By Our Reporter
With the countdown to Anambra 2021 Governorship election lurking around the corner, political gladiators and interest groups have been giving various ideas and suggestions on what should be expected from the contenders.
Anambra’s political course since the advent of the fourth republic has been laced with deep intrigues. The state which is blessed with intellectuals and businessmen of means represents the good, the bad and the ugly of the nation, seems not to have gotten it right politically.
In a chat with our reporter on the political situation in the state, Mr. Patrick Udeme, a prominent politician and stakeholder in the politics of Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state summed up the Anambra situation, thus: “The political history of the state is littered with landmines and electoral challenges that makes the state difficult to understand, politically”.
According to Udeme, who is also a member of Oke-Igbo 2023 (a group championing for the actualization of Igbo Presidency in 2023), “Anambra will get it right the moment we permanently kill and bury god-fatherism as well as do away with mediocres as leaders”.
Going down memory lane, he recalled that the politics in Anambra State is the case study for Godfather Politics in Nigeria where the quest to hold on to power with so much enthusiasm by politicians remain paramount. From the Fourth Republic, the state have witnessed these ugly trends as political actors and their estranged political godfathers are always in contention for control of the state resources. For each electoral cycle, there is a godfather. The political brawl (which could be said to have birthed god-fatherism) in Anambra State began with Governor Mbadinuju and Emeka Offor. The trend continued with the inception of Governor Chris Ngige and his political godfather, Chris Uba; a crisis that caused a lot in the polity of the nation and Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in particular. Have you forgotten that Anambra State is the only state that paraded five governors under controversial circumstances from 1999 to 2007, including one who spent just 14 days in office.
He further stated that for the 2021 governorship election, Anambra will look out for achievers, those that have impacted positively on the lives of the people, either as private citizens or through their contributions in public service. Political party leanings may not play a great role this time around, merit and service to humanity will be what will stand a candidate out. The time have gone when political parties will parade mediocres and misfits whose only credential is reliance of god-fathers whose stock in-trade is to milk the state dry.
The state is blessed with abundant and highly qualified people who can take the state to eldorado. I remember vividly the slogan of Peter Obi during his campaign, “are we the cause or are we cursed”. The answer is simple, we are not cursed, we are simply the cause and we shall remain the cause if we continue in our old ways of selecting our political leaders. Currently, among those that have signify their interest to contest, there are two or three of them if given the opportunity, will take the state to its expected glory. We would have gotten it right if Governor Willie Obiano have continued from where Peter Obi stopped, but the opportunity was wasted in the alter of political ego and infantile issues. Our political leaders, especially governors have failed to understand that politics is a going concern and development is a continuum.
At this stage, the state should be angling for a true leader and not just a governor. In his words, the leader we need is someone who will constantly inspire and build hope on the people no matter the situation, in line with the dictum of the great French military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte who describes a leader as “a dealer of hope”. Moreso, we should identify the type of leadership we crave for as enunciated by Mwai Kibaki, the Kenyan politician who described leadership as “a privilege to better the lives of others and not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed”. We must all play our part and strive to get it right this time around. We should have no reason to give our children if we get it wrong again in 2021.
On the issue of zoning, Udeme explained that though he does not believe in zoning, but there is nothing absolutely wrong in zoning since it will give all the zones a sense of belonging and as long as the zones will come out with their first eleven and not their reserve team.
For his preferred candidate amongst those that have signified interest to take over from Obiano, he explained that the time is not yet ripe for such blanket disclosure. Though, among those that have signified interest to go into the battle, I have two or three of them who have intimidating credentials both in academic and service to humanity. We are still watching. I am sure that in the next few weeks, the coast will be clearer.
He concludes by stating the obvious, that the destiny of the state lies in our hands as voters. This was put in proper perspective by former American President, John Kennedy, thus: “We the people are the boss, and we will get the kind of political leadership, be it good or bad, that we demand and deserve”. You can only reap what you sow.