OPINION: THE IMPLICATION OF APC’S IMO STATE VICTORY FOR ANAMBRA STATE

The new brand of politics emerging from the ugly developments ongoing in the country, for the past five years, is such that requires everyone to return to their own corner of the country and guide it jealously. That is why there is a reasonable concern in some quarters because the apocalypse, having ravished Imo State, is just next door. Worse, the Anambra gubernatorial election is next year.

Historically, the state has been the forte of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA. At the moment even, Anambra remains under the grasp of the cock emblemed party, as almost all the twenty-one local government areas remain the footstool of the Ojukwu ordained party. Yet all is not well.

Firstly, it is Willie Obiano, the fashion designer governor whose two terms have striped APGA naked, leaving citizens to disregard the party and its humongous failings. Apart from sweltering incompetence, dilapidating roads, and upholding only the legacy of paying salary as at when due, the fun-loving governor has put a knife to the heart of the party’s philosophy.

APGA, rising from the ashes of the marginalization bias, rode on the back of the Nigerian discriminatory sentiment, hence instituting a principle of brotherhood where every man carries the brother along, even in disagreement. APGA and their faithful would say ‘Onye aghana nwanne ya’, urging that no man should abandon the brother as they all march to a common destiny. APGA, more than a mere party, was a creed, a belief, a symbol of a significant common purpose, even finding a spiritual connection with the people, summarized in the use of a ripe native fowl—a material used traditionally for atoning the gods and offsetting cultural practices—as the party’s logo.

But things have now fallen apart and nothing is the same. Although the imminent entry into obscurity awaiting APGA began before the maturity of Obiano’s nonchalance, with the Catholic-Anglican denominational power tussle tearing the structure apart, plus some other malfeasance, Obiano however, will be the ultimate undertaker of APGA. He has upset the backbone of the party, his betrayals forcing influential partymen into leaving, thereby weakening the party’s popularity and acceptability among the people.

Secondly, there is Ifeanyi Ubah, a victim of Willie Obiano’s betrayal and mindless treatment. But where Willie is the undertaker of APGA, Ifeanyi Ubah, even without his knowing or intending it, is the John the Baptist of APC and their very likely take over of Anambra. Defiled, disgraced and booted around despite his investment in APGA, Ifeanyi Ubah started from the scratch, forming the new Young Progressive Party, YPP, and with the power of personality, and of course, money, won the Anambra South Senatorial Zone.

The often smiling Senator, granted, is competent, working, benevolent and philanthropic. The Capital Oil owner and business mogul, even before becoming a senator, has long become a household name through a populist appeal and a proficient media and public relations. He also resurrected the moribund Gabros FC, baptized it Ifeanyi Ubah FC, took it to national notice and international recognition, signing a partnership with West Ham FC of the English Premier League, instituting a grassroots structure that will harvest stars – one family, one footballer. He often hosts star-packed and of year parties, conduct beauty pageantries that equally test the intellectual capacity of contestants, and empower unprivileged local talents, connecting them with established artistes. The list is endless.

But in the face of this brilliance and glitz, beneath his marvelous victory with an underdog political party both in the polls and at the judiciary, a sinister consequence lurks. Anambra will want the proven competence of Ifeanyi Ubah to enter the Government House in Awka, but on what platform will he run? APGA in their continued but visionless abracadabra may leave him out hanging and dry, forcing him to, again, find an alternative. While his underdog party pulled a magical surprise in his senatorial district, it lacks the substance and soul to convince on a state level. Hence, APC.

In the last election, APC came second ahead of PDP, a party whose candidate the widely loved former governor Peter Obi endorsed. The last gubernatorial election, in a tiny dusty village, Azigbo, under Nnewi South LGA, despite having their son, on the platform of APGA, as the representative of the local government in the state House of Assembly, APC, nonetheless, won in all the wards of the town.

All the evidence is there: Ubah’s outlier victory against APGA’s established dominance foreruns the coming apocalypse. APC, on the other hand, is unrelenting, spreading their tentacles across the country with the devotion and zeal of a monk. 2021 may yet seem far off, but the stage is set and the long determinant chain of cause and effect since begun. Anambra and APGA have lessons to learn from Imo, but will they? APC is evidently gaining ground in the state, coupled with their ferocious march that is leaving no state nor geo-political zone unturned—will they conquer Anambra too?

*** Written by Goodluck C. Okechukwu.