FOR the first time in the annals of governorship elections in the South East, the November 18, 2017, Anambra State poll was clearly and clinically won by diligent Dr. (Chief) Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano (Akpokuedike) . There was no protest of any sort from other candidates, monitors, observers, sundry stakeholders or the public. No post-election commentary or reportage recollected the second republic popular phraseology: landslide victory. This was more than a landslide—it was an unimaginable terrestrial success nomenclatural of a moon-slide.
Let us do some simulations and examine a few probabilities. Just before the last governorship election in Anambra State, I declared here, without any equivocation, that assiduous Willie Obiano was going to win the race based on self-explanatory antecedents and currency of transformative events in the landlocked state that is exclusively not indebted to its employ.
A few days to the poll, a harebrained reader of the article in reference sent me an SMS and said I did not marshal any point to justify my public avowal that Willie Obiano must win. The fellow affirmed that the only thing I succeeded in doing was to “attack” Dr. Tony Nwoye of the All Progressives Congress (APC). It is clear to me that this reader must have lost the conversation probably due to the hyperbolic grammaticality of my columns here and in THISDAY, The Saturday Newspaper.
As a sophomore in the University of Lagos, I learned that excellent products require little or no marketing as they sell themselves because of their premium quality. Apart from the reader above, there were other bovine interjections that questioned my authority for making such a supreme statement. Of course, most of them called me all manner of names, which I am used to on grounds of my usually controversial, but dispassionate, interventions.
If Obiano had lost, I would have been the first casualty! My credibility and almost four decades of cerebral journalism would have crashed like a pack of cards. With which face would I use to pontificate here and in the other media that I write for? I would have been the most devastated of all the stakeholders and the public—not “general public”! I had stuck out my neck and affirmed out of conviction that our subject’s election will be revalidated on grounds of his superlative performance in his first stanza. If most other governors who did abysmally in all ramifications could get a second term and end up in the Senate after their woeful governorship tenures, then I did not need an oracle to tell me that Working Willie had the affirmative potentialities to do a third term if it were constitutionally permissible. Until November 18, I had thought that votes did not count in our electoral process: somewhat I developed this attitude that polling results were predetermined by undemocratic forces who manipulated the people’s wishes through all forms of electoral fraud. For me now, this reelection is confirmatory of the fact that it is not in all cases that the people’s will could be thwarted. As this medium noted after the election, it was indeed “Hurricane Obiano” as he won even in oppositional strongholds. I hope that political scientists, historians and sociologists would brainstorm on this testamentary loftiness
Another fall-out of this victory rarity is that if Obiano had lost, it would have meant a return to the dark days that preceded the pyrrhic emergence of Dr. Chris Ngige as the governor of Anambra State—held hostage by dark elements who wanted to domesticate the fortunes of the state. It is heartwarming that there is now an irreversible consolidation of that lease of life for the state through the instrumentality of the people’s governor.
If Obiano had lost—tu fiakwa—I would have personally volte-faced on my earlier commendations on the copious transformative projects (completed and ongoing) in the state. I would have joined the tribe of chronic detractors and hypercritics in describing the gigantic reengineering of Anambra State as mere fluke, systemic deceit and pulling of the wool over the eyes of Ndi Anambra. Now, I can reaffirm that this particular governor has moved from the currency of achievements to futuristic foundations that will outlive this administration.
Another casualty that would have manifested had Obiano lost would have been this medium whose strong and unflinching support for Obiano’s mandate revalidation was unparalleled. It should henceforth be instructive for prospective aspirants and candidates to use The Sun titles in their electioneering as it guarantees an edge over any opposition. Our divine and professional template for campaigns is massive, with a large clientele of multifarious audiences. It is obvious now that with this medium, electoral victory is 99 per cent guaranteed.
If Obiano had lost, the greatest administration official that would have bit the dust most would have been my “estranged” friend, James Eze, the media arrowhead of the Obiano Wonder, who bombarded the public with a superfluity of information on the magical wands of his principal. James carried on as if his life depended on the victory of his boss. I have the feeling that if Obiano had lost, James would have relocated to his hamlet for the next decade! Kudos, chief! Of all the key players and followers of Obiano’s illuminative government, the community that would have been worst hit if he had lost would have been Ndi Anambra, who would have lost in him vision, passion for people’s uplift, commitment to development, social infrastructure advocacy, urban renewal and, above all, the only governor nationwide who does not default in salary and other statutory payments.
Overall, it would have been a great individual and collective tragedy if Obiano had lost. By extrapolation, too, democracy would have been vitiated somewhat in that extraneous forces would have had their way—and not the people’s mandate, as usually happens.
It is also laudable that President Muhammadu Buhari did not try to influence anything—which was possible if he so desired in the November 18 electoral spectacle. In the past, we have had cases where former presidents ensured that they overran any opposition and hijacked the state they selfishly wanted at all costs.
Obiano’s victory has thrown up an interminable clan of backers, all falling over one another in congratulatory satiety amid vainglorious avowals! I ask: where were all these people before the election? Why did they not put full-page advertorials highlighting the accomplishments of Obiano in his eventful first term and insisting on his return? What is this sudden solidarity all about? Where were these characters when the likes of Tony Onyima, C-Don, James Eze, Ikechukwu Amaechi, this columnist and a few other contributors stuck out their necks with emphatic assertions on the inevitable encore of Obiano? If Obiano had lost, most of those singing his praises now in anticipation of contracts and other deals would have been the first set of crucifiers of this same man! This, unfortunately, is the way we are.
As the historic governor noted shortly after his clean sweep of the entirety of Anambra State’s 21 councils, his instructive victory is for all. It is gratifying to underscore the fact that there was no dissenting voice in this well-deserved victory. What if, God forbid, Obiano had lost? It is better not imagined!
The implications would have been dire! To God I ascribe the glory! Akpokuedike, this mandate renewal demands more revolutionary service to the people—not tribes of political jobbers and sycophants. Once more, I wish you well.