*APGA in survival battle as PDP, APC, YPP seek foothold, progress
*Obiano vs Peter Obi fight, Ifeanyi Uba rise top highlights
The power play in politics of Anambra State will be at its peak on Saturday consequent upon the State House Assembly Election. In the picture, four political parties are going to trade tackles for the 30 Seats in the Hallowed Chamber of the House of Assembly in Awka, the State Capital. The four parties are All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) All Progressive Congress (APC) and the party of the moment the Young Progressive Party (YPP).
As obtained in any political context, the Saturday poll will be characterized by interests of the contenders. For APGA which is the ruling party in the State, it is a battle of survival following the force of the PDP which is apparently desperate to take over the seat of power in the Light of the Nation. Still basking on the euphoria of its success in the National Assembly election two weeks ago winning all the three seats in the Senate and six seats in the Federal House of Representatives, PDP is going to the State Assembly polls with high hopes.
For APGA and PDP, the Saturday poll is another version of the political fight between the incumbent Governor Willie Obiano and his immediate predecessor, former Governor Peter Obi. Former Governor Obi who is the Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP is believed to have orchestrated the success of the party during the National Assembly elections. Observers and pundits say Obiano have to muster extra strength to prevent PDP from taking majority of the State Assembly seats during polls in Saturday.
Pundits say while PDP is going to the polls with the bandwagon effects from the National Assembly election, a lot of factors could militate against APGA. Top of the factors is Obiano’s apparent non performance since he came on board for the second term in March last year. Second factor bothers on the candidates of the party. It is believed that some candidates of APGA are seeking third term and even fourth term in the State House of Assembly at a time when the people at all levels in the State are clamoring for zoning and rotation of political offices.
For instances, the embattled Speaker of the State House of Assembly Rt Hon. Rita Maduagwu Representing Nnewi South 1 Constituency is contesting for third term . The member representing Onitsha South 2 Constituency, Hon Beverly Ikpeazu Nkemdiche is contesting for third term. Hon Princess Nikky Ugochukwu representing Orumba South Constituency is contesting for fourth term amid protest from aggrieved members of the party who are saying that the seat is not Princess Ugochukwu’s birth right.
The third factor that could also militate against APGA is poor conduct of the primary elections of the party. Over six months after the primary election of the party, aggrieved aspirants who were denied tickets after working hard for the party are still agitating against the outcome of the primary elections. The aggrieved aspirants led by Owelle Onyaka Mbaso in a meeting held at Awka called for the immediate resignation of the national chairman of APGA Chief Ike Oye as according to them Oye lacks the capacity to lead the party.
A Board of Trustees (BoT) member of APGA Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka is of the opinion that Governor Obiano have to find means to placate the aggrieved aspirants for them to sheathe their swords and rejoin forces with the party ahead of the Saturday polls. In his own words, a pundit and medical practitioner in Onitsha Dr Mike Ikegulu suggested that the best thing for APGA leadership to do is to refund the aspirants all the money they spent in purchasing the party nomination form.
Dr Ikegulu who is the national chairman of Imeobi Igbo Forum noted that the grievance of the aspirants is well justifies because some of the aspirants borrowed money from banks, some sold their properly and invested it on the party but they were denied the opportunity to stand for the primary election and test their popularity adding that such injustice could continue to haunt the party in election if not properly addressed.
Aware of these negative factors trailing the party, Gov. Obiano hurriedly organized a State rally at Ekwueme Park in Awka four days to the State Assembly election to mobilize votes for APGA candidates. Speaking at the rally Obiano announced a cash gift of N10, 000 to each human being that attended the rally saying that he is expecting the party to win all the 30 seats in the House on Saturday.
On his part former Governor Obi called on the electorates in Anambra to repeat the massive turn out during the Presidential and National Elections and also cast their votes for PDP candidates on Saturday. The PDP Vice Presidential candidate who thanked the people for coming out in large numbers to identify with PDP urged them to also come in large numbers at the polling units on Saturday.
While the fight between Governor Obiano and Ex Governor Obi is going to dominate the election on Saturday, another factor that will draw the attention of the people is what YPP Senator-Elect for Elect Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Uba would do at the polls most especially in Anambra South Senatorial District. There are 10 State Assembly Seats Anambra South and indications are ripped that Uba’s YPP bandwagon could sweep higher number of the seats.
Observers say YPP is going to do well in Saturday if the Catholic Church extends its support to the candidates of the party as it did to Ifeanyi Uba during the Senatorial poll. An Observer and a trader at Nkow Nnewi Market Mr Chris Amala who confided to The Oracle Today that it was the Catholic Church that aided Uba’s victory, is of the view that with the support of the Catholic faithful and Uba’s deep pocket, YPP is certainly going to do well on Saturday.
Already Uba who is said to have an eye in 2022 governorship election in Anambra is waging a serious campaign for the candidates of YPP ahead of the Saturday polls using what he tagged thank you tour to drum votes for candidates. At one of his thank you tour in Aguata axis, the oil magnate, who promised to make good all his campaign promises, urged the people of Aguata to further prove that YPP has come to stay by ensuring that the party won a good number of seats in the state’s House of Assembly.
He said “I have come to say thank you for your support, just as I promised you during my campaigns that if we win, I will come back to say well done. I want to say that the battle is not over, we also need to have voice in Anambra, so as you voted for me, I want to appeal to you to use the same vigour and spirit to ensure victory for YPP candidates for Anambra House of Assembly on March 9,” he said.
Responding, Chief Godwin Ezeno, the YPP candidate for Aguata 1 congratulated Ubah on his victory and prayed God to help him to to achieve his good intention for the people of the senatorial district. Ezeno said with the victory, Anambra electorate have proven that they know who they want and who can deliver in spite of political party affiliation.
He also thanked Aguata people for making Ubah win in the council area, while urging them to reciprocate the gesture to him on March 9. He added “History was made on Feb. 23, when our party, YPP, a party of about six months in existence won a seat in the Senate through Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, we are grateful to God who made it possible.
“Ubah was able to call together people from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) after they tried to emasculate us and build a formidable force in the YPP. You have done well for coming to say thank, on our part, we are working hard for our success at the poll and hope to enjoy your full support so that you cannot be alone on this journey,” he said.
Ezeno told voters in the nine electoral wards of the constituency to cast their votes for him, assuring them of quality representation when elected into the Anambra House of Assembly. To observers in the Anambra South the fear of YPP is the beginning of wisdom and what the party would do is part of the highlights of the State Assembly polls in Anambra on Saturday.
On its part APC now the underdog in the politics of Anambra State will also like to use the election to find a foot in the State. APC gladiators like the Minister of Labor and Productivity Dr Chris Ngige, Senator Andy Uba who is the Coordinator of APC Presidential Campaign in the State, former governorship candidate of the party Hon Tony Nwoye, national Auditor of the party Chief George Muoghalu, former Governorship aspirant of the party Chief Johnbosco Onunkwo among others are expected to use the State Assembly poll to give the party a foothold by winning their constituencies for the party.
In the overall, the major political parties are expected to use the election to make Statement in different dimensions which include to survive, gain some degrees of foot hold and make progress in the State.