By Sylvanus Ekpo
When it comes to politics and politicking, no one does it better than those who are professionals in the game. And the best of them are in the saddle as governors, ministers, commissioners and local government chairmen. They get their tonic from being those who pour water on the hands of their godfathers. They genuflect, cringe and pass off as subservient until they get the ultimate prize.
So, the recent governorship election in Anambra is worthy of note because since the hellish days of former governor Chris Ngige, the state has often been enmeshed in one form of ribaldry or another. Then, the politics of godfatherism held sway. The godfather and the godson were supposed to have an understanding to share the resources of the state as soon as the funds were released by Abuja. And after taking their choice pick, the remains would be used to pay salaries. So the gangup against the people continued until Ngige decided to free himself from the stranglehold. He fought ferociously to reclaim Anambra from the sharks and wolves of power in the state. The Chris Ubas of this world and their ilk were decimated by Ngige’s fighting machine.
Then four years ago, a man called Willie Ibiano, an unknown political quantity, was drafted by former Anambra governor, Peter Obi, to succeed him. As a sitting governor, Obi did all the right things to sell Obiano to Ndi Anambra. And the people bought into the mantra and gave their votes to the man. That was four years ago. In the intervening years, the relationship between the godfather and the godson broke down irretrievably. All efforts to cut and paste them were unsuccessful. Obi broke political ranks and joined the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, while Ibiano continued to remain with the party that put him in power, the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA. This was a party that was midwifed and patronised by the inimitable Dim Emeka Ojukwu, the man who saw tomorrow. With Ojukwu as the patron-saint of APGA, the people of Anambra knew where to pitch their tent at the last elections. So, Obiano coasted to victory on all fronts, beating his two front contenders in PDP and APC to retain the crown.
Before the elections, Nnamdi Kanu’s platform for secession, IPOB and a few paid characters tried to stop the election, a script that gave sleepless nights to government. But the most ferocious battle was waged against Obiano by his erstwhile godfather, Obi, who, at every fora, told the people to put the governor out of office. The thinking was that with Obi’s high profile, the people of Anambra would be suckered into following him to PDP. But he was mistaken. Obiano rode the high ground to victory, breaking all known statistics to emerge as governor for the second time.
According to a former minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah, “For the first time, Anambra people have been politically liberated. The issue of godfatherism has been finally put to death; the issue of imposition by any party or group has also been put to death. This victory is a victory of hope for Anambra people; it is a victory of progress for Anambra people, and it is a victory for development.” This succinctly captures the mood and tone of the last elections and points to a full and proper mandate by the “people” of Anambra and not by a tiny, self-serving cabal out to feast on the industry and resources of the hardworking people of the state.
In conclusion, we have one word of advice for governor Willie Obiano. The onus is now on him to tackle developmental needs of the state, rest assured that the people who gave him a landslide victory are behind him. Anambra people are his godfather and he should share the resources of the state with them. Never again must Ndi Anambra allow themselves to be cajoled into breaking their ranks in APGA. Rather, efforts must be made to galvanise party faithfuls and especially woo the fallen members back into the party including the crown prince of the Ojukwu dynasty, Odumegwu Ojukwu, jnr.
Clean sweep Obiano, nno!