By Paschal Candle
Six days to the governorship election in Anambra State, any visitor to the state who is very observant will notice that the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA)-led government in the state has commenced its usual political gimmicks, thinking that Ndi Anambra and Ndi Igbo are gullible.
At every strategic location from Awka-Agulu-Nanka-Oko-Umunze-Umuchu-Nnobi to Nnewi-Ihiala-Ozubulu-Oba and Onitsha are giant and money spinning billboards with bold Inscription- “Umunnem, APGA bu nke Anyi” meaning My brothers and Sisters, APGA…… is our Own with the picture of the late Biafra warlord, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu, who died many years ago.
The questions that easily come to one’s mind are: What is the picture of Ojukwu or his family members got to do with the Nov. 18 governorship election in the state? Is Ojukwu or wife or son an aspirant in the election? Why can’t Ojukwu, who died long time ago, be allowed to rest?
To many of our politicians, anything is okay and possible as far it can guarantee political power. This was the same gimmick the immediate past governor of the state and Chief Willie Obiano’s predecessor, Mr. Peter Obi, under the same platform, used during his second term bid when Ojukwu was seen raising Obi’s hand and telling Ndi Anambra to grant him his last wish.
Obiano and his supporters appear to have adopted that gimmick, forgetting that such cannot work this time around, due to many glaring factors ranging from his non-performance to his disrespect for the traditional institution, among other missteps.
When Ojukwu came back from exile in 1982, he joined the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, and not the Nigeria Peoples’ Party, NPP, led by an Igbo man, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. When asked why he didn’t join his brothers in the NPP, he said Ndi Igbo needed to be at the centre where things are discussed. He even contested for the Senate under NPN.
It is of note that for the eight years that Obi was in power,, APGA didn’t win any senatorial seat in the state despite the claim that it was an Igbo party. Rather, what Chief Victor Umeh and Obi did was to arrange an alliance with the PDP-led Federal Government that saw the PDP conceding the governorship seat to APGA in Anambra, after which both parties divided the state House of Assembly seats.
The question that is begging for an answer is: IS APGA AN IGBO PARTY?
Even then, all the acclaimed apostles of Ojukwu in Anambra and beyond never identified with APGA before and after his death. Why was it that APGA didn’t grow beyond Anambra? And why didn’t Ndi Igbo embrace the party totally?
Now, whatever is done in APGA is determined from Obiano’s village because not all Agulueri villages are carried along on the activities of APGA today.
We now all realize that the ‘Spirit of APGA’ is gone! There is no one who was part of the original dream of APGA that is still in APGA of today. Given what APGA is now, the great Ikemba would NEVER have continued to be part of it. They have turned APGA into a private business using Ojukwu’s name to deceive Ndi Anambra. Never again shall we allow it.
Last November 26, during the Ikemba’s remembrance, neither Obiano nor the state government was part of it. It was only Chief Raph Uwazuruike who organized a memorial service at Owerri for the late Ojukwu.
Obiano has constructed over 35 roads in Agulueri, he did not deem it fit to construct the road leading to the Ikemba family house and village.
Meanwhile, the governor has devoted all his energy into transforming his village in Aguleri while Ojukwu’s town, Nnewi, producing a substantial proportion of the IGR of the state, is left like a dead zone.
Obiano’s only achievement in Nnewi is the N20million community project given out of the N4.9 billion statutory allocation!
In view of the foregoing, Dr. Tony Nwoye, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, remains the person to support in the Anambra poll. Nwoye as a student activist and as a politician has demonstrated his ability to break logjams and push forward the interests of his constituency. The people of Anambra East/West Federal Constituency can testify to his capacity. Is it not remarkable that Nwoye represents Obiano in the House of Representatives? The people rejected the APGA candidate projected by Obiano in 2015 and chose Nwoye in that election and Nwoye has in his own way helped all those communities denied projects by Obiano with the Federal Government projects he facilitated.
Ndi Anambra should on Saturday reject Obiano the way his people rejected his recommendation in 2015 and vote Nwoye as governor to reverse all the damages Obiano has done these past three years.
*Candle, a graduate of international studies and diplomacy, University of Benin and a public affair analyst, is based in Awka. He can be reached via [email protected]