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By Ishaya Ibrahim

Anambra guber has 18 candidates on parade, but one of these three – Andy Uba, Chukwuma Soludo, and Valentine Ozigbo will win the election

Andy Uba’s strong-arm tactics

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Andy Uba is the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He is a veteran contestant and reputed for manoeuvring his way to elective offices as he did in 2007 when he became governor of Anambra State. But that lasted for only 21 days until the Supreme Court declared the election null and void because there was no vacancy in the Government House, Awka at the time the election was contrived.

Peter Obi’s tenure as governor had not expired when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under Prof. Maurice Iwu conducted an election that recorded 95 per cent voter turnout with 80 per cent of the voters purportedly voting for Andy Uba.  

Since the 2007 botched ‘victory’, Andy Uba has featured in all subsequent elections either at party primaries or as the main flag bearer. In the latest election, he is desperate, poaching anyone poachable to his side, including the sitting Anambra deputy governor, Nkem Okeke, from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

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APC is now a force to be reckoned with in the Anambra election, all thanks to poaching. It has more federal and state lawmakers only next to the ruling APGA. And in the state House of Assembly, from zero, it now has more lawmakers than the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ozigbo, Soludo’s winning aces

APGA and PDP fielded their finest candidates, and they look good for the job if only the rules of arithmetic will be followed through in the election. But in Nigeria, one plus one is usually 11, and not two.

The PDP is fielding a technocratic boardroom giant, Valentine Ozigbo, a multiple award-winning global CEO with over 27 years of excellence in diverse fields, including banking, finance, diplomacy, hospitality, oil and gas, philanthropy, sports development, and entertainment, the stuff of a governor.

APGA has a consummate economist, Charles Soludo, former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, a thinker, a strategist and an experienced technocrat, the kind of person fitted for rescuing Nigeria from its economic failings.

Turbulent IPOB  

There is also the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), a fanatical group of zealots that does not yield to reason.

In all the turbulence in which INEC has conducted past elections in Nigeria, Anambra may likely stand out. The election clashes with one of the seven days IPOB ordered the people of the South-East to sit-at-home. And they mean it.

In Anambra, gun-wielding criminals have been showing the capacity to wreak havoc on a large scale, attacking police stations, engaging joint security forces in fire fight and cutting down civilians, like the late Dr. Chike Akunyili, husband to late iconic director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

IPOB has denied some of the attacks, but not many are convinced. The secessionist group has always adopted unreasonable tactics in pursuing its goal – an Independent State for the South East region of Nigeria. And it appears to be the culprit for every unreasonable action in the state so far.

In September, it denied a large number of school children from the South-East an opportunity to sit for a crucial national examination by ordering a sit-at-home. Despite calls that the method is alien to Ndigbo and resembles what Boko Haram could do, IPOB stuck to its gun.

IPOB also cripples businesses every Monday to drive home its point that it is either Biafra or nothing, not minding the damage to the economy of the South East, which relies largely on trading.  

On November 6, there is a high chance that IPOB would enforce its sit-at-home. But whatever the outcome of that sit-at-home, INEC will still announce a winner.

INEC’s magic wand

In a chaotic environment as may be presented on November 6 in Anambra State, the APC, which controls national levers of law enforcement, is likely to fare better.

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, has already deployed one-fifth of the total active manpower of the force to Anambra – 34,587 operatives, not adding the Nigerian Army, the State Security Service (SSS), and the civil defence. Voters in opposition strongholds could easily be muzzled, while votes inflated in other places.  

But maybe INEC’s technology could save the day. Who knows?


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