It’s barely two week to the primary elections of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that would see a standard-bearer emerge from among the about seven aspirants who are said to have purchased the party’s nomination form and successfully screened ahead of the November 18, 2017, Anambra State Governorship Election.
As at Monday, August 14, 2017, the following contenders were said to have purchased their nomination forms and successfully screened to contest the party’s primary election.
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1. Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah- Anambra South
2. Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze- Anambra North
3 Alex Obiogolu- Anambra North
4. Prince Okechukwu Emeka- Anambra North
5. Lynda Ikpeazu- Anambra North
6. Mrs Stella Oduah- Anambra North
7. Mr Akolisa Ufodike- Anambra South
It would be recalled that the PDP while releasing the timetable for the Anambra 2017 gubernatorial election billed for November 18, 2017, said the process will start officially from July 21 and end on November 18, even as it also stated the venues for specific events.
However, the party which had earlier scheduled its much awaited governorship primaries to hold on Saturday, August 19, 2017, shifted the primaries to Saturday, August 26, 2017.
As the clock ticks ahead of this epoch-making primary, it has therefore become imperative to raise an alarm that there is a reckless efforts by a former Governor of the State to again impose on Anambra PDP and Ndi Anambra in general, another stooge of his who served in his government as one of his strong allies.
This clandestine moves by this former governor does not only portend an act of imposition and god-fatherism which the Rebranded PDP must expunge if it’s to make any meaningful impact in Anambra State, but this action would further irk the people of Anambra South who have been marginalised in the scheme of things in the state since 2003.
Since the return of Democracy in 1999, Anambra South has only had its shot at the Government House, Awka, for four years, when Chiweoke Mbadinuju led between 1999-2003.
Chris Ngige, who hailed from Anambra North held sway as governor of Anambra State from May 29, 2003- March 17, 2006.
Peter Obi from Anambra Central was governor from 17 March 2006 to 2 November 2006, when he was impeached and from 9 February 2007 to 29 May 2007.
Obi once again left office on 29 May 2007 following the general elections, which Andy Uba won. Obi returned to the courts once more, this time contending that the four-year tenure he had won in the 2003 elections only started to run when he took office in March 2006.
On 14 June 2007, the Supreme Court of Nigeria upheld Obi’s contention and returned Obi to office. This brought to an abrupt end the tenure of Obi’s successor, Andy Uba whose April 14, 2007 election the Supreme Court nullified on the grounds that Obi’s four-year tenure should have remained undisturbed until March 2010.
On 7 February 2010, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Peter Obi the winner of the 6 February 2010 gubernatorial elections, where he defeated Professor Charles Soludo, former Governor, CBN.
This election victory gave Governor Obi an additional four years as the governor of Anambra State.
On the 17th of March 2014 Peter Obi served out his second term and handed over the governorship to Willie Obiano. What this means that Obi from Anambra Central served two terms of 8 years.
Similarly, his successor, Willie Obiano from Anambra North, whom he imposed as governor, would have served for four years when his tenure expires by March 2018.
What this simply means is that Anambra North would have served for over seven years by March 2018. This is absolute injustice against Anambra South.
In the last 14 years, Anambra South has suffered highfalutin marginalisation in the scheme of things in the state. The debilitating state of infrastructures and roads in Anambra South gives immense concern to stakeholders in the state since 2003.
Peter Obi from Anambra Central has used over eight years to fix the Senatorial District. Chris Ngige and Willie Obiano have used over seven years to fix Anambra North. Obiano in particular embarrassed his Aguleri people as if he was the Governor of only the Aguleri people.
These issues thus call for a deeper reflection for PDP Anambra. Reason, being that of all the frontline aspirants five hail from Anambra North, while two hail from Anambra South.
If the PDP as some hawks are pushing gives its ticket to any of frontline aspirants from Anambra North, it means Anambra North would end up producing a PDP Senator and a PDP Governorship aspirant.
What would happen to Anambra South which forms the major political and economic bloc in Anambra State? The PDP Anambra must must avoid this political miscalculation.
PDP Anambra, as well as Ndi Anambra in general must be aware that it was this same issue of god-fatherism and imposition of candidate during the 2013 governorship election in Anambra State that has brought our dear state to this pitiable state of rudderless governance under the current All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA Government of Chief Willie Obiano.
Had the former governor, listened to wise counsels and not imposed Willie Obiano on Ndi Anambra, our dear State won’t be engulfed in this current mess that we have all found ourselves today.
All in the toga of Continuity, he imposed the rudderless Obiano on Ndi Anambra.
Ndi Anambra, having tasted this so-called bitter and soured ‘continuity’ for over three years, have now had the lids fallen off their eyes
It is against this backdrop that good-spirited people of Ndi Anambra and lovers of the PDP must rise up to the occasion and say, NO TO IMPOSITION, NO TO GOD-FATHERISM in the August 26 Gubernatorial Primary Election of the PDP.
The dark era of imposition of candidates and god-fatherism in Anambra Politics is gone.
Never again would Ndi Anambra allow one man who regard himself as a god-father impose another stooge on them.
For goodness sake, what does this former governor want by his clandestine moves to impose his former aide on PDP and Ndi Anambra in general?
If he acclaims he fought and expunged god-fatherism from Anambra body politics, what do discerning minds now call his second missionary journey to impose his former aide as the PDP standard-bearer for the November 18 governorship polls? This is outright hypocrisy.
We are aware the untold calamity his first missionary journey of imposition has caused Ndi Anambra.
When you move around the three Senatorial Districts of Anambra State, thus the 21 Local Government Areas, the debilitating state of abandoned roads littered all over the place, particularly, Anambra South begs the question why this ex-governor is again seriously interested in imposing another stooge on the PDP and Ndi Anambra in general.
Without much ado, as the process for Anambra PDP delegates to choose whom they want as their candidate for the November 18 gubernatorial election in the state comes up on August 26, 2017, it’s therefore imperative for the Caretaker Committee which recently emerged following the dissolution of the three parallel executives in the state to conduct a hitch-free governorship primary election.
This is thus calling on the Election Caretaker Committee to ensure that all contending aspirants of the PDP are given equal opportunities to test their popularity in the primaries.
The Great Peoples Democratic Party, just survived a calamitous power tussle at the national and state levels that would have dealt a death sentence on the party, save for the Grace of God.
It’s glaring to note that major part of the crises that have rocked the PDP in recent time was caused by imposition of candidates particularly at the State levels.
Anambra PDP must never toe this line. Now is the time for the real change.
Anambra PDP and its powerful stakeholders and delegates must say no god-fatherism.
The PDP is not a one-man party like other parties in Nigeria. No one man can lay claimant of the PDP. The Party belongs to the people.
True to its slogan, the Great PDP must therefore Stand against the clandestine moves by this ex-governor to impose another stooge on Anambra PDP, and Ndi Anambra in general.
Once again, it must be reiterated that the PDP has a unique opportunity on November 18, 2017, to avert the continued marginalisation of Anambra South, the major political and economic bloc of the state, thus coasting home to victory, by doing the needful come Saturday, August 26, 2017.
Once Bitten, Twice Shy.
Timothy Godson writes from Awka, Anambra State.