Obiano and the challenges of retaining APGA lawmakers in Anambra

Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano is one man who is between the devil and the deep blue sea. Former Anambra State governor, Mr Peter Obi sure knows how bitter the pills of working in a state where the state assembly members are of opposing parties. Until 2011 when he managed to win majority seats for his then party, APGA, he was kept on his toes. Today, Governor Willie Obiano has even a bigger challenge, and he must deliver his party men to the assembly seats if he must sustain the tempo of his work in the state. If it goes the way of PDP, Obiano will fight through his remaining three years, if it goes to APC, the same applies. Obiano is left with no option than to win majority seats in the assembly writes ELEKENEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM.
Come Saturday, April 11, 2015, the governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano will be facing the test of his life when the INEC conducts the State Assembly election in the state. This is not because he will be contesting for a seat in the assembly, but it is believed that his stay in the Anambra government house, his ability to deliver on his promise all depend on what party will constitute state assembly.
Of the 31 assembly members in the state, APGA is currently controlling 25, while APC and PDP have three each. To a large extent, his harmonious working relationship with the assembly has been as a result of the subservience of the members who are led by an APGA speaker, Rt Hon Chinwe Nwaebili, all of whom the governor functions as the Board of Trustees chairman of their party.
But, with the threat of the PDP to take the state, and the strained relationship of Obiano and his predecessor, Mr Obi who led his new party, PDP to take all the senatorial seats in the state, leaving APGA with none, and also nine out of the 11 house of representatives seats in the state, leaving APGA with just two. Already, the PDP is looking forward to replicate the last Saturday’s feat, with the hope of using the PDP lawmakers to torment Obiano.
The governor who is also the BOT chair of APGA and the national chairman, Chief Victor Umeh have however reacted to the victory of the PDP in the National Assembly positions of last Sunday. Umeh who was also a senatorial candidate insisted that he won the election fair and square from the booth results released to the party by its agents. He insisted that Obi, Ekwunife, Arthur Eze and Ifeanyi Ubah of TAN and other PDP stalwarts led an assault on the party to steal its victories.
He however stated that the ‘robberies’ on the people will not stand as APGA is poised to go to court to challenge the process. Obiano in a press briefing by his media handlers led by the Information commissioner, Chief Tony Onyima regretted that Anambra was gradually being led back to the days of brigandage and lawlessness by the PDP. He regretted that the assault was led by his predecessor who incidentally worked hard to rid the state of its bad image.
On the forthcoming House of assembly election, Obiano and Umeh enjoined the people to come out in their numbers as they did in the previous election to vote for APGA again, promising that this time their mandate would not be stolen. They vowed to stop at nothing to ensure that the votes of the people counted in the forthcoming poll.
Beyond mere vows, Obiano and APGA must rise up to work for the emergence of the majority of APGA candidates in the Assembly election if their mandate must be retained. This is because with the strained relationship that already exists between he and his predecessor, rumours are already everywhere in the state that if PDP has its way in installing members of the house of assembly, Obiano would be impeached.
But the victory of the APC over the PDP in the presidential poll has however strengthened the APGA in Anambra State. If not for anything, the loss of the PDP will help reign in some PDP stalwarts who have been carrying on like demi gods, an APGA chief argued. The loss of PDP has given hope to the APGA, and it is highly believed that with their wings already clipped, President Jonathan who practically has no stake any longer will not be willing to stake his integrity to facilitate the deployment of soldiers to PDP chiefs in Anambra for use in the forthcoming election.
In fact, the happiness of the members of APGA also reflected in a statewide broadcast by the Anambra Governor, Obiano in which he called on the people of the state not to despair, but to come out and vote massively for APGA in the forthcoming election, while also assuring that when will pay a visit very soon to the victorious APC presidential Candidate, Muhammadu Buhari to negotiate the benefit of Ndigbo and Anambra people in the yet to be inaugurated APC government.
Many sensed this broadcast to mean that Obiano will soon decamp to APC, and true to it, the rumour has been everywhere that soon the APGA government in Anambra will move to APC. In what seems like a response to that from the APC leader in Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige while addressing members of the party in a welcome-home-party put together for him said those who are thinking they can just stroll into the party to take prominent positions should perish the thought. Ngige said the party was big enough to accommodate as many people as wish to join it, but new entrants must queue behind the old members of the party. The interest of Senator Ngige in becoming the next governor of the state may also be a hindrance to Governor Obiano.
This is because just as the PDP goons are fighting to take over the party in the state by winning most of the seats in the house of assembly to effect his impeachment, APC is also through Ngige working hard to dominate Anambra and if not earlier, then in the next three years when elections will be due, use their might at the federal level to win Anambra State, and that leaves Obiano with two strong forces to fight if he must retain his position and have the rest of mind to work for the people.
As it stands, the candidates of APGA for the election to the House of Assembly are all strong candidates in their rights, and may hopefully win seats that will boost APGA’s dominance in the house, but they are also threatened by the double candidacy in the PDP where all the seats are being contested by more than one candidate. This it is believed helped the PDP in the national assembly election where APGA fielded its best too.
The Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese and the Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor and Prof Godwin Onu who spoke to our correspondents called on the APC to be magnanimous in victory and do well to accommodate other political parties and not to spite Nigerians who gave them the mandate by being selfish.
Next Saturday will however determine the fate of Obiano in the governorship seat, but the odds however seem to be favouring him as the victory of APC has weakened PDP in the state, just as APC which would have also wanted to dominate the assembly do not have very strong candidates to beat those of APGA and PDP.
So far, APGA is fielding strong and capable candidates for the 30 seats in the assembly, all of which have prospects of emerging victorious, but its major set back is the fact that PDP who are their major challengers have more than one candidates for each of the seats.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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