IN ANAMBRA, IT IS APGA, PDP, ACN, ACCORD
One state to watch in the April general elections is Anambra. Though the state will not have a governorship poll this year, the tension is high. The governorship election was held last year. The state would only have elections into the State and National Assemblies.
The PDP won the 1999 governorship election and majority of the seats in the state and National Assembly, but lost the governorship to the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA) in 2003. APGA won the governorship for a second time in February last year, but despite the loss, the PDP has majority of the state and federal legislators, currently.
Though presently governed by APGA governor, no party can claim to be in control of the state. Like the slogan of the state: 'home for all', Anambra can actually be said to be home to all the leading political parties in the state.
The dominant parties include Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), APGA , Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the African Democratic Congress(ADC). Besides, ADC, each of these parties has internal issues, which might count against them in the April elections.
The PDP is the biggest party in the state, but intractable leadership crisis in the chapter has taken a big toll on it. In the past, getting a PDP nomination was tantamount to winning the main election. But things are very much different today. As a build-up to the general elections, the party had a very rancorous primary that has deepened the feud, resulting in many of its prominent members decamping to opposition political parties to pursue their ambitions.
The ACN is perceived as a Yoruba party weaved around the person of the former governor, Chris Ngige. The only thing ACN has going for it in the April polls, is the personality of Ngige. The former governor who has a cult-like following after his 34 months stint as the state chief executive is the party's senatorial candidate for Anambra Central. But the Ngige factor is not sufficient to win majority of the seats at stake for the ACN.
ADC National Chairman, Chief Ralph Okey Nwosu, is optimistic his party would have an impressive outing in the April election. He believes that with the internal issues plaguing the other parties, the electorate would have no problem voting for the ADC for the seats in the state Assembly and House of Representatives.
The main party to watch in the elections is APGA. Apart from being the party of Governor Peter Obi, it is the major beneficiary of the crisis in the PDP. Many aggrieved members of the ruling party have found a ready home in APGA. Today, the party has within its fold, some of the PDP 'bad' boys who once made things happen for their former party.
Besides the strength of the parties, one factor that would come into play in next month's election is the personality of the contestants. One zone where the stature of contestants would be the single factor is in Anambra Central. The contestants in the zone are former Information Minister, Professor Dora Akunyili (APGA), Ngige( ACN) and the incumbent senator representing the area in the Senate, Annie Okonkwo (Accord Party).
Okonkwo, a former member of the PDP who left the ruling party because of the nomination crisis in the party stated recently in an interview with Daily Sun, that the people would be voting for parties but individuals. He said the masses know those who best represent their interest irrespective of the party where the individual belongs. ' As it is today, Nigerians are going to vote for personality, not party, because gone are the days when political parties are deciding factors of election victory.
All said and done, one thing that cannot be ruled out in Anambra in next month's election is surprise.