have maintained rather consistently for over a year that Senator Chris Ngige would most likely emerge the winner of the forthcoming Anambra gubernatorial election if that election is free and fair. Indications, however, now show that many competing interests in this event may scheme Ngige out of this well-sort after price. There is no doubt that Ngige remains extremely popular among the actual voters in Anambra state, but at the same time very unpopular among virtually all the elites in the state. The essential question then, is whether the votes would be counted and collated in a hitch free manner and more especially whether the right results would be declared. Haven examined all the ingredients that make up for this upcoming thriller I am now inclined to believe that Ngige, in the end, may not be crowned after all.
Whatever the outcome, I'd first and foremost say that Ngige has himself to blame. Yes, the man is popular, but we all know that popularity alone never wins statewide elections. One needs some warriors and trusted allies to cover his back. From everything I have seen, Ngige seem to have alienated those that should be around him; his immediate relatives, close friends, and a few political heavy weights from within the state. (Please don't call me, I am not a politician. But you know who these people are) In a highly contested election such as Anambra governorship, it is not sufficient to just sit back and count on the people to come and vote for you, and deliver you so to speak. There is much more to these things, and as it stands today, Ngige lacks most of these necessities around him.
It is no secret that Ngige is a maverick, one who does not conform to expected norms, and who could wake up one morning and change his mind, completely. His recent political divorce with Senator Annie Okonkwo is just one such example. Here is a man who was forced to give up his own governorship ambition to stand behind Ngige, yet Ngige neglected the man to the point he simply quit the arrangement. Surely, Annie might have claimed publicly that he quit because Ngige cannot be trusted. Perhaps there might be some elements of truth to that, but that is not all. Some who claimed to be on the inside said that Annie quit because Ngige wants to cling on to both the Senate and Governorship seats. I did not believe this to be true; after all, if Ngige wins the governorship election, there is no way he can cling on to the Senate seat. It is possible that potential money sharing formula is at the root of their division. On September 20th I sat at the same table with Annie at Tabansi's burial in Nri, and asked directly, but got no clear answer. For now I'll stick to my belief that it's all about money.
Ngige's self destructive ways notwithstanding, it appears that there is a bigger consideration that may well ultimately cost him this much coveted crown. As we all know, 2015 is fast approaching and although President Jonathan has not publicly declared, indications are that he is very much in the race. Currently the PDP is tearing itself apart over this singular issue. For now Jonathan can surely count on the Southeast and the Southsouth. He cannot afford to take any chance with these very well assured enclaves, no wonder he was willing to throw the baby (Governor Amaechi) with the bath. Anything that encroaches in any state within the Southeast and Southsouth represents a serious threat to Jonathan's ambitions for 2015. These two zones, along with the Northcentral and a couple of states in the West are a must if Jonathan hopes for any re-election in 2015.
But most especially is the Southeast. President Jonathan, it seems to me, cannot afford to let go any state in the Southeast, especially to a major opponent like APC. I can assure you that decision have been made all the way in Abuja not to allow that to happen. The PDP in Anambra is in total disunity and engulfed in multiple litigations over the governorship ticket as I had predicted over a year ago. That given, Jonathan may well turn to a tried and trusted friend, Governor Peter Obi, albeit from another political party. On presidential elections, APGA is now seen as an extension of the PDP, as a result, GEJ may likely allow or rather aid Peter Obi to retain the Anambra seat for APGA. All these arrangements if true only spell doom for Ngige's ambition to return to the government house Awka.
But these things may not be as easy as they sound; we are, after all, no longer under Iwu's INEC where anything can happen. Some will argue that Jega is more vigilant and incorruptible; true that, but in Nigeria stuff still happen, perhaps with more alacrity than you can believe possible. Results of a well-collated election can be re-written and the wrong result declared. Jega cannot be at every place at every time, and if he is incorruptible the same cannot be said of every INEC official in Nigeria. There is just one other factor that some of those plotting anything sinister have forgotten to take into consideration. The ACN faction of APC has a long history and experience of monitoring voter malpractice dating back to the Awolowo days. I expect that Tinumbu and co will deploy all means to check on the fairness of the election and its outcome. Will all that be enough? I seriously doubt it.
Well, here is my take on this, If the president signs off on this, which I believe he has, then APGA would likely emerge as winners of the November 16th Anambra governorship election. I am equally certain, absolutely certain that this victory would not be won at the ballot boxes, but by any other means necessary. To allow APC to take over Anambra state would in the words of those close to the powers that be, be considered suicidal and unacceptable. As a consequence Ngige's ambitions would be sacrificed at the request of the Oga at the top and all the other Ogas at smaller tops. You have seen the headlines, now you have also heard the rest of the story. And my advice to Ngige, fight a good fight, but don't go to your tailors yet to be measured for your inaugural suite. Yes, you may be the most popular politician in Anambra, you may be the apparent Prince, but you may not wear the crown after all, and that is sad indeed for democracy.