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Anambra 2021 guber race: Contestants jostling for party flag

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By Jonathan Asikason

With Governor Obiano’s final term in office coming towards end, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will, in no distant time, roll out schedules for electoral activities that will culminate into the contest of the gubernatorial seat of Agu Awka.

Expectedly, the contest will be another clash of the titans as over 30 aspirants have already thrown their hats in the ring. From the winnowing that will follow party primaries to the intrigues of the main election, the state’s politically savvy electorates will have their say.

However, the leadership of major opposition political parties in the state, PDP and APC, have never hiden their intentions of breaking APGA’s 17-year hold on the state.

As a way of upping the ante, PDP, recently called upon its warring members in Anambra state to sheath their swords and throw their weight behind Hon. Ndubuisi Nwobu led State Working Committee, whose leadership was affirmed by the party’s national working committee.

Recall that PDP in Anambra state was known for factions and legal merry-go-rounds arising from usual leadership tussles, which the party always point to as the primary reason behind its electoral loses in the state. In the last two outings, it was the case of Emeakanyi versus Oguebego’s camps. While other political parties went to poll with one flag bearer, PDP appeared with two.

While speaking at the opening ceremony of PDP South East Youth Summit last year, the zonal caretaker chairman of the party, Chief Ali Odefa, said: “We will demonstrate that south east is PDP by taking Anambra in 2021. See the number of national assembly members we have in Anambra; how come we are unable to win the governorship seat? That is the mathematics we will solve very soon.”

Approbating the above, the former governor of the state and former vice-presidential candidate of the party, Mr. Peter Obi, noted that “it is a general belief that Anambra is a PDP state; but if we do not win the governorship, then, we have lost out. We have been saying this for many years; but the potential is nothing until it is realised. And we must realise it this time around.”

Similarly, APC state caretaker committee chairman, Basil Ejidike, has hinted on his party’s readiness and preparedness in producing the next governor of the state. Speaking recently in Awka, Mr Ejidike maintained that “APC will take over Anambra come 2021.”

One of the governorship aspirants of the party in the state, Mr Johnbosco Onunkwo, noted: “APC is coming in to give digital leadership. APGA has tried, but there are areas where they didn’t do well. There are areas that need improvement.”

However, APGA remains resolute in maintaining its control of the state.  Unarguably, the party maintains a formidable structure in the state, and majority of the electorates still see the party as the last project that Ojukwu bequeathed to Ndigbo, and thus, ought to be preserved.

This very fact has always made the Anambra gubernatorial election, a fight to finish affair. An APGA chieftain once stated that “2021 will be the easiest election for APGA.”

While political parties are important in determining, who wins an election, candidates who will fly their party flags matter more. Since last year, the names of Prof Charles Soludo, Chief Godwin Ezeemo, Sen. Uche Ekwunife, Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, Dr George Muoghalu, Hon. Chris Azubogu, Hon. Tony Nwoye, Chief Chidozie Nwankwo, Johnbosco Onunkwo, and Valentine Ozigbo have been ringing bells. But who among them will put on the crown in 2021?

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