• As Umahi Emerges ‘Star Of The East’
The sequence of occasions, particularly the motion of pivotal actors throughout political celebration divides, present that realignments are within the offing within the polity, particularly for Southeast. It’s too early within the day to find out who could be the place within the construct as much as the 2023 basic election cycle.
However for the Southeast geopolitical zone, the place one of many states could be heading to the polls later this yr, what occurs throughout the forthcoming Anambra State governorship ballot, in addition to how they form the result of the election would offer readable indicators of how the journey to 2023 could be.
At a time when state governors have been dominating the headlines over their defection from the principle opposition Peoples Democratic Social gathering (PDP) to the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), what occurred final Tuesday in Abuja, was each shocking and sudden.
She is in regards to the first Board of Trustee (BoT) member to cross over from PDP to APC. However the re-emergence of Senator Pleasure Emordi into the political row and eventual defection to APC, exhibits that both the governing celebration is working so laborious to enlarge its coast, or that one thing just like the 2013 fiasco was brewing within the former governing celebration, PDP.
Was Emordi’s migration knowledgeable by unfolding realities within the construct as much as the November 6, Anambra State governorship ballot? That is probably not so, as a result of because the golden lady of the Senate crosses over, in Enugu State, the ‘star boy of grassroots politics’, Chief Ugo Agballah, took the broom to flag-off his membership of APC.
There isn’t any strategy to study these current political developments with out pitching them in opposition to the background of Anambra governorship and the prediction by Ebonyi State governor, Chief David Nweze Umahi that Southeast will vote APC in 2023.
Between Ebonyi And Anambra
Not way back, there was a tiny rumble between the 2 Southeast states of Ebonyi and Anambra, following the choice of Anambra State authorities to vary a road title in Awka, the capital metropolis. Abakaliki Highway, Awka, gained recognition and acclaim as a result of myriad of golf equipment, leisure spots and social joints that dot the road.
The administration of Governor Willie Obiano determined to vary the title from Abakaliki to Membership Highway as, in response to it, a approach of reflecting its social standing as a ‘occurring place’. However, the flipside of the rationale that knowledgeable the title change was not misplaced on the folks of Ebonyi State, who threatened to reciprocate by altering the title of Awka.
On the finish of the day, wiser counsel prevailed and the established order was maintained. Previous to their creation, each states have been throughout the usual Anambra State with Enugu as capital. Whereas Anambra was created as a separate state in 1991, components of previous Enugu and Abia States have been introduced collectively as Ebonyi State in October 1, 1996.
Individuals from each states represent vital populations in Abakaliki and Afikpo, Ebonyi State and Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha in Anambra State. Given the numerous presence of voters in each states, politicians have been conscious of the attainable backlash from any untoward insurance policies or discriminatory pronouncements. Which will have knowledgeable the cessation of the emergent hostilities along with the proactive intervention of Ohanaeze Nd’Igbo.
Maybe, it’s in step with this sentiment that lots of people imagine that developments in Ebonyi State would impression on the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State. Which will additionally clarify why one of many main contenders for the governorship ticket of APC, Dr. George Moghalu, travelled to Uburu, the nation city of Governor Umahi to hunt his endorsement.
Other than being the Chairman of Southeast Governors’ Discussion board (SEGF), Umahi is accorded some measure respect within the zone owing to what many individuals, together with Ohanaeze, describe as his superlative efficiency as governor of Ebonyi State previously six years.
Inside his state and Anambra, even in all the Southeast, APC members imagine that the Ebonyi State governor is the celebration’s mascot for electoral triumph of the celebration within the zone. Some stakeholders declare that the identical approach the title of former Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, was being bandied about throughout the 2015 basic election by APC, the Southeast APC would wave Umahi’s achievements as proof of the celebration’s successful methods and accountable governance.
Though members of Peoples Democratic Social gathering (PDP) made efforts to current him as an ingrate after successful the governorship on two events, serving as deputy governor and state chairman of the celebration, Umahi disclosed that his private achievements pale into insignificance when in comparison with document of PDP’s gestures to Southeast.
It might be recalled that in November 2020, when he defected from PDP to APC, Governor Umahi pointed on the defects in PDP’s achievements as ruling celebration in Southeast and magnificence of opposition after shedding to APC as grounds for his determination.
The Ebonyi State governor defined that he moved over to APC to protest the grave injustice meted to Southeast by PDP, particularly given the quantum of help the celebration obtained from the zone since 1998. He regretted that regardless of the blind loyalty of the zone to PDP, the celebration doesn’t take into account the zone to run for the Presidency.
He additional asserted that his cross over to APC was to take Nd’Igbo again into the nationwide political centre, since in response to him, “the Southeast had at all times been in alliance with the north. That is what we’re preventing for and you have to be told,” he said.
Umahi regretted the resort to name-calling by the opposition, stressing that whereas in PDP he by no means permitted the fashion of bandying insults at President Muhammadu Buhari.
Talking final February when he visited Governor Muhammad Badaru in Jigawa State, the Ebonyi chief govt reiterated that “politics of bitterness and anger” made him stop PDP.
“My main drawback within the PDP was that I used to be anticipated to be castigating President Muhammadu Buhari. As governor, my solely boss is my spouse; and President Buhari is the general boss of all. If you happen to have been introduced up nicely, you’ll know that you just don’t need to insult an elder and your boss.
“The unity of Nigeria is essential. I urge the leaders of this nation to come back collectively and cease bitter politics. Cease bitterness and anger, allow us to cease sending provocative messages and feedback in attempting to drag down the ruling celebration.”
WILL the Southeast APC really apply the Umahi mannequin? The potent argument in political circles within the zone is that alliances, particularly wanted to actualise the ambition of Nd’Igbo to throw up a President for the nation.
Umahi’s demand for issues-based electioneering and observe document of efficiency might be successful APC new converts. That reality was superior by the current defection of a former member of PDP’s BoT, Senator Emordi
Talking shortly after she introduced herself to the chairman of APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Conference Planning Committee (CECPC), Governor Mai Mala Buni, Senator Emordi stated her conviction that “the way forward for a affluent and united Nigeria lies within the APC, with its honest management and real dedication to a united Nigeria.”
Responding, CECPC chairman, Buni, famous that the truth that the Federal Authorities is working for the Southeast is attracting extra PDP members to APC, stressing, “The South-east is a robust political block and really essential to the unity of the nation. This can, little question, add to nationwide cohesion.”
Buni’s assertions have been supported by the sudden crossover from PDP to APC by the 2003, 2007 Enugu State governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Accord Social gathering (AP), Chief Ugochukwu Agballah.
There was nothing to counsel that Agballah, who moved days earlier than the APC ward congress, was reacting to the disaster that ensued in PDP or as a part of the brand new pondering in Southeast that the way in which ahead for the zone is in APC as Governor Umahi predicted.
Having turn into the political pathfinder for the Southeast APC, how Umahi helps to propel voter preferences in Anambra governorship would give a sign of the character of the brand new realignment.
Though his most popular aspirant, Moghalu, didn’t make it to the end line for the governorship contest, sources disclosed that the Ebonyi State governor has aligned with the place of the nationwide management to area Senator Andy Uba because the APC commonplace bearer for the November 6, ballot.
It’s left to be seen how Governor Umahi’s exit from PDP would open the door for extra entrants to APC and remediation of the brief shrift he criticism in opposition to PDP. Ebonyi State chapter of APC believes that successful the Anambra State governorship would additional burnish the probabilities of their governor to select the 2023 Presidential ticket of the celebration.
The selection of Uba as APC candidate, regardless of complaints from Moghalu and others, was stated to be based mostly on two main concerns; capability to fund the governorship marketing campaign and must indemnify the previous Particular Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo on Home Issues, for his tangential lack of the governorship in 2007.
Uba was sacked as governor in 2007 after 17 days in workplace following Supreme Court docket’s ruling that the then Governor Peter Obi was but to spherical off his 4 years time period. Obi had after three years in courtroom reclaimed his mandate from Governor Chris Ngige, then of PDP in 2006.
Like Uba, Senator Emordi additionally suffered political misfortune, when Senator Alphonus Igbeke reduce her second time period mandate brief, by a controversial courtroom judgment that relied on a disputed safety report.
If APC continues with its programme of political indemnity as much as the 2023 election yr, particularly relating to the Presidential ticket, Governor Umahi should have earned his plaudits because the Star of the East.