YOU can never give up on a quintessential thing. Four years ago when I declared that Chief Willie Obiano, a financial wizard, will clinch the governorship election in Anambra State, some hypercritics of my writings slammed me for playing God! Another tribe of pessimists asked me if I was the collective symbol of Anambra voters to warrant such an emphatic assertion.
One of the readers of this column had the effrontery to question why a columnist from Abia State should be predicting authoritatively what was going to happen in another state. The fellow had the bovine intelligence and wild-cat temerity to advise me to face the leadership decadence in God’s Own State and leave “their Anambra alone”.
My conviction and vindication have become historical notes. I recollect also that, based on Obiano’s excellent pedigree in the banking sector, I had observed in my pre-election three-part essay on “Candidate Obiano” that he had the competency, capacity and disposition to revolutionize governance if he became the governor.
It is gratifying to underscore the fact that he has not disappointed Ndi Anambra and this columnist who stuck out his neck to vouch for his potentialities and sublime tendencies to transform the state. If our subject lacked the substance of growing his state, he would not have been the preferred choice in his first tenure. Latter-day routine disagreements between him and his predecessor in Government House, Awka, notwithstanding, the kernel remains that Obiano is a politician with profuse passion for bettering his people’s lot. I cannot use this space-constrained column to trumpet his achievements which had been well documented by his lieutenants through the instrumentality of new media technologies and deployment of traditional platforms for information dissemination. The records of accomplishments keep elongating even as you are reading this profile.
As the governorship election holds this Saturday, there is the certitude that voters cannot be hoodwinked by the current conspectus of oppositional tirades and tantrums in newspapers and the social media. The puerile context, diseased contents and cerebral shallowness of the desperate messages undermine the civilization and intellect of Ndi Anambra—the erroneous stereotypes about the lull in youth scholarship in the state notwithstanding.
Latest WAEC and NECO results confirm Anambra’s national distinction. This could not have been possible without the consolidating and exploratory activities of this returning governor, by God’s grace—and not what people typically vituperate shortly before polling. Losers can continue to traduce Chief Obiano after Saturday’s inevitable victory.
An aside: what do you make out of this “thank-you” message from Hon. (Dr.) Tony Nwoye: “A big thank you to Ndi Anambra for coming out en mass (sic) for our LGA tours. We transversed (sic) the length and breath (sic) of our dear state.”? This foundational morning shows the day. This, as with other copious egregious messages by the APC candidate, is a manifest testament to looming governorship tragedy if not averted by voting Willie Obiano, a seasoned financial and management engineer with robust leadership technocratic background.
I will not be perturbed by opponents of Chief Obiano who will infer that the governor must have compromised me to root for him. The life of a columnist is an endangered one: if you engage in dispassionate interventions you are considered a hack. If you attack your subject, you are accused of working for his detractors in anticipatory recompense or prefatory “settlement”! It is a no-win dilemma, but the joy, for me, is the innermost satisfaction one gets from not belonging to both scurrilous and vicious divides.
I have this inalienable and immutable feeling that the main challenger of the quintessential governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, in this Saturday’s crunchy governorship election, Dr. Tony Nwoye of the All Progressives Congress (APC), does not have the profundity of political credentials that could unseat the obvious pace-setter in the race.
The only thing I recollect with regard to Nwoye’s candidacy is his dastardly and ignominious role in the tragedy that prefaced the triumphal emergence of Dr. Chris Ngige as the governor of the state. The nitty-gritty of that scandalous era is not within the scope of this article.
It will not be uncharitable to affirm that Nwoye in the present-day Anambra State has the remotest chance of winning a councillorship election let alone local government chairmanship and the plum of them all governorship polls, where antecedents and currency of achievements count majorly—not intemperate electioneering language. The unfortunate aspect of our politics is that most voters—and, indeed, Nigerians—have short memories and tend to forget the invidious roles some office seekers played at one point or another in their political trajectory precedent to subsequent campaigns for political offices.
There is this illusionary belief of members and supporters of the APC that because their association is the ruling party, it is easy to get away with anything and by extrapolation win elections at all costs! If it were so simplistic, the last governorship elections in Rivers and Bayelsa states would have gone the way of the APC. Alas, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the day to God’s glory.
Unfortunately, the PDP has been nothing to write home about just like the APC. All the years that the Igbo have identified and asininely backed the PDP have resulted in negativity in overall human index parameters. Pursuant to this, I think we are better off with our own (Igbo) party—the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)—in terms of everything. Let those sheepishly imploring us to move to the centre go their own and leave us. It is better to be a grassroots champion than swim in national self-deception and zonal delusion in the name of following the crowd and getting consigned to irrelevance.
It is on this basis and in conjunction with his transformative developmental template that I insist on Chief Willie Obiano’s re-election. He deserves a second term and will get it. The greatest achievement of Chief Obiano is the enthronement of peace and security in Anambra State. Hitherto, right from the River Niger Bridge to other parts of the state, Onitsha particularly, the entire state was a haven for bandits and all manner of criminalities defined existentialism here.
There is nothing for anyone to salvage in Anambra. The state has advanced beyond the level of mediocrity and political rascality since the advent of Willingly Working Willie. It may not yet be an El Dorado, but, assuredly with second-term commitment by the en coring governor, Anambra’s glory is as good as immeasurably revalidated.
Ndi Anambra, let us meet at the second inauguration of Chief Willie Obiano presently. His overall developmental plan and holistic remodeling of the state are unprecedented in the annals of the land-locked South East state. Mark my word, this man’s seamless victory is certain and divinely guaranteed. And so shall it be.
In this racy medium this Thursday or Friday, I will do my final word on Chief Obiano’s soar-away victory. Hopefully, it would be a full-page analytical blast!