Anambra 2014: A case for Anambra North senatorial zone
AS the eight year tenure of Governor Peter Obi gradually winds down, political activities are slowly evolving in the flanks. Those itching to take over from him have started inching gingerly towards the political arena.
As a possible way of gaining some head start, a good number of them, apart from sponsoring publications in the newspapers and granting interviews, have upped the ante by visiting flood victims in the State with relief materials. Determining all those in the race for now is as difficult a task as telling with certainty who will win the race at the end of the day.
Besides, it is still a closet affair. But in no distant time, it is believed, the margins of acceptability will be crossed, and those in the race would be made public.
Regardless, it is tempting to presume upon a successor coming from Anambra north – a senatorial zone that has not produced a governor of the State since creation. This perception, even at the risk of spiteful condemnation, is premised upon two reasons. One is the justness of the idea.
Two is based on the promise of support by the incumbent Governor Obi who, despite antagonisms, insists it is only fair and equitable to do so. However pertinent this idea may be to sustaining political peace in the State, there are those who think it should be jettisoned.
One of such persons, even if he may not be from the State, is a one Martins Nwamadi. Writing on the back page of Daily Independent newspapers of 6th November 2012 he called the idea an insult on the intelligence of Anambra people.
According to him “neither the leaders nor the followers in Anambra State have set out as a body to adopt the principle of zoning in the distribution of political offices since the present Anambra State was created on August 27, 1991”. So why will a Governor Obi talk about zoning the office to Anambra north?
If he were that concerned, Nwamadi observed, why seek re-election in 2010 since his four years and Ngige’s three years adequately settled Anambra Central’s claim to the office?
Well said, but I think he got it wrong here. Apart from expressing personal opinion, Obi never talked of zoning the office.
What he said was that he will support any credible candidate from Anambra north zone, which in my view, is not a call to zoning. Zoning is worth more than that. Parroting the idea and using same to impugn an opinion as benign as this is unfortunate.
The writer thinks Mbadinuju’s non performance cost him re-election, but he fails to tell his readers what informed a choice of a successor coming from Anambra Central. Or was Anambra South, where Mbadinuju comes from, short on credible replacement at the time? It is not enough to ask what Obi’s beefs are or to make political capital out of an innocuous statement.
Obi has no beefs, what he has is a mind that seeks to redress noticeable lapses. Calling him undemocratic, clannish or pinning the APGA crisis on this are spurious claims. The APGA crisis is well beyond where the next candidate of the party comes from.
To think that Obi’s promise of support for a credible candidate from the zone will be misconstrued as a clever way of safe guarding his business interests in Onitsha is to say the least unfortunate.
“The governor resorted to cheap political propaganda to win the sympathy of Anambra north people, especially those from Onitsha who are aware of his investment portfolios in the commercial city”.
Curious! How much of an investment, for example, does Sabella Abidde, the Punch columnist from Bayelsa who writes from far away USA have in Igbo land that makes him advocate for an Igbo presidency, even more than Ndigbo.
I am sure he is not saying that his kith and kin with landed properties in the North would necessarily support an Hausa man against an Igbo man in the race to the presidency.
If the writer believes sincerely that Obi’s re-election was essentially about Ojukwu persona or that the State is primarily PDP’s one should expect him not to belabor the issue of where a successor will emerge.
Mr. EJIKE ANYADUBA a, a public affairs commentator, wrote from Abatete, Anambra State.