t is always darkest before dawn and indications in Anambra portray a sense of uneasy calm. All the gubernatorial primaries or at least all the consequential ones have now taken place with resolutions except for the PDP, which honestly did not surprise me. In fact, I had predicted in my two earlier articles on Anambra State that the PDP in Anambra would never come together. My prediction was not borne out of anything against PDP, but I knew that the divisions were too deep and egos and big dreams so divergent for any meaningful compromise to take place. As things stand now Senator Andy Uba has the ticket for one faction of PDP and Tony Nwoye is holding the ticket for another faction of the same party.
Tony Nwoye's faction is recognized by the PDP national headquarters while Andy Uba's faction is recognized by INEC and two renegade Courts in Port Harcourt and Abuja. The essential question now is whether INEC and the Courts can force PDP to substitute Nwoye's name for Uba. It seems to me that this may not happen as it appears that the national PDP is determined to have its way on this matter. My prediction is that PDP may in the end forgo the governorship seat at Awka rather than field Andy Uba's name. Not even the Courts can compel a political party to field in a candidate in any election, and the PDP had demonstrated this before by failing to field in a governorship candidate in Imo State in 2007. Could the situation be different in Anambra if the PDP did not get their wish of Nwoye as candidate, I doubt it.
Ironically, the PDP benefited from their division during the 2011 Senatorial elections in Anambra. There were two factions that presented candidates for the Anambra South Senatorial election; Andy Uba claimed that he was the rightful candidate and urged all his followers to go out and vote for him. Ukachukwu was another PDP candidate for the same seat, and he equally urged all his followers to go out and vote for him, claiming to be the rightful candidate. As a result all the PDP factions came out and voted until the Court decided after the election that Andy Uba was the rightful candidate. This was possible because in Senatorial elections only the party name shows up on the ticket and not the individual candidate.
The same thing was repeated in Anambra North Senatorial zone where PDP presented three different candidates from three different factions. Mrs. Okadigbo, Senator Igbeke, and Prince Emeka, each campaigned vigorously claiming the ticket and urged their supporters to go out and vote for them until long after the election when the Supreme Court finally declared Mrs. Okadigbo the rightful winner. Unfortunately for the PDP, a gubernatorial election requires the name of the candidate on the ticket so there can be no doubling down this time. And if the party decides to go with Nwoye's name they can be sure to lose most of Uba's supporters. Should they chose or be compelled by the Courts to field Uba's name they would equally lose a significant nember of Nwoye's supporters. The bottom line is that the PDP in Anambra is effectively out of running for the Anambra governorship seat. It is a pity because this is a self inflicted loss to the PDP.
I know that there are so many candidates running for this office under several political parties, but for the sake of this article I would limit my discussion to those with realistic chances. With PDP out of the picture the fight now is between Senator Ngige under APC and Willy Obiano of APGA. To a less extent Ifeanyi Uba under the Labour party deserves mention as the third realm, but I just cannot see any partway to Anambra governorship for him in this current cycle. Ironically I stated in my last two articles on Anambra that APGA is not a factor in this forthcoming race, though I went on to say that they could become a major force if they reunite into one APGA and hold local government elections before the gubernatorial election. APGA has now reunited under a shotgun wedding in an expensive marriage of convenience paid for by Governor Peter Obi, while the bride, Victor Umeh, previously broke by his own statements, and is now smiling all the way to Fidelity bank.
Here is my take on the Anambra governorship election scheduled for November 16th. If this election is to hold free and fair and all votes counted and declared correctly, Ngige would win the election. Incidentally, I have not met any elite from Anambra State who believes that Ngige can win this election. Ngige is apparently very unpopular among the Anambra elites. Luckily for me I don't take my cues from these big boys who usually don't vote, and would be in their opulent Abuja, Lagos, or Enugu homes on the day of the election. If I want to know what is happening in Anambra politics I'd simply stop by Eke Awka market or any other major market in Anambra to hear directly from the real voters. The only question and it is a big question is whether the collation and declaration would be trusted. If you are wondering why such question; well, it is true that Ngige beat Dora Akunyili for the Senate, but if not for one Mr. Anene of INEC that rejected all offers Dora would be sitting in the Senate today. So let us not think that with Jega at the helms everything is perfect, far from it.
Willy Obiano of APGA is indeed not really a factor in all these. This election in a way is between Governor Peter Obi and Senator Chris Ngige. The question is how much Peter Obi wants to win this election. Obi had gone head to head against Ngige in 2010 and won albeit with a diminished number of votes compared to what he scored back in 2003. And Obi was also less popular in 2010 than he is today. I usually don't like to bet against Obi because he seemed to have proven everybody wrong in just about all aspects of his life. I remember when most people believed that Fidelity bank would not survive the recapitalization exercise, that the best Obi can hope for is to be bought out by one of the bigger banks, but he raised all the necessary capital and not only survived but thriving. His life story is filled with so many insurmountable odds that he apparently overcame including his victory at the courts after 3 years to claim his mandate, coming back from impeachment, and his 2010 reelection.
But Obi lacks the ability to transfer his magic touch to other people's victories, hence the likes of Akunyili, Emodi, and Nzeribe, who have all been heavily backed by Obi in their Senatorial elections and all lost. But this time it is different. Peter Obi's legacy in Anambra State is on the line. If he succeeds in installing Obiano, his legacy is all but assured, and for this singular reason he must see a deeper sense of obligation in this election unlike in any other before now. Peter Obi is first and foremost a business man; Obiano replaced him as the Executive Director at Fidelity and protected his interests, no wonder he has sacrificed all others now to make him the chosen son who would undoubtedly protect all his leftover business interests in Anambra State. For these reasons I can see Obi going all the way. He has already doled out several billions in the past few months to pacify all sections from chiefs to just about every community. The bottom line is that if Obi really wants this that badly, it is doable, but it would cost a whole lot more than he has spent to date and some. Will Ngige and Tinumbu fold their hands and watch all these happen, your guess is as good as mine but hang on to your seats for this forthcoming ride in Anambra may well prove to be the best thriller yet.