Anambra: Recalling odd years of political confusion
THE peripheral states in Nigerian federation will on Saturday, March 9, go to the polls for another crucial election test for the office of state governors and the legislative assembly members. In the history of political democracy, election to the office of state governors and members of the legislature is aptly and verily seen as more important and significant than the national elections which Nigeria witnessed on February 23, in view of its grassroots appeal and orientation.
Attention is focused on the state election because the federal government cannot exist or stand as an entity without the component states which determine the welfare of their citizens. The component states engage in mobilizing, reaching, organising and securing the internal mechanism for enviable life at the grassroots while the federal structure is saddled with the promotion of international affairs.
It is a well-known fact that in democracies such as USA, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and others, they do not play with the choice they make because the citizens of the component states are always conscious to elect the governor and the legislators that belong to the same political party.
These nations in the past had bitter experiences that often degenerated to fatal situations, physical fightings, hence a new paradigm. As a matter of fact, this democratic culture has inherent values, including promotion of healthy relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of government.
Furthermore, such cordiality enhances, as well as elevates harmonious development paradigm in the polity. All these help to create a sane society where mutual trust and peace, progress and transparency, honesty and integrity reign supreme.
Before the incumbent governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano came to power in 2014, it is a well known truth that the political turf in the state was characterised by rancor, bitterness, crises, confusion, which worsened from the perspective of armed robberies and kidnappings. This informed the saying in 2015 by the erstwhile governor, Mr Peter Obi that he was a beneficiary of PDP confusion. By this, he gave the impression that no person should have associated with the party. Unfortunately, he is now a leading member of the party. What an irony.
However, it became a thing of joy that the mutual relationship between Governor Obiano’s executive arm and the legislative arm provided enabling trust-worthy, progressive and peaceful environment that led to the procurement of quantum social amenities, high level road infrastructure, human capacity upliftment, employment of different levels of graduates and artisans, elevating farmers with loans and inputs and promoting agriculture as a whole.
We need to mention in a special way the ability of the governor and the government to secure the lives and property of the citizens of the state in the past five years. This is because the government was familiar with the terrain but more because he has close-knit relationship with the legislative members.
This state of executive and legislative harmony in Anambra State was conspicuously absent during the first tenure of ex-governor Peter Obi between 2006 to 2011. Then, APGA was not in control of the legislature which did not help to move the state forward. There were crisis upon crises leading to impeachment and forceful sacking of APGA government in 2007.
At this point, it is necessary to note that APGA emerged in the political firmament of the country in 2002 as a child of circumstance through divine intervention. In 1998, when political democracy was reintroduced, three major political parties emerged as regional parties.
These were the Alliance for Democracy (AD) for North West/North East of the Hausa/Fulani Oligarchy, the People Democratic Party (PDP) for the North Central of the middle-belt. Each of these parties represented the interest of major ethnic race and zones. Unfortunately, there was none of the South East/South South.
This was why ex-vice president, Dr. Alex Ekwueme suffered a major setback in 1998 when he was edged out from being the PDP presidential candidate by a coterie of retired generals working behind the scene, who in the first instance, hijacked the party structure as a means to further the interest of the middle-beltans in the North Central.
Apart from this, there were tensions, crises acrimonies and factions in the party as the leaders of the ruling PDP zones lacked the focus to take firm actions. In Anambra State, the aforementioned short-comings were as old as the party which hindered the operations of the PDP government and finally ensured that then sitting Governor, Dr. Mbadinuju did not return for a second term.
The former military governor of the Eastern region, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu obviously felt worried and sad over the aimless drifting of the South-East and South-South political class and thus invited the likes of Chief Chekwas Okorie, Chief Victor Umeh, among others on the need to neutralise this lacuna that was affecting the psyche of the South East in particular; hence the formation of APGA.
This background is necessary for the citizens of Anambra State to know that APGA was formed as a child of circumstance through divine intervention for the rescue of the zones from the grip of selfish politicians. Truly, in the ensuring 2003 governorship and legislative elections, the poll results tipped APGA as winners in several states. Regrettably, only the Anambra State chapter of APGA vehemently fought and recovered the mandate in 2006.
APGA scaled through to success at the tribunal not by its might but by the special grace of God who felt that the people of Anambra State had suffered lack of basic necessities of life, injustice, etc since the creation of the state in 1991 and Governor Obiano, the Government of APGA has made tremendous in road in the life of the people.
The only way to reciprocate is for all citizens and residents in the state to elect members of the legislature of APGA’s extraction on Saturday. This will ensure that members of the opposition party will not come back to power through the grip of the state legislature. This will re-ignite again the mayhem, the burning of the state and illegal impeachment which gave the state and her people bad name.
Governor Obiano, through prudent management of human, material and financial resources in alliance with members of the state House of Assembly have redeemed the image and spirit of Anambra State. A stitch in time saves nine.
It was Wiston Churchill that declared: let us move with one active voice in defense of our nation as German machine was about to circle Britain. And the people responded with the will to fight as they jettisoned blind emotion. Similarly, France Charles De Gaul moved his people to show strong faith in the liberation of France from German occupation.
It is important for the electorate to vote according to the reality on ground. Blind sentiment and followership does no one any good but spells catastrophy. Traditional rulers, community leaders, union leaders in the public and private sectors must lead in the campaign against this blind followership. APGA was instituted by divine power to re-write the history of Anambra State and the South-East in general.
The government of APGA has continued to do it since ex-governor Dr. Chris Ngige handed over power to APGA government in 2006 which gained momentum under Governor Willie Obiano. However, a stitch in time saves nine.