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Anambra Poll: This Race is Still about Obiano

By Obiora Aghadinuno
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Sometimes, truth breaks slowly like dawn; fingers of light poking through remnants of dark clouds in the morning skies to announce a new day. Truth has unveiled itself in the Anambra gubernatorial race. And what we see is clear as light. This race is still about Willie Obiano. Don’t get me wrong. I know that OsitaChidoka is young and colourful. His heavy beard and athletic build are a hit with the ladies. When he was FRSC boss, Chidoka seemed quite charismatic. But OsitaChidoka has no place in this race and worse still; no hope. He is from the wrong side of the political equation and in the wrong political party. So, for OsitaChidoka, the party is over long before the sound of music is heard.

Tony Nwoye has never represented hope for anyone but himself. Among the Anambra elites, Tony’s name carries an atmosphere of dread. His voice represents a spectre of violence; something foreboding and dark. Today, the Tony Nwoye personae has been made even darker by his being the candidate of the APC; a party that has just presided over the wanton slaying of unarmed Igbo youths in Abia State with its Dancing Python. Tony Nwoye’s membership of APC is akin to what Chinua Achebe would have called “a he-goat’s head falling into a he-goat bag.” There could possibly be no better party for Nwoye than a party that has had the impact of an incubus on Nigeria; pressing everyone down in a horrific nightmare. Perhaps, no one in living memory personifies the full meaning of an incubus like Nwoye. There is always a ring of anxiety around his person either as a leader of a marauding campus gang or as a political trigger-hand who led the mob to a wholesale destruction of the house he now seeks to occupy. Our people detest the sight of blood. Nwoye delights in the spilling of it. This is why no amount of money splashed by oil baron, Arthur Eze can save him. This is also why this race could never lead to aNwoye victory and the reason less time and space should be given to him in this analysis and the ones to come.

OselokaObaze came out screaming that he is a diplomat to the stars. We all agree with him. Oseloka writes poetry too. That’s fine. And though no one thinks highly of his verses, much was expected of him as someone who had worked in the UN for the better part of his career. Sadly, Obaze has become the victim of his own political naivety.And it is not only because he wilfully accepted to be a grudge candidate but also because he has allowed himself to be reduced into a whimpering puppy in the race. Obaze is seen but never heard. In tagging along his godfather like a faithful simpleton, Obaze is showing us the scenario that will play out if he wins. We can all see that he would simply become the messenger, not the message. Many people are still embarrassed that he made himself a pawn in the hands of a man whose interest in this race is revenge. So, the adrenalin behind Obaze’s race to the Governor’s Lodge is revenge; an effort to heal one man’s damaged pride with another’s downfall. But American clergyman Douglas Horton warns that “while seeking revenge, dig two graves – one for yourself.” From all indication, a yawning grave waits for Obaze’s gubernatorial dreams. Interment has been fixed for November 18.

The bitter truth therefore is that Willie Obiano has only himself to beat in this election. Obaze’s pitiful image and Nwoye’s cloudy personae leave Anambra with only one bright star – Obiano. No one in Anambra State can deny the feel good effect of his governance. Obiano’s impact has touched everyone; from civil servants to traders and from youths to pensioners, the mentally sick, the amputees and the blind. Obiano confidently bestraddle the chasm between oursociety’s many gulfs, restoring the people’s faith in the political leadership and presenting a rare hope for a brighter future. His impact has ricocheted across the landscape. There is now a growing sense of hope across the South East region as his fellow governors try to follow his example. That is probably why in Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State, governor Dave Umahi, a renowned engineer has replicated his own version of Obiano’s three flyovers. Similarly, across the Amanseariver,Obiano’s impact is also felt in no small measure. Governor IfeanyiUgwuanyi has also adopted Obiano’s N20m Choose-your-Project initiative for Ndi Enugu in a different manner. And perhaps in another encouraging imitation of his agricultural revolution, the two governors have also made agriculture a priority in their offerings to their people. This is one way of measuring impact.

In the end, OselokaObaze will go down on history’s wrong side as an intelligent man who acted unintelligently. And this is why. As an incumbent, Peter Obi asked the people to vote for his anointed candidate and they obeyed. It is easy to see why; he was leading both the government and the party. The people’s loyalty and admiration were with him. However, as an ex-governor thirsting for nothing but revenge and pushing a candidate from a party he once spat on, Obi’s efforts are bound to provoke revulsion from the people. OselokaObaze should have known this. That he doesn’t shows he is not good enough for the job!

And by the way; Nwoye does not deserve a mention here. Anambra will be Nigeria’s new nightmare if he wins!

Obiora Aghadinuno writes from Awka and can be reached on: [email protected]