ANAMBRA DECIDES 2017: ANAMBRA SOUTH, BETWEEN SENSE AND SENTIMENT. – Aloy Uzoekwe
First a clarification; this is from the Anambra South Senatorial Zone of Anambra State. This clarification is necessary so that for what I am about to say nobody will accuse me of vested interest.
One of the unhealthy points of the present political wheeler dealing associated with the campaign for the election into the Anambra State Government house slated for the 18th November, this year is the support of some select political big wigs from the South Senatorial Zone of the State for the incumbent Governor, Chief Willie Obiano.
The support of these politicians for the Governor is not based on empirical proof of performance in office by the Governor, rather it is hinged on the mundane calculation that with the re-election of Chief Obiano, the time lag for their shot(s) at the governorship seat of the State will be shorter.
It is so given (or assumed) by this set of politicians that Obiano will have only four years more to lavish on the seat and leave by 2022; but in the likelihood of any of the other frontline contenders winning, they may wait till 2026.
With this typical Nigerian politician’s calculation and mindset, sense and reason on what leadership is all about or the quality that enthrones leadership are thrown overboard. It is more like ‘Ol’boy do quick, collect your share make I come take mine’.(One of the principal reasons for our political underdevelopment. But I digress).
Zoning of political offices especially the Executive stock is ideal to the extent it guarantees fair play and good governance. When the originators of rotational politics introduced it into our polity in 1994, they did so with the belief that an area so favoured by the arrangement will push forward its best materials and not laden the polity with mediocres.
Put succinctly it was not the intent of the fathers of zoning in our body politic that competence and good governance should be sacrificed on the altar of rotation expediency. Using sectional interest as the sole determinant for elective position spells doom for an entity. It engenders mediocrity, enthrones thievery, and entrenches misrule.
It is baffling seeing otherwise sensible men from the Anambra State South Senatorial Zone running around trying to outdo each other while attempting to impress the incumbent because each of them has been promised the baton come 2022 election time. But nothing can be more deceptive.
Campaigning for the Governor only on the premise of a promise that power will be handed over to the South Senatorial Zone in four years time is not only hollow and lazy, it is capricious and insensate. Leadership at the level of governorship of a State/Province is performance and ability driven.
Those who base their support for the re-election of the incumbent Governor solely on the whimsical permutation that such arrangement offers them a shorter route to realizing their political ambition in four years time are doing the State a great disservice.
They are contributing their quota to the continued stultification of the development of the State, infra-structurally and fiscally. Aga afu ukwu ehi zoro n’ala welu choba ya n’elu (you will first see the footmarks of the cow on the ground before you look for it).
The critical questions anybody should ask himself are; has the Governor actually delivered on his existing mandate? The realities on the ground in the State, do they match our expectations? If the answers are in the negative, is it not better the driver is changed midway in the journey than risk a fatal crash for all in the end? Okwa onye mara suba, afunyebere ya (Is it not when a person pounds well that more will be peeled for him)? How long shall we remain in sin for grace to abound in us?
In all the scheming going on, there is one basic fact which everybody has chosen to forget; the Anambra South Senatorial is the architect of its political problem in the State. It shot itself in the foot in 2003. It gave out the pie it was holding without any prodding from the other two zones, I will be concise. In 2003, the Anambra South Senatorial Zone held all the political power levers in the State, it dictated who got what in the political sphere of the State. The State Governor as at the time, Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju (1999 – 2003), was from the Southern Zone. Then the Governor fell out with the powers that be in the State (and they were all from the South Senatorial District). And they took the seat away from him, but rather than bequeath it to another person from the South Senatorial Zone they called Dr Chris Ngige from the Central Senatorial Zone and gave it to him. And as fate would have it, the Central Zone ended up doing eleven years (Ngige 3 years and Peter Obi eight years). With the above facts, is it not ridiculous that the South which aided the Central to rule for eleven years will now turn around to raise fears about the North ruling for twelve years? Ochuru onwe ya n’ugbo asina n’ugbo eruteghi (he who willingly evicts himself from a vehicle should not complain that the vehicle could not take him).
For the good of Anambra, what the South should do is to allow sound judgment and reason dictate its steps. We should save ourselves the odium of the logic for support based on sectional interest, after all we are all Anambrarians.
The campaigners for the re-election of the incumbent on the singular logic of power shift to the South Senatorial Zone in four years time should shelve their logic. The logic is medieval, and utterly selfish. They should pause in their pace, take a deep breath and introspect if their reason is actually altruistic and for the greater good of the people of the State or they are espousing it just to further their nest. They should equally ponder if by 2022, assuming they succeed, the State may not have been rendered fiscally irredemptive and infra-structurally irreparable. Whether Anambra would not have overtaken Imo State as a reference point of how a State should not be? My over all take on this is the people of Anambra should be allowed to select among the candidates standing for election, the Captain who can best pilot the ship and right the course of the State. They should not be coerced either physically or emotionally in making their choice.
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