By Elizabeth Chukwuma
Within the next 48 hours Nigerians , Nigerians would know , who the next governor of Anambra state, out of the eighteen Candidates from different Political Parties , slugging it out to succeed Willie Obiano, the All Progressive Grand Alliance , APGA, incumbent governor of the state.
Political analysts had given chances of winning the governorship in the state to six top contenders : Charles Soludo, a Professor and former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria , who incidentally is the Flag bearer of APGA, and who has the backing of Obiano, the governor, Andy Uba, of the Opposition All Progressive Congress APC, Candidate and And Ifeanyi Uba, a business mogul and candidate of the Young Progressive Party, YPP, who was said to have contested twice for exalted office under the Labour Party, in 2013 and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in 2017 but lost out to Obiano.
Note that the fourth serious contender for the Anambra governor election, according to the analysts is Valentine Ezigbo, the People’s Democratic Party Candidate, PDP, who was said to have been recognised by the Mahmood Yakubu, a Professor, led Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, after several Court battles.
He may have entered the race late but Nigerians are watching to see how he will cash in on his political popularity in the state to upturn the table against Soludo, the APGA Candidate or Uba of the APC, who is counting on the Federal might to win the election. But the YPP, Candidate, who has the money to throw about to win people’s support sees himself as the Candidate to beat.
Prior to the Saturday, November 6, 2021, elections, in the south east state, a Coalition of governors from the five states, irrespective of political Affliction, in the region, had urged the residents ‘ ‘to ignore threats of insecurity by any criminal gang but confidently go out and vote for the Candidates of their choice’’.
They were were said to have also urged residents in the state to ignore threats of insecurity by any criminal gang but confidently come out on Saturday and vote for the Candidates of their choice. Abudulsalami Abubakar, a retired army General and former Head of State, and Chairman of theNational Peace Committee, had organized a Peace for the governorship Candidates in the Anambra elections, where they have agreed to abide by the outcome of the results without dragging out their supporters on the street to protest if the result was not in their favour.
.The governors who are supporting governorship Candidate of their respective parties are doing every thing to ensure that their Candidates win. Take for instance, Obiano, the Current governor of the state wants , Soludo, to succed him but Chris Ngige, a former governor of the State and minister of Labour and Productivity , wants Senator Uba, to emerge as the governor of the state, to brighten the chances of the south east geo-political region producing the ruling APC, Presidential Candidate , in the February 2023, general elections.
As a prelude to the Saturday, November 6, 2021, governorship in the late Odumegwu Ojukwu, home state, Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, had tightened up security in the state to avoid any breach of Law and order or give room for political thugs and members of the Independent People of Biafra, IPOD to attack voters that might disrupt the elections .
Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police, and the Force spokesman, may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he said ‘‘the security set up ahead of the south east state governorship election is intact and cannot be penetrated by any group’’.For those who are worried that Senator Uba, the APC, Candidate, might want to use Federal might to sway the votes in his favour, they may have to do a rethink. This may have encouraged Mba, the police spokesman to speak out.
‘‘We made a pledge with the people of Anambra state to remain politically neutral in the course of the discharge of our duties in state during the elections’’. It was not surprising why all the political actors were said to have been given a level playing field to play out their games and exercise their Franchise without hindrance, meaning if you win, you win and if you lose, you lose.
Perhaps to ensure proper Coordination of the security situation of the state during the elections, Joseph Egbunike, a Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, was said to have been deployed to the state on October 26, 2021. DIG Egbunike, who is of the Ibo extraction, was said to have used his contacts in the region to extend security to all the flashpoint areas in the state which have made it very difficult for the IPOB, members who have been terrorizing the state in the recent time to mobilise and disrupt the election without any stiff resistance.
Uba, the Police spokesperson who could beat his chest that the impregnable security arrangement put in place by DIG Egunike and his Team, in the Anambra’s governorship elections, had made things hard for the criminal elements to operate stressing that ‘‘the deployment of ‘‘the top police Cop to the state has achieved its purpose’’.
Note that Vehicular movements was restricted during the elections in the state. The restriction of the vehicular movements in the state was said ‘‘to have been ordered by the IGP, from 11 .59 PM, on Friday, November 5, 2021, to 11.59 PM, ON Saturday, November 6, 2021.
Even INEC, oficials in the state had released the contacts of security Chiefs in the state for easy reach to forestall breakdown of Law and order during the election proper.