By Paulinus Onah
IN less than 50 days, the electorate in Anambra State will once again file out to elect the next governor of the state to take charge over the next four years.
There are strong political indications that the incumbent, Governor Willie Obiano, may after all coast home with ease and confidence back to the Government House, Awka.
Analyst say the Aguleri-born auditor, accountant and banker turned politician has within the last three years and about six months that he has been in office carved a niche for himself in the political mainstream of not only Anambra State politics but Nigeria in general.
He has distinguished himself as an accomplished, and indefatigable political guru, whose penchant for human development and love for the oppressed has made him standout among Anambra people and indeed, the South East of Nigeria,
Apart from being dynamic leader, his pedigree and intimidating academic records and experience also places him at an advantageous position with unassailable 50 per cent clean and solid record of excellence above other contenders.
Political Analysts are also of the opinion that in the real contest for the Nov. 18, 2017 election, Obiano will over-run all other contenders.
Their contention is based on some available indices and visible political calculations that may be impossible to manipulate.
One of such has been predicated on the fact that his re-election may determine the sustainable political zoning arrangement installed in Anambra State by an APGA-led government.
Secondly, he has the advantage and support of virtually all civil servants, appreciable number of the traders and considerable number of elite in Anambra State.
Ndi Anambra are of the view that he has done well to re-position the Anambra State workforce. It is an acknowledged that he performed well in trade and commerce, education, agriculture as well as oil and gas since his assumption of office since March 2014.
Of course, it is not in dispute that he will muster as much as 95 per cent of the total votes of the state workforce, after all, what does a civil servants want other than regular and prompt payment of his or her salary as the settlement of pensions and gratuity of the retired.
They are content to ensure that their welfare packages, such as promotions, salary increment are paid as when due.
All these, the Obiano administration has been able to accomplish creditably, even when some states collected billions of naira in Paris Club refunds and yet owe salaries and wages.
It is even alleged that some of the states might have diverted some of the funds into private pockets to the detriment of the tax payers.
In fact, some political watchers are of the opinion that any civil servant that votes against Governor Willie Obiano in Anambra State might at best be classified as sadistic.
Obiano, it has been widely agreed has also played his role creditably with the traders and communities in Anambra States as they are involved directly and indirectly in the programmes and policies of the government.
It is also the view of political analysts that Obiano is the only governor in Nigeria that has created `the 4-tier’ of government by involving traders and communities in the running of government policies and programmes through market associations as well as and the `N20m Community Choose Your Project Initiatives’, -- the first of its kind in the South East of Nigeria.
A former Secretary to State Governor under Gov. Peter Obi, Mr Oseloka Obaze, who recently joined the PDP after serving Obi and Obiano in the APGA for more than 10 years, analyst say might not have the clout to stand the test of time against a contender like Obiano at the polls.
The Okoloigbo Village Ochuche Umuodu, Ogbaru Local Government-born politician, is believed to have made political miscalculation, when he hijacked a delegates list of his new party to clinch the ticket for the prime position via doubtful means.
It is also the view of some political watchers that he might not survive the political coup because he did not have the permission and consent of PDP stakeholders, the founding members as well state and LG delegates of Anambra extraction to represent them.
He is widely believed to an imposition on the people of Anambra.
Mr Obaze has also earned himself another hatred in his choice of the deputy at which a faction of the PDP has disowned, as non-card carrying member of the party,
He is being accused of introducing religious politics between the Roman Catholic and Anglican faithful against the wishes of the founding fathers of PDP in Anambra State.
With Uche Ekwunife’s support and that of a former APGA Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh firmly on the side of Obiano at the Anambra Central Zone, it will be herculean task for any of the candidates to penetrate conveniently in that zone to dislodge Gov. Obiano.
Mr Tony Nwoye, though a respected politician whose presence and political antecedent in Anambra State cannot be wished away, but against Obiano will buckle.
The Offianta Nsugbe-born medical doctor turned politician may be the only candidate to offer some resistance, but based on his political records in Anambra East would not stand the litmus test.
He had contested for two consecutive times with incumbent governor in the area and each time won in constituency.
This is a no mean feat, but what may work against him, might be his political romance with the Ukpo-born billionaire. Anambra people do not was a roll back to days of political `godfatherism’.
Secondly, his banking on the federal might hit the rocks in Anambra State, where people of the south east region may want to resist any imposition of candidate, particularly of the APC.
Political analysts said, ``we are aware that APC might try to use their federal might to try manipulate the election, but they should be well be prepared for Anambra people who have vowed to use legitimate means to protect their votes.
There are internal squabbles within the APC arising from the party primaries that may well time to overcome.
The former NANS president, they say had also played fast one on the other contestants like Andy Uba, Ifeanyi Uba, George Muoghalu, Dr Chike Obidigbo.
These stalwarts in their own right may not be in a hurry to put all those issues behind them and their support could have been vital to aid him.
Knowing full well that he may want to seek second tenure, the Anambra south senatorial zone may not to compromise to extend the tenure of Anambra north.
Osita Chidoka, tThe immediate past Minister of Aviation and former Corp Marshall, Federal Road Safety Commission, who hails from a small but mighty town of Obosi in Idemili North Council Area of Anambra State, is contesting the Anambra Governorship election on the platform of UPP, an unknown party.
Chidoka, although intelligent and respected, seems to have misplaced his political priority.
Analysts say it is suicidal for him to have in his first political outing to have romanced with the recently proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
That may have cast doubts at his person and intentions. It is certainly, a minus to his political career.
Apart from lack of strong political structure based in Anambra State, the recent proscription and declaration of the support group as terror group may have also sealed have off his chances.
Analysts are also of the view that apart from holding political position at the federal level, he never made any remarkable impact in Anambra State to attract the sympathy of the Anambra electorate.
– Oct 9, 2017 @ 18:30 GMT /