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Anambra 2017: Ngige Stirs The Hornet’s Nest

Several efforts had been made in the past to drive
All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) out of
Anambra government House. When he was
Governor, Mr. Peter Obi literally walked the tight
rope. Once, he was illegally impeached and he had
to massage members of the House of Assembly
who, in his first tenure were all members of the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In his second
tenure, Obi struck a masterpiece of relationship with
President Goodluck Jonathan to the extent that the
President regarded him more valuable than some
top members of his party. Such was the game Obi
played to survive.

He did not just play politics alone. By the second
half of his second tenure, the crafty Obi was
perhaps, the best performing Governor in Nigeria.

The only Governor he contended with in that
position, people believed, was Governor Babatunde
Fashola of Lagos state.

Obi had read the psychology of Anambra people
very well, providing virtually every community with a
tarred road even if they do not endure for long;
handed over schools to their original owners thereby
boosting school attendance after rebuilding those
schools and assisting communities with money to
do some palliative works on internal roads. Latching
on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Obi was
able to get a lot of financial support from foreign
donor and development agencies. Anambra people
believe that his programme fulfilled their yearnings
and they followed him believing that he has
provided what they needed to make progress. So,
when the state ranks very low in poverty index, it is
not surprising.

Such was the situation of things when Obi’s tenure
drew to an end. To wrap it up, Obi dreamt of,and
did what not many politicians had thought about and
dared to do: hand over power to a person of
Anambra North Senatorial district extraction that has
never produced a governor and may not be able to
produce one unaided.

In that context, the spirit was high among
Anambrarians to go APGA with Peter Obi. So, when
he brought in Chief Willie Obiano as his successor,
his works spoke for him. Obiano seemed to have
carried on well; pursuing his own programmes
hinged on four pillars of development namely:
aggressive mechanized agriculture, trade and
Commerce, industrialization and Oil and Gas. The
enablers are made up of fundamentals like Security,
Education, Healthcare, Power Generation, the
Environment, Finance, Social & Civil Infrastructure,
Housing and Urban Development, Hospitality and
Tourism, Transportation, Water and Sanitation and
Youth and Sports. However, things were no longer
as they were when he took over from Governor Obi.
It will be recalled that barely one year after he
assumed office, Obi left APGA for PDP. This was
followed by bitter wrangling among the three pillars
of Obi, Chief Victor Umeh and now Obiano.

Many opponents of the party saw this as a
loophole in APGA’s stranglehold of Anambra state
with even Obi vowing to dethrone Obiano after his
first tenure. So, when the Minister of Labour and
Employment, Senator Chris Ngige spoke last week
to the effect that his party, All Progressives
Congress (APC) will be in serious contention for
Awka Government House come next year’s
Governorship election, it was seen as part of the
political struggle for the soul of Anambra state.

In an interview with journalists at his Alor country
home, Ngige had said: “APC will be in serious
contention for the office of governor next year
because we are determined to take over the
Government House. However, it is too early to
begin to talk about whether one will contest or not
since, by the Constitution of Nigeria and the
Electoral Act, the governorship election will take
place perhaps, in December next year.

Before then, the marshal plan APC has for Nigeria
would have been on ground properly as we believe
that will help us during the campaigns. For now,
anybody saying he is campaigning for the
governorship is only wasting his time as there is
still enough time for that”.

Ngige as usual insisted that he ran the best
government in Anambra state boasting that both
Obi and Obiano administration combined has not
equaled his 34 months in office. Hear him:“Even
when they tried to do multiplicity of roads, their
roads have collapsed, while the ones I did are still
in perfect conditions”.

“Even the handover of schools they are priding
themselves about was started by me because I was
the person that signed the Memorandum of
Understanding with religious leaders in the state
and handed over37 schools on paper before we left
office. If they had followed my agricultural road
map, Anambra State would have been feeding the
whole south east with rice by now.

“If I were to be governor today, I won’t be going to
Abuja for money because our state would have been
self-sufficient. I will get the required licence and
begin mining of some minerals in the state.” But he
did not hint whether he would the governorship
election again.

Prior to this time, he contested against Governor
Obi in 2010 and against the incumbent governor,
Chief Willie Obiano in 2014 and lost in both
elections. He also lost his bid to return as Senator
in 2015, coming a distant third in the election
before he was appointed a minister by President
Muhammadu Buhari.

Nevertheless, whether he will run or not ANgige’s
statement could be read as a notice to Governor
Obiano that his re-election will not be too easy as
PDP had issued similar threats several times when
Obiano’s predecessor was in office without realizing
such ambition. And realizing such ambition now
seems even more difficult with politicians of
different parties have intermingled and shared their
cheating tactics.

This post first appeared on HEADLINES, please read the originial post: here

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Anambra 2017: Ngige Stirs The Hornet’s Nest


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