BY CHARLES KUMOLU
CHief Amaechi Obidike, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) party Chairman in Anambra State speaks on the party’s readiness ahead of the 2014 gubernatorial election in the state.
What are the political currents in Anambra today?
We need to move away from years of constructing a 40 kilometer road from Nkpor to Amawbia in seven years and still have one end looking as if work never took place there.
We need to put behind us years of constructing a bridge to link the rural communities in Awka North for six years and leaving the road dusty so long after. We need to see Nnewi and most of Anambra South rise in terms of facilities from the 2005 levels.
We need not continue to be choked by the infrastructural level of Onitsha which has dropped below tolerable limits.
We are thinking of how the next government in Anambra State can avoid borrowing money from the Islamic Development Bank without informing the State House of Assembly or the people of Anambra State and blowing up the funds.
We hope to see less of a government that plays the showmanship with security issues, while the challenge still stares us in the face.
We are looking at a situation where functional Local government areas whose executive and legislature are elected and answerable to the people, who they will convince that they are using their money judiciously to do what they can see and feel.
Does your party believe in the agenda of Anambra North to produce the next governor of the state?
We are fully aware, because it is in the public domain that Governor Peter Obi in 2010 promised the good Anambra citizens in Anambra North that the next governor ofAnambraStatewould come from their area.
We in the ACN believe that every Anambra citizen including Anambra North senatorial zone can be the governor of the state, if he is competent and the people so affirm with their votes.
But beyond that, it is necessary at this point not to deny Gov. Obi his right to support Willie Obianyo from Aguleri, who is his co-director in Fidelity Bank Plc to be the next governor of Anambra if he chooses. He can campaign for Oseloka Obaze of Ogbaru, current secretary to the State Government, who was his school mate in Christ the King College Onitsha.
He can pray God that his former Secretary to the state government Chief Paul Odenigbo will get on the saddle.
He can even support the campaigns of Mrs Stella Oduah, who he backed to be appointed minister with Anambra slot, even as the wife of a Benin man, but he should not confuse his private pact with his anointed friends and associates with the aspiration of a geographical area in the state, because the greater number of Anambra citizens who hail from the Anambra North Senatorial District, many of whom are our party members have a different vision for the development of their area, which differ from drafting an Obi’s pal to succeed him.
Do you think the party is strong enough to withstand opposition from PDP & APGA?
I think the question should be reversed to say ’Is APGA or PDP able to withstand the ACN machinery in the state?’
Don’t forget that the 2010 governorship elections, in spite of the manipulations of the voter register was won on the ground by ACN.
The APGA candidate and current incumbent was already crying on television that the election was not free and fair because he noticed the voting pattern in the field, before he got together with elements in his party and some turncoats in the PDP to rewrite the results in an Awka Hotel.
Of course under Iwu’s INEC, they could get away with that. He stopped protesting when he was declared winner one way or another. The real result is known to many Anambra people already.
But in April 2011, during the National Assembly elections, the parameters had changed, with the result that no APGA senator comes from Anambra.
That is more like a reflection of the true situation on ground. And that has a lot to do with the procrastination in holding Local Government elections.
The PDP is in a messier situation having been under a spell of sorts since the crème of the party left with its soul to populate the ACN as foundation members. I do not need to remind you that the 2007 governorship election was rigged in favour of Andy Uba.
If there is one area we are sure the PDP will win the price, it is in having about 100 candidates, only five of which will be the real contenders.
The PDP has to resolve its over 400 court cases across four factions to challenge the close knit structures of the ACN in Anambra.