THE resolution of the issue of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Anambra State has come to me and those of us who participated in the party’s primary election with great relief.
For almost three weeks after we had concluded the primary election, the matter of our party’s candidate was undecided. But we are greatly relieved that the permutations of those who want to derail the change that is coming to Anambra State did not succeed. The majority of us, about 50% of the delegates voted for Dr. Tony Nwoye, ahead of 11 other aspirants who together shared the remaining 50% of the votes. The scale of victory was reflective of the support and confidence the delegates had in Nwoye.
Knowing the hopes and expectations of some of the aspirants, especially Senator Andy Uba and the investments he and those like him sunk into the process, I was not totally surprised.
But we must now move on for the reason that the primary election was only a first step towards recovering our state from the hands of those who are currently impoverishing it.
While the issue of the candidate of our party was still under appeal, I began to grow in confidence that the choice we made in Nwoye was appropriate for a number of reasons.
The first reason was the sense of fear it brought into the camp of our rivals and notably in the camp of Chief Willie Obiano, the incumbent governor of the state.
Tony Again, I perceive the governor and his supporters would curse. Just about two and a half years ago, Obiano as governor of the state did every possible thing to stop Tony Nwoye from emerging as a member of the House of Representatives. The governor’s mission was logical; both of them come from the same Anambra East/West Federal Constituency. Tony Nwoye was doing the near impossible: to win an election in the home constituency of the governor.
It goes to drive home the popularity of Nwoye and as such the unpopularity of the governor that the governor with all the power of incumbency could not stop an opposition candidate from representing him in the House of Representatives.
It is a feat that is perhaps difficult to find in Nigeria. If Dr. Nwoye can defeat him at home, the fear in the camp of the governor outside his base where he is known to be even far less popular can only be imagined.
Thus, I was not surprised when I heard rumours of the involvement of the governor in the protraction of the crisis that followed the declaration of the results of the primary election.
A governor who has devoted much more time to ostentation with little to show for his efforts would understandably apply every Machiavellian tactic to divide the opposition.
Another reason that has justified my vote for Nwoye was the fact that we have a man who is able to tap into the energy of the youth population. Obiano has lost so much of the goodwill of the youths through his failure to address the multiple challenges facing that segment of the population. Instead of addressing the issues of cultism, unemployment and poor entrepreneurship drive among the youth population, the present administration has worsened the situation.
His record speaks contrary to that of Comrade Tony who has both a student union official and national president of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS led multiple campaigns against cultism in not just the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, but in several other institutions.
Another reason why Obiano is afraid of Nwoye is the incumbent governor’s realisation of the glorious representation Nwoye has given to the people of Anambra East/West since his inauguration as a member of the House of Representatives.
Whereas Governor Obiano has been criticised across the state for running a government that has focused infrastructure and empowerment to only a fraction of the state; and that only to his immediate kindred, Comrade Nwoye in his two years as member of the House of Representatives has demonstrated an inclusive representation that has made his stewardship flow to all parts of his constituency.
It is not for nothing that it is now said that Anambra East/West Federal Constituency is the envy of many people in the state who are not based there. Given the way those of us from outside Anambra East/West speak well of Dr. Nwoye, it is no surprise that such love and adoration would make the incumbent governor who has failed to meet our infrastructural and welfare needs quiver.
Comrade Nwoye’s sense of loyalty is another reason why Obiano is now afraid. Even at the height of deep provocation from his “boss” Senator Andy Uba, Dr. Nwoye did not for once speak out against him. He did not curse him, he did not lie against him, he did not denounce him. These attributes of loyalty and humility in Nwoye are what many have seen but are lacking in the present governor.
Even those who do not like Mr. Peter Obi know that Obiano has not treated him well.
It is against this background that I and many others who voted for Dr. Nwoye during our party’s primary election are happy that the National Working Committee, NWC stood on the path of truth and justice in upholding the results of the election as declared by the Governor Shettima led panel.
It has set an ominous shadow for Chief Obiano, for he has a tough challenger with a record of tangible and intangible advantages that inspire fear in the heart of a governor .
Hon. Chuba Oranusi is a former Chief Whip of the Anambra State House of Assembly.