By Chioma Gabriel
After the presidential and national assembly elections where Igbos were drawn into a big question in Lagos, Igbos elsewhere were like, please be very careful in this governorship election, if you must vote , just do so and go home; don’t expose yourself to any danger. And if you must cover this election, please do so with wisdom, don’t go to places like Okota or Oshodi. I was like, ah, one must have to relocate to the moon if one must not pass through Okota especially if you are living around the area and must pass through Ago Palace Way every day. The way people especially your kinsmen and friends were feeling about it in other parts of Nigeria, especially in the southeast,it was as if some demons were slaughtering Igbos in Lagos. You have to keep explaining over and over that things were not really as they were being hyped. Social media blew so much out of proportion and created the fear that Lagos or some other places are no longer safe which is not true.
Lagos dey kampe. No shaking. Igbos are safe in Lagos indeed.
Thank God, the elections have come and gone. What happened had happened and life has gone back to normal. Nobody talks about who owns Lagos anymore.
What many of us in Lagos are really worried about is the outcome of elections in the south east and south-south.
I’m from Anambra where it seems the ruling party in the state; the All Progressive Grand Alliance appeared to be losing hold after a poor outing in the last presidential and national assembly elections. The party could not win a single seat in the senate to the extent that the former national chairman, Chief Victor Umeh lost Anambra Central to Iyom Uche Ekwunife of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. APGA felt so humiliated that it started demanding the removal of the national chairman, Victor Oye because of the poor performance. Aggrieved members of the party blamed the poor performance on the rancorous primaries the party had before the election and felt the party will die in the hands of Victor Oye.
But APGA succeeded in reclaiming 24 seats in the state assembly elections. That means it would be difficult to impeach Obiano.
Imo State with about 73 governorship candidates was also a cause for concern especially with the strong men of Owerri politics in the race: Okorocha’s son-in-law, Uche Nwosu of Action Alliance, AA, whom the governor wants to watch over his back after his tenure; the All Progressives, APC, guber candidate in the state, Senator Hope Uzodinma who battled it with the governor over his son-in-law; and the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP whose party performed very well during the presidential and national assembly elections. He repeated the feat in the governorship election.
As they say, it is all history now. Ihedioha of the PDP soared to victory.
But we know that is not the end. Uche Nwosu is claiming that he won. Hope Uzodinma is claiming same. Everything will likely end up in the tribunal and the courts if they have any evidence to back up their claims.
What happened with Okorocha was indeed pathetic. He was denied a certificate of return at the presentation ceremony and he was not finding it funny. Only God knows when his issue with Oshiomhole will end.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State never had a serious contender. He had most of the political heavy-weights in the State supporting him: heavyweights like Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremdu; former Governors Nnamani, Chime, Jim Nwobodo and 70 other political opponents endorsed him as their guber candidate. So, one can say that Ugwuanyi got his second term on a platter of gold.
Of course, there was the APC candidate, Ayogu Eze whose candidacy was initially challenged in the courts. He recently got cleared by the court but could not go far under the circumstances.
Governor Umahi of Ebonyi State has been accused of being an APC apologist though he belongs to the PDP but at the presidential election, he delivered Ebonyi to the PDP and got his second term and with allegation that he would soon decamp to APC.
In Abia, the governor, Okezie Ikpeazu had scores to settle with the Abia candidate, Otti and the APC candidate Uche Ogah which stemmed from the 2015 elections. Both Ogah and Otti had challenged Ikpeazu’s election. They were familiar demons and he faced them again and won them.
But did you notice something at the ceremony where certificates of return were issued? Orji Kalu, senator-elect, Enyinnaya Abaribe, his former deputy and Theodore Orji, his successor came face–to face and exchanged banters. Abaribe and Theodore Orji and both senators already and got another term. Orji Kalu is set to join them in the Senate.
They didn’t continue the fight. They joked and laughed.
I always told Nigerian voters; don’t ever carry their issues on your head. The politicians will always overwhelm you.