Anambra election

By Vincent Egunyanga

Baring any last minute change occasioned by the supplementary election coming up on Tuesday in Ihiala local government Area, it can be conveniently concluded that Professor  Charles Chukwuma Soludo  has won the governorship election in Anambra state.

According to the 1999  constitution of Nigeria as amended  to be a governor of a state the candidate must have at least one third  of the votes casts in at least two third of the number of Local government Areas of the state.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance ( APGA) candidate  Chukwuma Soludo  already won in 15 local government Areas.  He needed just 14 local governments.

While waiting for the final results and eventual winner from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  we say congratulations to the people of Anambra state for a successful election.

More importantly,  however, the Anambra  election   will continue to be discussed by political  pundits and analysts in the days and weeks ahead as we await for the Ekiti governorship election next year and the general election in 2023.

As to whether the elections was  credible, free and fair depends on the standard one want to set for himself.  But as for  whether the outcome reflects the wishes of the Anambra people, the answer is  YES.  The  reason is that any  winner  outside the All  Progressives Congress ( APC)  is  okay for the people of Anambra state and by extension the South East.

How did APGA win the election.  It is important to note that it is in the interest of APGA that the election must be conducted with the party going into the election as incumbent.  It would have been disastrous for them to have to postponed   the election for whatever reason as that would mean going into the election as opposition.  Because  whatever happened the governor Willy Obianor  must vacate government house by March next year.

There was a massive deployment of resources in this election.  Massive vote buying by both the APGA and the APC.  APGA was said to have paid as much as ten thousand naira in some places to get the peoples vote.   APC also paid money but  INEC knew better that it would be disastrous for them to have declared Andy Uba the candidate of APC as the winner.

The  Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP)  on the other hand was not involved in vote buying.  The Media and other Civil Society Organisations could investigate this.  The  candidate of the PDP VAL  Ozigbo was purely on his own.  No  support from the governors on the platform of the party  and the Leader of the party in the state Peter Obi  was never in the habit of using money to buy votes.

A  lot of PDP supporters in Anambra state are already calling on him to quit the party or drop his Presidential Ambition for 2023.  There is no way any body will be successful politically in Nigeria today without vote buying.  He has no excuse whatsoever  not to spend money.   The  Pandora papers  expose  has revealed that he is a very  rich man.

Most of the political bigwigs in Anambra state  like  Chief Ben Obi,  Josephine Anenih  etc  are in PDP  but they don’t  vote.  It’s the youths that vote.  These youths need money  to survive.

It is no longer tenable to claim that if you collect money to vote for a political party  you have sold your rights and the party will not perform if finally elected. That is no longer true in Nigeria of today.  I  remember the last governorship election in Ekiti state in 2018.  The  APC spent a lot of money to buy votes to win that election.  I remember the slogan  ‘e dibo, e sebe’   meaning ‘vote and cook soup.  Kayode Fayemi of  APC  eventually won that election and you can’t tell me he is not performing.

The political class has made Nigerians poorer and the only way to show their displeasure is to ask them for money in exchange for votes.   No more deceit.

Infact  that was one of the things that affected the PDP in the 2015 Presidential elections.  The South East where the PDP expected the huge chunk of its votes returned  low turn out. They were not mobilized.  Most of the people that collected money to mobilize the people pocketed the money.  Olisa Metu  is still in court.

So  henceforth if you must need votes  from the South East and South South  in future elections be prepared to buy votes.    That  is why the APC  will continue to win elections in Lagos state.  Most the PDP leaders in Lagos state like Chief Bode George,  Jimmy Agbaje etc  are very stingy people and they want to take over Lagos from Bola Ahmed Tinubu  who is reputed to be very generous in vote buying  and bullion van  democracy.  Its  not possible.

Still on Anambra governorship election,  how was the outcome of the election a victory for Buhari.   It must be noted that there are two or three factions of  APC  in Nigeria.  This is unknown to many people.  Buhari is still holding tight to his  Congress of Progressive Change (CPC)  group  while Bola Tinubu  is holding onto his ACN .

The  ACN  produced Andy Uba as the candidate of the  APC.   But the leader of the APC in Anambra state  Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour,  is against his  candidacy.  This is because  the Uba  family  kidnapped him when he was governor  and made him lose his governorship position  to Peter Obi.  Over his dead body to allow any member of that family to rule Anambra state.  So  his faction of APC  was able to assure President Muhammadu Buhari  of the support of Anambra  people  if Chukwuma Soludo of APGA  won the  election  as against allowing PDP  to win.  Don’t  also forget that Prof.  Soludo is one of the Economic Advisers to President Buhari.

The  same reason was used to secure Willy Obianor reelection in  2017.   A  faction of APC  produced Tony Nwoye as the candidate of the party.  Tony Nwoye  as the President of the National Association of Nigerian students (NANS)  then used students  to kidnap  Ngige when he was the governor.  Tony Nwoye worked with the Ubas then.

Ngige  was able to assure Buhari that if Obianor won his re election he will work for his re election too in 2019.  Buhari  secured more than  25 percent  of the votes in Anambra state  in 2019 despite the fact that Peter Obi the Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP is from the state.

 

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