watching for three years, and despite the threat by his foot soldiers like James Eze from Enugu state , his SSA Media and Chinedu Obidigwe, his brother from Anambra East, his SSA Po­litical among few ‘recalcitrant’ aides to mobilize against some of us should we campaign against the Governor, un­known to them that only God determines the affairs of men.
The ongoing silent cam­paign by one of his aides Dr Ibezim Onyekachukwu on house to house may prove more points than the bois­terous converging of old and young for a pay to Awka with specific instructions for a show of solidarity and popu­larity before the Governor at Alex Ekwueme as witnessed Thursday with United An­ambra Youth Assembly! Are those people actually going to vote? Who and who is voting?
True to talk Chinedu Obidigw’e U-AYA and his partner’s arm known as Oso­dieme’s babes have proven some points, so many youths have been engaged by Obi­ano and wife through that and so many others eating at least daily meals at every event Obiano or wife attends and they parade. The mega rally was good at least for some to eat but for election, real work needs to be done.
Obiano appealed for door to door campaign in line with Dr Ibezim’s stance. Would they hear? Endorsements no long­er win elections as we have Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju as a testimony and Hillary Clinton as another case in point! Who is Anambra’s next governor? Where is APGA, APC, PDP and Labour Party in that equa­tion? Has Obiano any chance? Will the noise makers go home and rethink and re-strategize before the fowl goes to roost.
 

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