As the race for the next governor of Anambra Sate heats up, it has become easy to see that some aspirants have no idea why they joined the fray. Some are still trying to figure out if they stand a chance at all, while some are ridiculously fixated in hurling insults at Governor Willie Obiano. But this is not entirely strange.
Nowhere is the famed egalitarian spirit of the Igbo in fuller bloom than Anambra State. There’s always a silent competition going on. It is so natural that it has become subliminal. It is seldom noticed and rarely acknowledged. But sadly, it usually throws up an assortment of characters who file out in large numbers every election year to run for governor. Everybody wants to be governor. This should be good for democracy. But it is not. After two hundred years of practice, not even America is ripe enough for a democracy where everyone wants to be POTUS.
And in the confusion created by consequent clashing ambitions, some of the aspirants have no other manifesto than to throw shades at Governor Obiano. For some, the strategy is; discredit Obiano’s achievements and take it a little further… produce and circulate laughable video clips with strange images and claim that you had caught the governor on camera fighting with fellow passengers inside an aircraft in the US. It is just ridiculous! And yet for others, to become governor, you must demonize Obiano and his wife so much that some folks who had never met them before would be forgiven if they imagined them as a couple with two hideous horns sprouting out of their foreheads.
The truth though is that most of the aspirants who have made insulting Governor Obiano their campaign strategy were actually advised to do so. In a recent viral video, a certain PDP godfather had advised the members of his party in his trademark screeching voice, “Your enemy is Willie Obiano. That is the man you are running against.” And they had all believed him. And as enlightened as Ndi Anambra are, these aspirants actually believe that they would win votes and eventually the November 6 election by speaking ill of Obiano and claiming that he did not achieve anything in eight years. They believe that the governor is the only obstacle standing between them and victory. How anyone who aspires to provide leadership to a state like Anambra can be so easily misled is baffling.
And that, perhaps, is the reason why there is no clear and resonant message from the motley crowd of aspirants from the opposition camp. That is why there is so much flapping around in the open market without deep roots on the ground among the electorate. And of course, that is why APGA, the ruling party, will still swat all opposition candidates like flies to clinch victory on November 6, 2021.
Sincerely, I have yet to see how, if there is no erasure of memory; anyone can look at the impressive records of APGA in the past sixteen years in Anambra State and deign to tell Ndi Anambra to vote for APC at a time like this. I do not see what will make ezigbote onye Anambra cast his vote for APC at a time when criminal elements from a certain region slither around our forests with AK47 rifles in the arrogant demeanor of people who have been granted immunity from the law by the APC-led federal government.
The case of the PDP is even more pathetic…it is the case of a house perpetually divided against itself. PDP members in Anambra State appear to have drunk deep from a poisoned stream. They are always at each other’s throats. They work at cross purposes. They can hardly form a consensus. You need a watertight consensus where everyone is watching each other’s back to challenge a firmly rooted party like APGA. As for YPP, well…political parties are not sole proprietors. And there is nothing more to add to that.
Nevertheless, the utter lack of rigour in the opposition, the absence of any strident war cry and, the incredulous herd-mentality driving the tacky effort to denigrate Obiano as a strategy for victory; all appear to give the build up to the coming election the outlook of a comedy show which parades a cast of low-budget comedians. It is widely believed that the political class has more to offer than what is presently on parade.
At the moment, there is only one towering aspirant. And he is in APGA! The rest are what the Igbo call, “achikota ekwee onu!”