Why Anambra North is united against Obiano

Willie Obiano

Willie Obiano

Notable governorship aspirants from Anambra North Senatorial district of Anambra state, including Dr. Alex Obiogbolu, Oseloka Obaze and Dr. Chike Obidigbo, have justified the large number of contestants against a second term bid for incumbent governor, Willie Obiano.

Obiano reportedly told stakeholders from Anambra North that no sane politician from the zone should seek to be governor in the forthcoming governorship, as the marvelous work he was doing has shown that the zone could deliver the goods.

But the trio of Obiogbolu, Obaze and Obidigbo, in different interactions with reporters explained that the governor’s disastrous outing these past three years seemed to echo the erroneous belief among the state politicians that the North senatorial zone lacked capable hands to put the state where it ought to be in development.

Obidigbo contended that the 2013 governorship did not reflect the general interest of broad spectrum of the citizens, pointing out that “for that simple reason, our people see the next governorship election as a good opportunity for Anambra State to move away from the impunity, brigandage and electoral corruption that have defined elections in the state from 1999.”

He noted that right from the governorship primaries through the main election, confusion shrouded the candidates such that it was not easy for the voters to know much about the background and what each candidate was going to offer. “Let this be the first time for Anambra people to elect their governor without imposition or technical substitution,” he added.

Obidigbo lamented that the incumbent made things a little bit complicated by failing to continue the organised development pattern in the state, noting that the way he came into governance left him without the necessary preparations that come with electioneering and manifesto presentation.

On his part, Obaze, who was briefly the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) under Obiano for fifteen months, claimed that the last two years of Peter Obi’s-administration was used to set the foundation and trajectory that would have set the state well ahead of others in Nigeria.

“I was part of that endeavour and we finished strong. Unfortunately, the momentum was lost, our development partners left, the continuity promise was totally abandoned and the enormous saved resources were frittered away. Those who were not part of the grand design hijacked the mantle of leadership and reins of governance without recourse to the game plan,” he alleged.

While empathizing with the incumbent, Obaze noted that “the reality is that you cannot implement an idea, which you are not the author or one for which you did not know the genesis or have a full buy in.”

Echoing Obidigbo’s sentiments, Obaze added: “Those from the North who really campaigned and worked assiduously for the Government House, had a clear vision and determination. But those who arrived later scuttled the plan. A second tenure should (therefore) be predicated on performance and full accountability.

“As far as I can see, there is a performance shortfall and accountability deficit. So I belong to the cadre of those who believe that Anambra deserves better and that there are ample and plausible reasons for desirable change.”

If Obaze harped on performance, Obiogbolu blamed Obiano’s perceived lackluster performance on inexperience. He told The Guardian on the phone that “the issue is that the North having a second term is different from Obiano’s second term in office.” While pointing out that the incumbent is not the only person from Anambra North, Obiogbolu said he would not blame Obiano for his underperformance, averring that because the governor not had not contested election before the did noe know what it meant to contest fairly.

“His party had to disqualify everyone to make sure he emerged. His emergence was not the will of the people, it is rather the imposition of one man, which he knows and acknowledges.

“It is on record that Obiano has never held office. Some of us are convinced that we can do it better, because we have antecedents. I for one have held several offices and the records are there to show that we can do it better.”

But despite the claims of the opposition, the managing director of Anambra State Signage and Advertising Agency (ANSAA), Chief Jude Emecheta, maintains that Obiano stands a good chance for a second term stressing that “even his greatest critics give him credit when they drive around Anambra State,” due to the governor’s achievements in the areas of security and infrastructure.

As preparations for the 2017 governorship election in Anambra State continue, observers maintained that the greatest challenge to the governor’s second term ambition comes from his Anambra North zone, where no less than twelve aspirants have so far indicated interested to contest.

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