By Arinze Okamelu
As the gubernatorial election in Anambra State approaches, expectedly in November, the political chase-game has become very interesting, given the calibre of gladiators seeking to get the tickets of the political parties. The battle of wits and resources is already on top gear, even as scheming and strategising by aspirants become fiercer by day. Apart from the current governor, Chief Willy Obiano, whose ticket as the gubernatorial standard-bearer of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA, is certain; other political parties are still contending with the challenges of selecting/nominating their candidates for the November 18, 2017 election. The way and manner they go about it, and whoever eventually emerge their choice candidates, would form part of the determining factors of the parties’ chances in the November poll.
However, let’s make no pretence about it – while not dismissing the chances of the other political parties – the forth-coming governorship election in Anambra State, as it stands today, will be a straight contest between the incumbent governor’s party, APGA and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APC).
While APGA’s choice is already made with Governor Obiano, APC’s house is still filled with distinguished aspirants, including Chief Bart Nwibe (Ugo Igbo), Chief George Moghalu, Senator Andy Uba, Paul Chukwuma, and Dr Tony Nwoye. Others are Chike Obidigbo, Johnbosco Onunkwo, Patrick Nwike, Adeobi Uchegbu, and Obinna Uzoh. They have all picked and submitted the party’s required N5.5 million forms. With that, the intrigues towards getting the party’s ticket have started. However, knowing that the incumbency factor, among other variables, may favour APGA, APC must take the coming election very serious, if it must make in-road and have a second state in South-east.
For me, one of the deliberate things for the party to do, so as to be appreciated by the electorate, is to look at the character of the aspirants, especially in relation to their loyalty and consistency with the party. This is against the backdrop that most of the aspirants in the party are obviously, interlopers; perpetual party switchers who consider the party as an easy platform to achieve their long-nurtured political ambitions.
It would be unfair, (very unfair) and it may portray the party in bad light, if for whatever reason, they scheme out aspirants who have been with the party, through thick and thin, even when the party was seemingly unattractive; so chastised and called all sorts of names, including “anti-Igbo party”, by opposition politicians who ordinarily would deploy any means in order to win election.
Though APC parades aspirants that could be considered as political gladiators in their own rights, the party must deliberately, this time, zero in on the characters of these aspirants. As I said earlier, this would go a long way in encouraging other party faithful that ‘party loyalty pays’, even as it would position the party as a disciplined and genuine one in the eyes of the electorates.
Perhaps, for membership and fundraising reasons, I wonder why APC didn’t shut its doors to some persons who are “incorrigible party switchers”,when they already have aspirants that have been with the party and are marketable, possessing what it takes to win the forthcoming election. Yes, the party has Bart Nwibe and Chief George Muoghalu as potent forces that can challenge the incumbent governor and wrestle power from APGA in the state. While Nwibe has been consistent with and loyal to the party from its days as Action Congress (AC), to Action Congress of Nigeria and subsequently, All Progressives Congress; Moghalu was with the All Peoples Party (APP) arm of the party that fused to form APC.
Though it would be in the huge interest of the party for either of these men to become its flag-bearer; Nwibe, however, stands taller with intimidating credentials, contemporary ideas and pragmatism that can revolutionalise the socio-economic and political situation of Anambra State, with a view to bringing the state out of the woods. Nwibe represents a better alternative to the present ‘cut and paste’ approach to governance in the state by APGA. Chief Nwibe’s leadership would address the yearnings of majority of Ndi Anambra, who are longing for the return of the good days of Dr. Chris Ngige as governor.
As Nwibe moves to sell his candidature and programmes to the people of Anambra State, especially the voting delegates of APC, it is instructive to know that his acceptance has grown beyond APC as a party, as he is seen as the face of good governance to Ndi Anambra. I think APC should, as a matter of strategy, leverage on his growing popularity to present him as its flag-bearer so as not to make any mistake.
For the youths, Bart Nwibe represents a better future for them. For the elderly, he is their son in whom they are well pleased. For women, Nwibe represents the better and best choice. For the men, he is the governor that the state needs for industrialisation, security and development. For the disabled; Nwibe is the one that will give them sense of belonging. For students, he signifies uninterrupted quality education. For the farmers, Nwibe represents a prosperous agricultural industry. For the unemployed, he is the one to turn their fortune around, among others.
Indeed, Nwibe represents different things to different people, having been a consummate philanthropist and a progressive for many years. An oil and gas expert, and one of the few directional drilling engineers in Nigeria, Bart Nwibe is the Group Managing Director of Segofs Energy Group, one of the leading indigenous players in the oil and gas industry. A good manager of men and resources, Engr Nwibe holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil/Structural Engineering from the University of Nigeria. He has attended several leadership and management courses, both within and outside Nigeria. He is a corporate member of Nigerian Society of Engineers; member, Society of Petroleum Engineers and International Association of Directional Drilling.
Therefore, before APC makes the mistake of presenting one of the interlopers as its standard-bearer, let the party not make the mistake of not presenting Nwibe as its choice candidate.
Source News Express
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