By Pat Onukwuli
The November 6, 2021, governorship election in Anambra state does not require the services of a seer to tell where victory will swing. Already events leading up to the election show that the All Progressives Congress (APC) holds all the aces. The party’s chances of success are furthered by the gale of defections witnessed recently in the state and the way the electorate is pulling for the party’s candidate at every turn. Apart from the defections, the party is moving into the election as one united family, a privilege that is not common among the other parties.
I had written in my previous articles that the victory of the APC in the election will be determined by a number of factors. The politician in Senator Andy Uba and his running mate Barrister Emeka Okafor is also another great factor that will help swing the pendulum of victory to the party. Sadly, many are likely to dismiss the party as unpopular in the state. But truth is that the joke is on the detractors who are themselves out of touch with the reality on ground. The party has in the last couple of months gained the kind of acceptance neither the PDP nor APGA, at the peak of their glory in the state, could muster. The number of defectors to the APC and promises of support during the election are enough to make the complacent of heart to go to bed.
While the APC is busy campaigning on issues the other parties are comfortable peddling unfounded rumour. Thankfully, none of the rumour being peddled has diminished the party’s prospects in the coming election. Like a moving train, the APC has continued with purposeful campaign, reaching out to politicians, stakeholders and the people on what it intends to do when elected into government. As it stands the party has continued to move from strength to strength and attracts more members into its fold.
The candidacy of Senator Uba also plays a lot of roles in the progress the party is making. Although the victory of a candidate in an election is the effort of his party, but the exertions of Uba should not go unnoticed. He may not be blessed with the garrulity of an average politician, but he is possessed of uncommon strategy that is set to impact positively on the fortunes of the party. It is not difficult to see that the idea behind peddling certain rumour about the election is a clever way the opposition parties want to excuse their inadequacies. It is not hard to know that while they are distracting themselves, Uba is reaching out to the people in their numbers. He is about the only candidate who is touching base with almost everybody, including assumed political enemies. He makes concessions where necessary and has successfully reduced bickering in the party.
He understands very much the burden of dislodging an incumbent party from power. He also knows that only the APC out of the three frontline campaigners (APC, APGA, PDP), is yet to govern the state and works hard to achieve it. He appreciates what damage concerted propaganda has done the party. Thus,
he gradually drives a wedge between the people and the demagogues who are exploiting their prejudices. Until now the APC was perceived as a party that is totally opposed to the interest of the people of Anambra state. And the opposition parties are working hard to sustain the false claim.
I did write earlier that Uba has the reach, contact, and passion necessary to fight an election as tough as Anambra governorship and win. I am yet to be convinced otherwise. He may be reticent, even shy of verbose pontification of an average politician, but he has the passion and energy that can withstand and outvote any strong candidate in the coming election. The APC has a good chance of wresting power from the incumbent party on November 6. By a twist of fate, by March of 2022, the APGA government would have been sixteen years in the state. The same number of years the PDP held office at the centre before losing it. This scenario is often possible because of complacency of most parties in government. The tendency to take things for granted has become the sin of many, including the APGA government in the state. No party has become popular which does not risk losing an election if it fails to manage its popularity. Whatever membership a party commands is a function of how well it treats everybody that makes it up. What the APC has going for it in the coming election is cohesion. It is about the only major party in the election that is less distracted by intra party wrangling.
It can be said that Uba’s emergence as the party’s flagbearer is apt because he had traveled the governorship route previously and can tell where the bumps are. Apart from that, he has built enough relationship within and outside the state that will guarantee the party victory and keep it inviolate afterwards. Uba has experience in terms of party election. He has been a governor once and a senator twice. He has been a top aide in the presidency. None of the experiences he acquired in the course of serving in all the offices will be lost during the election and after.
One of the lies told by his detractors is that Uba did not sponsor a bill as a senator. Truth is that he sponsored many and as he is accustomed to doing was silent about them. Some of these bills include the National Road Fund Bill, the New Agricultural Credit Guaranteed Scheme of 2015, New Federal Consumer Protection Bill and the New Income Tax Amendment Act of 2015 among others. But because of his quiet mien and the tendency to work outside camera lights, only very few people knew about it. His idea of working behind the camera may not have worked well for his politics, but it does not in any way detract from his passion to make honest contribution to the progress of Anambra state when elected. This is the time for him to return to the task he assumed sometimes in 2007, but could not settle down to give it his fair shot. The state will see a lot of progress under the leadership of Uba and Okafor.
Dr. Onukwuli writes from Bolton, UK, via patonukwuli2003 @yahoo.co.uk