By Abuchi Obiora
The political dice which symbolize the struggle for the Anambra State Government House in Agu Awka has been tumbling unceasingly, revealing doubts to the certainty of the election as well as the unfolding chances of the candidates of the major political parties who will be accompanied by a host of candidates of other political parties to contest for the governorship of Anambra state in November 2021.
The major political parties are the APC with Senator Andy Ubah as its torchbearer; the APGA with Professor Charles Soludo as the antenna to retain its connectivity with and maintain the status quo at Agu Awka government house; and the PDP with Chief Valentine Ozigbo as the flagship commander at the engine house to row the ship of the struggle and wrest political power at the Agu Awka government house from the incumbent APGA government.
Let us first consider the probable doubts to the certainty of the November 2021 elections. The danger posed to the on-coming November gubernatorial election in Anambra State by the combined activities of the IPOB, the ESN, and the highly elusive and dreaded Unknown Gun Men (UGM) must never be underrated. Meanwhile, the UGM is suspected by a section of the Igbo intelligentsia to be a covert action of a sponsored fifth-columnist operator in the South Eastern States to hype terrorist activities in the region in order to incriminate the region, call the dog a bad name and hang it.
Going by the present events, it is certain that the IPOB and the ESN who seem to have the tacit, yet silent sympathy and support of the Anambra state electorate will succeed in their call to Ndi Anambra not to come out for voting on November 6th, 2021. The Kaleidoscope foresees voter apathy or a total boycott of the elections by Ndi Anambra either as support to the agitation for sovereign state of Biafra, or for fear of being attacked at the pools by any of these groups.
Much as the Kaleidoscope does not doubt the competence of any of the candidates standing to be elected as the Governor of Anambra State, it still must make a comment on these candidates based on their past records.
On the individual candidates assessment, (if Ndi Anambra, eventually come out to vote on November 6), the ghost of a failed APC ‘change 2015’ at the centre will most likely haunt the frontline candidate, Senator Andy Ubah, unless he devises strategies to urgently address this obstacle. One and key to these strategies must be to clean-up his stunted media image as well as tactically finding ways of absolving himself of the collective APC government failure at the centre.
A scenario in the collective chain of bungling characteristics of the failed “change 2015” recently played out in Nigeria. This development would have been a perfect ‘April Fool’ for Nigerians were it not witnessed in the month of October. I am talking about the Attorney General’s brainchild of a ‘State of Emergency’ in Anambra State.
The Kaleidoscope has an opportunity to present its opinion about the personality, said to be a lawyer, occupying that esteemed office, in a previous work. That work was titled “Implosion of the North as the Immediate factor for Insecurity in Nigeria” and was published on the 26th May 2021 issue of Global Upfront Online Newspaper. For the interest of readers who did not read that view, I wish, hereunder to reproduce, inter alia, the relevant paragraphs which addressed certain utterances of the occupant of that office, before I say a few things about the weird ‘October fool’ which Nigerians woke up one early morning in the first week of October 2021, to herald.
The paragraphs in question are: “….I was shocked to read the misplaced and UN-intelligent comparison of Nigerians who are legally engaged in spare parts business in northern Nigeria with the dangerous marauding Fulani herdsmen in Southern Nigeria criminally involved in illegal trespass, killing, maiming, raping, kidnapping and banditry by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice.
“in his book, ‘Origin of Nigerian Civil War’ (1969), produced by the Nigerian Printing Press, Apapa, The Right Hon. (Dr.) Nnamdi Azikiwe, wrote, ’we seek for education to enable us to discover facts and to be objective on analyzing social situations, balancing possible factors, collating these into acceptable theses and formulating logical premises before arriving at conclusions which could be regarded as fair and reasonable’.
I continued ….”This means that anybody who claims to be educated but fails to train his mind within this minimum limit expected of an educated person, is an educated illiterate who missed it all in all the years of his sojourn in the Ivory Towers. Many people who have not had experience of the Ivory Towers in their lives could be better than such a person”.
“…..My take in this matter is that the man who is supposed to be a legal officer with a higher than average sense of logic, which by the way makes a good legal officer goofed to the marrow of his bones.
“….By his unequal comparison, he has simply succeeded to tell Nigerians his incapacity as a legal logician, foretelling the adverse implications of that incapacity on the Nigerian judicial system, to which he is the Chief Legal Officer.” (Conclusion of Quote).
As regards his brainchild of ”State Emergency” in Anambra state, my opinion is that by usurping the power of the Executive President, and misapplying the authority of the law embedded in the office of the Attorney General as it relates to a condition warranting a State of Emergency in a democratically-elected government, the present occupant of that office has created a shameful legal precedence, which no doubt has cast aspersion upon the esteemed office of the Minister for Justice and Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The thought of a ‘State of Emergency’ in Anambra State or anywhere in Eastern Nigeria when compared with the brigandage and combined mayhem and terror of the bandits and the Boko Haram insurgents in Northern Nigeria, smack of hatred. It is Unacceptable, unless the Igbos have become slaves to the North.
Senator Andy Ubah must be able to convince Ndi Anambra that such Igbo haters from Northern Nigeria as the Attorney General of the Federation will not use him in the manner of the body of Jacob but the hand of Esau, to achieve their nefarious aims in Anambra State and Eastern Nigeria.
These nefarious aims may include, but not limited to the ‘Rugalization’ of the Igbo nation through a mischievous acquisition of Igbo lands for the comatose Fulani Ruga project; reversion of the open grazing law presently in place across eastern Nigeria; the dubious and covert creation of Islamic emirates for a suspected agenda of the ‘Islamization’ of Igbo land, etc, etc.
It is incumbent on Senator Andy Ubah of APC to take forward positions on these issues and make his positions on them known to Ndi Anambra through a vibrant media campaign, to allay the fears of Ndi Anambra. His present silence on these matters cannot be golden as he may be construed or misconstrued as one sent by those who promote his candidacy to sabotage the interest of Ndi Anambra.
The other two visible contenders to the Governorship of Anambra State present different spectacles, none of which is compatible to the aspirations of Ndi Anambra. This is my opinion, and if have found out that it is so held by many informed people of Anambra State origin.
A renowned Nigerian entrepreneur, seasoned banker, philanthropist and immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria PLC (owners of Transcorp Hotels), Chief Valentine Ozigbo looks good to be the next Governor of Anambra State. The only problem is that not a few times have the people of Anambra State been disappointed by Governors who had all they needed to transform the State.
While the PDP Candidate Valentine Ozigbo is a greenhorn and virtually unpredictable as to what he has to offer Ndi Anambra, the APGA Candidate, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, though having gotten an experience at the Central Government as an erstwhile Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria ( because of his advertised erudition in financial matters), may not have what it takes to transform Anambra State as he has promised. Different people have different opinions of either success or failure when the Prof. manned the ultimate financial gate of Nigeria – the CBN. For this reason, I am not taking his performance at the CBN as the benchmark to predict the expectations from him as the executive governor of Anambra State. I therefore opt to take such examples as relate to the core area of grassroots governance expected of him.
What grassroots empowerment programmes has the Prof. in his kitty? There is a precedent. The out-going APGA Governor Willie Obiano once launched a bogus program – what he called 50 years development plan, suspiciously called ‘Anambra Vision 2070’. The Prof. was the of chairman this jamboree which blueprint is yet to be made known to Ndi Anambra through a committee report supposed to have been submitted to the Anambra State government since July 2020. As the Prof. campaigns to take over the seat of Governor Willie Obiano, Ndi Anambra are still waiting to see the report of an assignment given to him, which assignment would have clearly stated in black and white, his capacity to be their Governor.
There is a second precedent which further dims the light of the Prof’s ambition to the Governorship seat. Held in his auspices back in 2008 was another jamboree, this time, in memory of the Prof’s late mother. In that event at Isuofia, his ancestral town, a whopping ₦20 billion was said to have been contributed by private and corporate citizens around the world to build a state of the art hospital for his towns people. Till date, as the Prof. aspires to lead the whole of Anambra state, he has not been able to deliver, not even a consulting clinic for his town’s people. And charity, they say, begins at home!
The site of that imaginary magnificent hospital with well laid-out hospital wards, specialist booths and paved pathways with pedestrian sidewalks, is still being occupied, not by a hospital, but by trees, grasses and shrubs. But in spite of these, the incumbency factor favours the Prof.
Mention must also be made of a Governorship candidate in Anambra 2021. That candidate is Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah. Senator Patrick Ubah needs no introduction to Ndi Anambra. He is known to spring surprises in elections – the type that saw him become the only Senator of Nigeria’s first youth party, the YPP. Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah may come from the blues to show his mastery of Anambra state’s politics in the gubernatorial election.
Having said all these things about the most visible candidates in the Anambra 2021 gubernatorial election, I must recognize the silent opinion of Ndi Anambra as the D-day draws near. In spite of the political activities in the vineyards of Anambra politicians and their agents, Ndi Anambra are in all expressions apolitical; to say the least, nonchalant about the coming event of November 6th, 2021. For this reason, there is a common understanding and apprehension that the November 6th 2021 gubernatorial election in the State may not after all take place.
My investigation shows that somehow the people, the Igbos not only of Anambra State origin but also in Nigeria and the Diaspora believe that the time to realize the dream of an Igbo nation is now. Like the Republic of Biafra of the civil war years, Anambra State is gearing up to become the veritable template, the next test case for the unity of the contraption called Nigeria.
At the end of that exercise of Anambra gubernatorial election 2021, Nigerians will know the new face of the struggle for self-determination by the Igbos in the country. The powers- that-be may be planning to either install their own candidate from any political party of their choice, or clamp a State of Emergency if the people refuse to vote, or become violent to election officers, respectively. But any of these options may most likely aggravate the problem and enlist both the sympathy and support of Igbos across the world, to finally seek for self-rule for the Igbo nation.
The politics and events surrounding the Anambra gubernatorial election of 2021 may easily become the most dangerous and ominous political adventure in the history of Nigeria. If the present condition of things in Anambra State persist and the final readings on the gubernatorial election in Anambra State are eventually taken from the events preceding the election, it is not unlikely that the restive and tumbling dice of change in Anambra State Government House at Agu Awka may not after all be rested come November 6th 2021. If that happens, a constitutional crisis which will be the first in the history of Nigeria’s democracy will be created in the governance of the State.
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