By Claire Arinze Asogwa.
When, on 19th November, 2017, Gov. Willie Obiano was declared to have won his reelection in 21 out of the 21 local governments in Anambra, not many were in the know of so many factors that enabled his victory. Prior to the November 18, 2017 election, Gov. Obiano had a suspicious closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, 3rd October, 2017. After the secret parley, an elated Obiano informed the State House correspondents that he was confident he was not just going to win against Oseloka Obaze of the PDP, but was going to win “on a landslide”, a refrain usually employed by Nigerian politicians when they have perfected their art of courting the establishment, with the powers of FEDERAL might.
Thursday, 7th October, 2021, yet again close to the Anambra guber poll, Gov. Willie Obiano yet again met with the President. After the closed meeting, the exhilarated governor, amongst other statements, also swanked about how All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and its candidate, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, were going to trump the PDP and the other fringe political parties in the November 6 election “on a landslide”. This is indeed deja vu for any diligent political watcher. It is helpful to understand that this seeming coincidence and twist of fate inherent in both meetings may indeed have been closer to being a clinical design than accident of history.
There is more to this than meets the eye that both meetings took place behind closed doors, especially when Tony Nwoye was told “I wish you the best of luck young man” at the grand finale of the APC rally 2017 was reminded to RAISE his hands. The seemingly lack of commitment to the victory of APC in that election was obvious even to the blind
While I revile people who unnecessarily concoct illogical conspiracy theories in situations of this nature, I wish to, as a matter of fact, back up my assertions with some logical and empirical evidences. It would be crass political naivety to think that it counts for nothing that Chief Victor Oye, APGA National Chairman, appeared on Channels TV Politics Today on Thursday, 14th October, 2021 and repeated the phrase “landslide”, seven clear days after the visit of the governor to President Buhari.
The confidence shown by Proff Soludo during the ARISE debate in insulting publicity Andy Uba denigrating him before the whole world clearly shows that the Presidency Soludo presently works for as a Soecial Adviser would give HIM same package as Obiano had in 2017.
Having set the above tone, I wish to state that I am mortified by the deafening silence of Ndi Anambra on the absence of their governor in Enugu on 5th October, 2021 wherein the South East governors converged to find a way of resolving the insecurity plaquing the region. It is imperative to note that the October 5th meeting was sequel to the killings that have been taking place in Anambra to the exclusion of other South East states. The killings saw to the ruthless extermination of the lives of illustrious sons and daughters of Anambra, including Dr. Chike Akunyili, and the near-death-attack on the convoy of Hon. Chris Azubogu who escaped by whiskers. The governor who was supposed to lead the charge was nowhere to be found when the security situation of his state was being discussed by his colleague governors. Even Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu who could not attend the meeting managed to send a deputy while Anambra, the epicenter of the renewed insecurity was conspicuously missing. Not even Gov. Willie Obiano’s deputy was sent! Whose script was Gov. Obiano exactly playing? Little wonder the governor declared right inside the precincts of Aso Rock that only fifteen (15) persons were killed in Anambra, a very flippant, thoughtless and insensitive way of drawing analogy.
It may also interest discerning minds to remember that Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, the APGA candidate in the November 6 election, is currently on the Presidential Economic Advisory Council. When situated properly, it could be fitting to say therefore that Prof. Soludo is currently serving as economic adviser to President Buhari. While this intervention is less interested in the quality of his economic advice to the President, this article is nonetheless focused more on the pact and romance of APGA and their candidate with the discredited APC government at the center. Prof. Chukwuma Soludo works for President Buhari and that fact is unassailable. Prof. Soludo himself alluded to this fact on September 25, on the occasion of APGA campaign flag off at Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, wherein he stated that “we are the Presidency….”. He went on to say “I work for President Buhari and I don’t need a pass to enter the Villa”. Ndi Anambra, pls use your tongue to count your teeth.
It is, therefore, against the above background that this opinion article has reached an inexorable conclusion that a vote in November 6 election A VOTE for APGA is a vote for APC. With a crystal ball, one could vividly see that plans are already hatched for Soludo’s eventual defection to the APC in the unlikely event of his victory in the poll. APC wants to have Anambra at all costs but realized that their brand had been grossly damaged in the South East, especially in Anambra. As a result, they reasoned that the only way it could work was to infiltrate the party that once resonated with the people due to the looming influence of Ojukwu’s ghost in the State. Ojukwu’s widow realized this infiltration early enough and severed her relationship with the party, a painful but unavoidable decision for her, to save her husband’s image.
APC’s first script was to write results and get INEC to announce it, but on realizing that Imo template may not work in a very vigilant state like Anambra, they activated their very ambitious and audacious Plan B which was to field a candidate for APGA. This ensured that they allowed Dr. Andy Ubah, a certified infamous candidate who once conflagrated Anambra, to fly the flag of their party. The Aso Rock strategists wilfully allowed their own party (which they obviously know is a damaged brand in the State) to field an unmarketable candidate to ensure that Ndi Anambra are left with the choice of only two parties – PDP and APGA. They will want to use Ojukwu’s influence using APGA. Good enough, the legal huddles in the way of the PDP candidate, Valentine Ozigbo, have been cleared. APC’s game plan in this regard has indeed proved counterproductive, thanks to the extent of the injury Gov. Obiano has inflicted on the APGA brand. Gov. Willie Obiano’s lackluster performance and shambolic governance style in Anambra is unhelpful to the game plan of APC and this is known to every refined mind.
Having said the above, my final admonition to Ndi Anambra is never to contemplate the exchange of their dog with a monkey. If we reject APC and embrace APGA ife mmakpu ka no na Anambra and this will be a mortal mistake!
By Claire Arinze Asogwa.