It is gladdening that Governor Willie Obiano has finally emerged the APGA candidate for the November 18, 2017 Anambra State gubernatorial poll,
despite the antics of some political gladiators. The joy is that the working Willie was nominated in a transparent, peaceful and orderly primary.
According to a script from the Nigerian political theatre of the absurd, Obiano was to suffer the ultimate humiliation of being the first Governor and Chairman, Board of Trustees of his party unable to secure re-nomination for a second term in office. His fate would not emanate from a test of popularity but a magisterial fancy of neo fascists, still smarting from their failure to assume veto power in the present dispensation.
There was only one dark route to executing the repulsive scheme. By most credible accounts, Obiano’s three and half years in office has witnessed phenomenal development of Anambra State. Security and stability opened the door to influx of investors, leading to the present ranking of the state’s economy as the fourth largest in the country.
The President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia-Nwodo, at a special session of the Anambra House of Assembly recently, testified that today, Anambra has the lowest poverty index, the highest growth rate of manufacturing outfits and the highest growth of import substitute endeavours in rice and vegetable production in Nigeria. He confirmed that Anambra is the state with the lowest loan exposure in Nigeria, with the capacity to meet its monthly obligation to workers in time, adding that Anambra and Lagos are the only states involved in the building of new cities planned to meet the standard of any modern city in the world.
The conspirators thought that their ambush on the party leadership would leave Obiano’s cart rudderless and put him at the mercy of the successor authority. And, if there was any doubt about the intentions of the puppet administration to be foisted on APGA, it was erased by the desperate attempts to produce another governorship candidate, despite court orders.
However, mindful of the enormous responsibility thrust on his shoulders at this historical juncture of APGA’s journey, Governor Willie Obiano had taken on these challenges from complementary approaches. With Obiano holding out a huge promise in leadership and creative governance, he moved to galvanize APGA in pursuit of the Nigerian project. Nor can it be forgotten that it was an APGA policy in the interest of equity to zone the governorship to Anambra North Senatorial zone where Obiano hails from.
There can be no gainsaying the fact that APGA suffered neglect in the past. Governor Obiano has been mindful not to abandon the party faithful that helped him come to power. It is not necessary to alienate party supporters from the system just to prove that government is a serious business. By rallying members of the party and giving them a sense of belonging, Obiano has struck the fine balance to hold government and party together.
On the strength of this new cohesion in the party, Governor Willie Obiano further rose to the occasion by widening the territorial spread of the party’s presence in the country. APGA’s current marketability is to be seen in not just the fact of having governorship candidates in Zamfara, Oyo, Nassarawa and Lagos states in the 2015 elections for the first time but also in the impressive quality of the candidates.
The quest to take APGA to the front row of the fourth republic’s political parties was perhaps best illustrated in the narrow and controversial loss of the Abia State Governorship by APGA’s Alex Otti. Indeed, Obiano made one of the most powerful political statements in the country in 2015 with the defection of 21 former PDP House of Assembly members to APGA.
With APGA members strongly mobilized around this vision and the party assuming the force of a vehicle of social reconstruction, it was a mission impossible for the usurpers. And with Ndi Anambra savouring the leap in their fortunes under Obiano, the return of the working Willie as APGA candidate for the November 18, 2017 governorship poll was a passionate prayer answered.