By Edwin Emeka Aboh
Politics is described as a game of numbers, popular interest and belief. It is a game that must reflect the true wish of the people. Anything short of that is a recipe for disaster!
Hence, the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State is an epoch contest that will surely determine which direction the entire southeast geopolitical zone would take in the 2019 general elections. The contest is therefore like no other in the country.
Anambra, being the light of the nation, has always shined the light for the entire southeast geopolitical zone to follow.
At the dawn of Nigeria’s independence in 1960, it was an Anambrarian that led the struggle for better Nigeria. After the Nigerian civil war, it was an Anambrarian that brought the entire Igbo race back to national political reckoning.
These are just the synopsis of what Anambra State had been and would forever be in the socio-political configuration of the Southeast region.
It is therefore not surprising why Anambra is the cynosure of all eyes in this election contests ahead of the 2019 general elections in the country.
This is why all the major political parties in Nigeria are determined to fielding candidates whom they believe can win the vital or swing state for them ahead of 2019 race.
It will however amount to vain repetition of words to restate here that Anambra is PDP and PDP is Anambra. But how this dwindled fact would be re-enacted in the state would largely depend on who the party is going to field as its flag bearer for the November 18 gubernatorial race in the state.
There are many aspirants in the race already, but one man that is an aspirant among aspirants is Mr John Okechukwu Emeka, the aspirant many stakeholders in the state believe is the only man who can wrestle power from the incumbent Governor, Mr Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state.
Among the many factors working for this young, energetic and charismatic aspirant is the fact that he is the only scandal-free aspirant in the race.
As former Minister of State for Transportation, Mr Emeka was one of the best Ministers that served Nigeria creditably well as well as the most articulate Minister in the PDP-government under late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Mr John Emeka had been one of the most loyal, dedicated and financial member of the People’s Democratic Party. His uncommon loyalty to the party was seen while the just ended internal crisis engulfed the party.
While many political gold-diggers and opportunists left the party others secretly arranged with some folks in the ruling party to defect from the PDP, Prince John Emeka remained in the party and contributed to its growth! He also helped in strengthening the weakening base and structures of the party in the state while the crisis lasted.
Now that the crisis is over, some food-is-ready politicians and money bags are back in its fold trying to deceive and confuse loyal party members and delegates with their money and deception. But very unfortunate for them, the Anambra electorates are too sophisticated and enlightened to be deceived by these money bags.
The development and prosperity of Anambra State has been the driving force behind the governorship ambition of this humble and erudite Prince from Anambra North Senatorial District; a course he had longed championed both as a private and public person.
As the Executive Director in charge of Operations at the Nigerian Commercial and Industrial Enterprises as well as Managing Director of the same company, Prince John Emeka employed and empowered many sons and daughters of Anambra State.
As Managing Director & Chief Executive of Fichtel & Sachs West Africa Limited, Prince John Emeka made the welfare and empowerment of Nigerians especially Anambra sons and daughters his primary assignment and pre-occupation.
Many of these feats he achieved as a private person before his sojourn in to politics which led to his appointment as Nigeria’s Minister of State for Transportation in charge of Marine Transportation in the PDP-led Federal Government under late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Senator John Emeka is not stranger when it comes to defeating the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance in the state. It has become a routine thing for him. So, for him to emerge as PDP Senator for
Anambra North Senatorial District in the April 2011 Senatorial election in the state, Prince John Emeka defeated the APGA candidate backed by APGA Governor in the state.
Despite the deployment of all state machinery in support of the APGA candidate against Senator John Emeka, his popularity and acceptance among the electorates made him a PDP Senator for Anambra State.
Nevertheless, in this all important race, the only selling point of the incumbent governor Willie Obiano is that the fact that Anambra State Political Stakeholders have zoned the governorship seat of the state to Anambra North Senatorial District which is also the most marginalized zone of the state.
This is why Governor Obiano is beating his chest telling those who care that his re-election in the race for Anambra seat of power is a done deal.
Other aspirants from the zone besides Prince John Emeka pose no threat to Governor Obiano because they are not scandal-free. Some either have case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) or the Code of Conduct Bureau over false declaration of assets and liabilities.
Worst still, some of the aspirants in the race have one or two questions to answer with the Federal Government of Nigeria, a situation that will cause the downfall of the party in the state if a wrong candidate is fielded for the race. This is because the ruling All Progressives Congress will surely use its instrument of coercion to arrest and prosecute these questionable aspirants.
Therefore, the party needs a clean and scandal-free aspirant in the person of Senator John Okechukwu Emeka to fly its flag in the November 18 governorship race in Anambra State if PDP truly wants to win the election.
Edwin Emeka Aboh, a Public Affairs Analyst, wrote from Abuja.