By Chuma Ezenwe
I just read your writing about PDP in Anambra state titled “Anambra state PDP: As the vultures gather.’’ I did agree with you that the party has mismanaged their fortune in the state by allowing the vultures to control the party for too long. These vultures took over the party from notables such as late Dr Alex Ekwueme, Prof. ABC Nwosu, late Dr Chuba Okadigbo, Senator Ben Obi, Dr Chris Ngige, Dr. Okey Udeh and their likes.
What an irony, from notable and highly accomplished individuals to vultures. I cannot but agree with you that PDP should have done better in our beloved state than is obtained now because whether you support PDP or not, Anambra state is a PDP state, having not won a gubernatorial election in the state in the last 12 years notwithstanding. However, on Peter Obi and 2019 presidential election, I disagree.
First, Anambra state recorded 95% in 2019 presidential election for PDP was not necessarily for Peter Obi. Igbos generally do not want Buhari and Anambra state being the arrow head in Igbo land spearheaded that notion as usual with the state. Peter Obi factor in the 95% score card in 2019 election for PDP in the state was there but as a secondary factor.
Secondly, one of the good things Ndi Anambra attributed to Peter Obi was that he told Ndi Anambra that he was going to hand over power to somebody from Anambra North considering the fact that nobody from Anambra North has ruled the state since the creation of the state. His major reason was that power should rotate to at least all the senatorial areas in the state.
This is just fair and proper. His excellency went ahead and did as he promised. This singular act portrayed him highly before the Ndi Anambra, particularly the Anambra North senatorial zone. His reason was that power should rotate in the state which is a good idea and fair to all.
Indeed, power rotation is what the South have been hammering on at the national level where the North have dominated power for so long. After all, what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Why is Obi discarding the same rotation he was promoting 8 years ago now? With his present position on power rotation in the state, is he sincere to himself and fair to all. This his position may again derail Anambra State PDP from occupying Agu Awka House come 2021 and may hunt him at the national level politics.
If the whole South wants power rotation at the national level as a just and fair deal, is it not proper for it to be cascaded down the lines to states, senatorial and local government levels for justice to prevail at all levels. At the return of democratic dispensation in 1999, Anambra South had only four years with Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju as the governor. Between Peter Obi and Senator Dr. Chris Ngige, the Anambra central has occupied the Agu Awka House for about ten years.
Our current governor, Chief Willie Obiano, coming from the North senatorial area, has taken his 2-term tenor completing the rotation. One had expected our highly respected ex-governor, who all of us massively supported his aspirations both at the state level and 2019 when he made an attempt at the national level to continue to maintain his previously fair and just position on rotation. Why the volte-face now. Sometime in February this year, I saw him with Mr. Oseloka Obaze at a burial in Anambra state.
I told my friends with me that day that Peter Obi’s presence here in company of Mr. Obaze is implying that he will be supporting him in 2021 gubernatorial election in the state again. My two other friends immediately objected to the notion, stating that Okwute Ndi Igbo will not make such a mistake. Few weeks ago, the fears of many Ndi Anambra were confirmed that indeed, Obi is routing for Oseloka Obaze, upturning his earlier stance on power rotation in the state. This is not a good move for him who should have a bigger picture of things considering the fact that we believe that his eyes are on the ball.
Again, why will PDP not lose the state in 2017? PDP lost Anambra in 2017 largely because of Peter Obi. Mr. Obi joining PDP is a good move in itself but the vultures you referred to in your write up, were up in arms against him without regard to the added value his joining the party was going to bring to the party and the state which indeed is the hallmark of the vultures.
They never saw his joining the party for what it is and what it supposed to mean to us as Ndi Anambra, rather the so called vultures saw him as a usurper who wants to reap were he did not sow. As if that is not enough trouble to deal with, the same Obi, who out of his mismanaged politics in APGA, allowed Victor Umeh to manipulate him and indirectly produced Obiano, came back 4 years after to tell us that Obiano is not the real deal again, mbani. It will not work. This is Anambra state. Many Ndi Anambra objected to it and voted along that thinking.
This is one of the reasons why Obiano recorded 23/23 in 2017 election. Obiano, also won in all the local government areas in Anambra South because Anambra South voted for him believing that come 2021, power rotating to Anambra South will be a sine quo non. In 2017, during the campaign, I saw a social media video where Peter Obi was campaigning for Mr Obaze in a market at Onitsha and the traders were booing our erstwhile highly rated governor.
It was an eyesore to me considering the respect that he was supposed to be commanding in the state that he governed so well. The type of opposition to Obi’s position in Anambra state in 2017 can only be compared with the type of opposition the Ubah brothers from Uga have always had in Anambra politics due to their type of politics.
My take is that Peter Obi joining PDP, added another problem to the already existing hydra headed challenges of the party in the state. This makes it difficult for them to rally around him and build the party to an enviable height in the state considering the potentials of the party in the state and the height Okwute Ndi Igbo has attained in national politics.
Chuma Ezenwe wrote from Apapa, Lagos State.