DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, BABCOCK UNIVERSITY
As the 2021 Anambra gubernatorial election draws closer, there are still doubts in certain quarters as to the that the certainty of election holding.
Mr Azuka Onwuka a columist in Thehe Punch newspaper states his fears for Nov 6 gubernatorial election when he quoted the position of IPOB on what could happen between Nov 4th and 5th in Anambra state.The separatist agitation group was quoted to have said: “For the sake of clarity, what was said was that the entire Biafra land would be locked down from November 4 to November 10, 2021 if by November 4 the Federal Government fails to release IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally”.
According to the columnist, the implication of the order is that,there may be low voters turnout in the November 6 election.
On the same Tuesday, The Igbo Elders Consultative Forum, appealed to the government to “immediately demilitarize the South East and embarace dialogue in order to forestall any security threat to the November 6 gubernatorial election”. Other demands by the Igbo Elders Forum is that of the immediate release of the over 5000 youths arrested and detained in various parts of the country on the suspicion of having association with both IPOB and ESN. The Elders Forum concluded at the meeting that it is only in a secured and peaceful environment that any free, fair and credible election can hold including the November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra state.
Aside doubts and clouds of uncertainty about the election, the attention here is to assume the election will hold and that a winner will emerge.
Presently there are not less than 21 political parties contesting the election in the state. However the winner that will emerge will be candidates of any of the four (4) political parties: APC’s Andy Uba, APGA’s Charles Soludo, PDP’s Valentine Ozigbo and YPP’s Ifeanyi Uba.
Serious observations revealed that PDP candidate may be out of the reckoning because of the poor management of the party’s primary election that led to the protracted litigations which eventually upturned the victory of the candidate that emerged from the primary and declared Valentine Ozigbo.This made the agrrived party members led by the intial party candidate decamped to APC.
Moreover, the party has been absent from the grassroot politics in Anambra state for a very long time. PDP is also lacking in incumbency advantage at both the state and/or federal levels which may further dim the chances of the party thethe election.
With the foregoing, PDP may not be a strong factor in the November 6 election.
From the above analysis, there are, therefore, only three candidates & parties that can be reckoned with in the election.
Out of these three parties APGA may stand a better chance, because, the party has proven to be a party to beat in Anambra for the past decade.
Consequent upon this incumbency advantage, the party has conveniently and assuredly spread it’s tentacles in all the local governments and communities of the state. On top of this, the parties seems to have a benefactor in the incumbent governor,who can assist it to win election.
The candidate of the APGA, Charles Soludo may be an advantage to the party. Professor Charles Soludo’s wealth of experience may be an advantage to the party. Professor Charles Soludo is a potential president for Nigeria and if he emerges victorious in the Anambra election, it may be a stepping stone for the rumoured and predictions around certain corners about his ambition in the Nigerian polity.
Professor Soludo has some obstacles that could prevent him from being the next governor of Anambra state.
- He is not a grassroot politican. Rather he is an elitist who may not understand practical politics in order to become a governor.
- He is an economist, supposedly engineered & trained to be prudent and thus he may not understand the language of Nigeria politics as it is now,as politics as may involve a huge financial investment which professor Soludo may not believe in.
- The decapment of many party leaders from APGA is also a minus to the party in the election, the deputy governor of the state was one of those that left the party in recent time. Be that as it may, Soludo emergence as the Governor on November 6 as the Governor may not be a surprise.
The entrance of YPP may be a disadvantage for Soludo’s aspiration.YPP will clear all the votes for Ifeanyi Uba and may make it difficult for Soludo to emerge on the first ballot.Ifenyi Ubah too may not find it difficult to emerge on the first ballot.
The candidate of YPP, Ifeanyi Ubah may therefore spring a surprise even though the party centers around its governorship candidate who is a current sitting senator from the state. Some factors stand at his advantage and these include being a grassroot, wealthy and practical politician, his winning the election in face of the poverty in the land may not surprise anyone. His philanthropist nature will be to his advantage.
This may be payback time for him, also his sympathy and open identification with IPOB may be to his advantage too, though this may seriously work against him.T
he IPOB members if truly believe in him will protect his electoral domain and give him an advantage over other candidates in the state.
Though in a civilized clime electorate are expected to queue behind professor Soludo in an election of this form but preference will be given to Ifeanyi Uba in our own clime. It may take time in Nigeria for people with ideas and knowledge of both politics and economics to win election. Unfortunately, people prefer to go for the money bags.
The candidate of APC is the man to watch on November 6 in Anambra state election, even though there have arguments and counter argument about the popularity of APC in the South East, however,recent developments point to the fact that in the first instance, the party manages it’s primaries well as it did not degenerate into crisis.
Andy Uba has being a candidate from the beginning and this stability may work for the party on Saturday. The recent decapment into APC is a fact that APC is becoming more popular, if this is well managed APC might emerge victorious on November 6. The party also enjoys incumbency factor at the center. Apart from the Minster of Labour and Productivity Dr Chris Ngige, there have been several federal appointments into several agencies and commissions for Anambra indegenes in particular and the Southeast generally. This appointees will certainly not be sleeping at this critical hour.
Also, Andy Uba has governed the state under controversial circumstances,this may equally work to his advantage.
Since in politics like any other matter involving human beings is not predictable, it may be difficult to write off APC on Saturday. The most possible development on Saturday election is that none of the party will be able to meet the constitutional provision stipulated in section 179(1)(b) which provides that he/she must have one quarter of the vote cast in at least two third of the 21 local governments present in the state. In case this happens, there will be a run off between the two leading candidates in this election.
I foresee a runoff between APGA and APC candidates Better still, the runoff maybe between APGA and YPP.
As it stands today, the race is between APGA and APC. However, in case of any runoff between APGA and APC, the winner may too close to call. A lot of factors will come to play.